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Temple Mount

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Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley start-up and is sitting at home in an armchair, bored and purposeless. The phone rings. A grandfather he never knew is dying. He rushes to the old man's bedside and finds himself promising to find the Ark of the Covenant, missing for over 2,500 years. In Israel Alex picks up a partner in his quest—archeologist Rivka Golan. Within day Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley start-up and is sitting at home in an armchair, bored and purposeless. The phone rings. A grandfather he never knew is dying. He rushes to the old man's bedside and finds himself promising to find the Ark of the Covenant, missing for over 2,500 years. In Israel Alex picks up a partner in his quest—archeologist Rivka Golan. Within days they are targeted by a sniper, chased through the streets of Jersualem by a bulldozer, interrogated by Israeli intelligence, and trapped in a tunnel under the world's most sacred site—the Temple Mount.


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Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley start-up and is sitting at home in an armchair, bored and purposeless. The phone rings. A grandfather he never knew is dying. He rushes to the old man's bedside and finds himself promising to find the Ark of the Covenant, missing for over 2,500 years. In Israel Alex picks up a partner in his quest—archeologist Rivka Golan. Within day Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley start-up and is sitting at home in an armchair, bored and purposeless. The phone rings. A grandfather he never knew is dying. He rushes to the old man's bedside and finds himself promising to find the Ark of the Covenant, missing for over 2,500 years. In Israel Alex picks up a partner in his quest—archeologist Rivka Golan. Within days they are targeted by a sniper, chased through the streets of Jersualem by a bulldozer, interrogated by Israeli intelligence, and trapped in a tunnel under the world's most sacred site—the Temple Mount.

30 review for Temple Mount

  1. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    3.5* Keith Raffel has the background as a former counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the secret world of the CIA, to write an interesting tale revolving around the Old City of Jerusalem and what could lie beneath the world's most sacred site—the Temple Mount. Alex Kalman life is about to change from being bored stiff with his life when he comes face to face with his dying grandfather for the first time. Alex promises to search for the The Ark of Covenant his grandfather insist 3.5* Keith Raffel has the background as a former counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the secret world of the CIA, to write an interesting tale revolving around the Old City of Jerusalem and what could lie beneath the world's most sacred site—the Temple Mount. Alex Kalman life is about to change from being bored stiff with his life when he comes face to face with his dying grandfather for the first time. Alex promises to search for the The Ark of Covenant his grandfather insists is hidden in the tunnels below the Temple Mount. The author has an easy going style, with touches of humor throughout the chapters which makes for a worthy read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Noga Niv

    Temple Mount is a captivating fast pace thriller. I loved the characters, the plot and the ending. Raffel took the reader to the old city of Jerusalem to dig under the Temple Mount and I felt as if i was there,breathless and scared. The many events, the many turns of events, and surprises will take the reader back and forth between Harvard and the Old City of Jerusalem, between Orthodox Jews and secular Jews, between Arab and Israelis, past and present and will involve the reader in a beautiful Temple Mount is a captivating fast pace thriller. I loved the characters, the plot and the ending. Raffel took the reader to the old city of Jerusalem to dig under the Temple Mount and I felt as if i was there,breathless and scared. The many events, the many turns of events, and surprises will take the reader back and forth between Harvard and the Old City of Jerusalem, between Orthodox Jews and secular Jews, between Arab and Israelis, past and present and will involve the reader in a beautiful romantic relationship between an American businessman and an Israeli woman, a scholar. Thank you Raffel for this pleasure of reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Raimondo

