The Olive Tree Covering is a teen/young adult novel. Tamara Sulema is a fourteen-year-old-girl seeking acceptance from both her family and friends. This novel shows today’s youth how they can make and maintain new friendships and relationships while pursuing a Christian lifestyle.You can read The Olive Tree Covreing either on your computer or using a mobile phone.
Mike Brille, a friend from school, invites Tamara to attend youth group meetings at Ohev Shalom, a Messianic Jewish congregation he attends with his family. Tamara learns about Jesus Christ and accepts Him as her Lord and savior. This is contrary to the faith of Rabbinic Judaism practiced by her parents. This is the main plot of The Olive Tree Covering.
Influenced by her Messianic Jewish boyfriend Mike Brille and his family, Tamara Sulema has secretly accepted Jesus as her personal savior. This is contrary to the beliefs and traditions of her Jewish parents who still practice Rabbinic Judaism. In The Olive Tree Covring Tamara is rebellious and attends Saturday afternoon youth group meetings at a local Messianic Jewish congegation without parental permission. At one of these meetings, Tamara makes a new friend Heather Cayce who convinces Tamara to change her rebellious behavior. Tamara and her parents meet with Rabbi Mendelsohn for parental and spiritual advice. After Aaron Sulema's unexpected heart attack, Tamara works on developing a new relationship with her parents in spite of their religious differences.
Is it possible to accept a religious faith different from family members and still live peacefully with them under the same roof?
Suburban town setting; Tamara's home; Etz Ahaim Hebrew Congregation; Ohev Shalom Messianic Jewish congregation; hospital; Franklin Park and the surrounding community. Setting may shift from one location to another in the community she lives in.
The summer and fall months. Flashbacks to events taking place the previous spring.
After returning home from a Saturday morning synagogue service at Etz Ahaim, a traditional Sephardic Orthodox congregation, Tamara Sulema argues with her parents about having more freedom to make her own decisions about where she goes and how long she stays out. She tells them that she is a new believer in Jesus Christ, which is contrary to what her parents believe. This intensifies the conflict. Aaron Sulema refuses to listen to his daughter vent her frustrations and orders her to remain in her room until he discusses her punishment with her mother and arranges to meet with their family's rabbi. Her father focuses his attention on helping his son Benjamin prepare for his bar mitzvah. Frustrated, Tamara goes up to her room to change and stuff a few things in her backpack while talking to her kitten about her troubles. She sneaks back downstairs relieved that her father was too busy to notice and exits the house through the kitchen door.
When Tamara returns home, she is upset when she learns that her father found out about her leaving her room to sneak out of the house without his permission. She argues with him saying that she had promised to meet her boyfriend Mike at a nearby Messianic Jewish congregation. Her father probes for more information about Mike and doesn't like what he hears. He orders her to her room telling her that the only time she is to leave her room is to attend school, synagogue services and the meeting with Rabbi Mendelsohn the next day.
Tamara's father, Aaron Sulema, has a heart attack. He has been released from the hospital to recover from his massive heart attack and surgery at home. While taking care of her father at home, Tamara reassures him she has changed and understands why he had been so strict with her. She explains to her father that she wasn't sure that Jesus was her personal Messiah when her boyfriend Mike prayed with her. It took a long time and a lot of Internet research and New Testament reading before Tamara was convicted in her new faith.
This novel was written with the help of an instructor for Writing and Selling Children's Books -- a course offered by the Institute for Writers.