"After losing the crown that should have been his to his younger brother, anger, rage and fury welled up in his heart. ‘My younger brother must be eliminated.’"

The title of this book is a teaser purposely designed to make us think: who is this mass murderer, and why have we never heard of him before? The answer comes slowly and gradually, as the author, Ira J-Ira has designed it: a farmer and his wife disobeyed their landlord and lost their land; and their son, seized by jealousy, murdered his brother. Of course, this is the Biblical tale of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. For those who take the Biblical time frame literally, Cain was guilty of committing the first murder. He did not receive the death penalty for his sin, but was banished. Married, it is suggested, to a sister, he restlessly roamed the wilderness. His real sin, the author states, was lack of respect and gratitude towards “the authority” that had blessed his family. The author draws a strong parallel between Cain’s willfulness and the ego of modern people who believe they know better than their creator how to manage the natural bounty of the earth: “his children have not learned…they cannot solve the problems they themselves have created.”

The author, about whom little information is offered, writes in a plain, spare way that engages the reader with his sincerity. He draws on various pieces of the Biblical story to prove his thesis: Cain was a destroyer of one quarter of the human population of his time and he and his heirs did very little to atone for this sin. His scripture-based comparison of Cain and his offspring to current generations, who often seem to worship technology rather than their creator, is rational and thought provoking.

Designed to help us consider our own natural gifts and gratefully tend our earthly garden, J-Ira’s book could attract a following among eco-conscious people of faith.

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