    I love a good adventure story and Keith Raffel's Temple Mount hit all the right buttons for me. A reluctant hero drawn into a quest by a dying man and his ties to the family he never knew, a foreign setting (Israel, where I've been and that Raffel brings vividly to life in this book), a romantic interest who isn't a cartoon but a strong, intelligent, and complex woman (not to mention an observant Jew), believable action, a hint of the supernatural, and a realistic and satisfying conclusion. Don' I love a good adventure story and Keith Raffel's Temple Mount hit all the right buttons for me. A reluctant hero drawn into a quest by a dying man and his ties to the family he never knew, a foreign setting (Israel, where I've been and that Raffel brings vividly to life in this book), a romantic interest who isn't a cartoon but a strong, intelligent, and complex woman (not to mention an observant Jew), believable action, a hint of the supernatural, and a realistic and satisfying conclusion. Don't miss this one -- it's a real winner!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth Amy

    Wonderful book about discovering your roots & taking on a project that could upset the world power balance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    The Temple Mount is historically the place that the ancient cities of Jerusalem are allegedly buried under, both incarnations, and where the Ark of the Covenant is allegedly hidden. Both Arab and Israelis are loathe to bring the hidden religious artifact to the surface as it would cause war in the region over the true ownership of the treasure and the religious power it would offer the victor of the spoils. Alex Kalman, recent multi-millionaire was relaxing; enjoying the good life now that his Si The Temple Mount is historically the place that the ancient cities of Jerusalem are allegedly buried under, both incarnations, and where the Ark of the Covenant is allegedly hidden. Both Arab and Israelis are loathe to bring the hidden religious artifact to the surface as it would cause war in the region over the true ownership of the treasure and the religious power it would offer the victor of the spoils. Alex Kalman, recent multi-millionaire was relaxing; enjoying the good life now that his Silicon Valley corporation has been scooped up by one of the industries giants for a pretty penny. When the phone call comes in advising him that his grandfather was dying, he was astonished to find the old man was still alive. His father had left home, estranged from his own father, and died leaving the younger man the impression that he had no family, and so Alex, who now found his true name to be Aron, has been left a significant inheritance. As his grandfather dies, Aron discovers he is the sole male heir and that his grandfather was a rabbi, in fact the rebbe; a great teacher and leader. He had also discovered a tunnel under the Temple Mount twenty-odd years before and had seen the Ark of the Covenant. Aron is tasked with going to Israel to help with the excavation of this symbol of biblical history. Assisted by archeologist Rivka Golen, a historian working for the Department of Antiquities, who was familiar with the rebbe’s teachings, they begin the monumental task of locating and bringing the Ark to the world. They are chased by several factors all unwilling to allow them to bring the Ark to light, shot at, and thrown out of the country in this riveting, spellbinding fast-paced thriller that will have you glued to the chair until the final page is devoured.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scottnewyork

    “Where reason ends, faith begins.” I’ve never been able to find the author of those words but they have always satisfied me when approaching the dangerous intellectual territory where science meets religion. Many have literally died disputing perceived conflicts between belief and archeology but that hasn’t stopped Keith Raffel from navigating these treacherous waters in his latest novel, Temple Mount. This is at its heart a first rate mystery, which means I’ll withhold much detail to avoid spoil “Where reason ends, faith begins.” I’ve never been able to find the author of those words but they have always satisfied me when approaching the dangerous intellectual territory where science meets religion. Many have literally died disputing perceived conflicts between belief and archeology but that hasn’t stopped Keith Raffel from navigating these treacherous waters in his latest novel, Temple Mount. This is at its heart a first rate mystery, which means I’ll withhold much detail to avoid spoiling the experience for you. Let it suffice that Raffel takes on the daunting task of the search for the Ark of the Covenant, described in the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses, writings deemed Holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Ark held the Ten Commandments and was itself placed in Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. That Temple was destroyed when the Babylonians sacked the city. So what happened to the Ark? Raffel’s protagonist Alex/Aron, himself on a search for his true identify, takes up the quest and follows the trail to the caverns beneath the Temple Mount, where Jews believe the Temple once stood and where today are found the Dome of Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, sites holy to Islam. There he meets Rivka, archeologist and kindred spirit and together they face a multitude of foes along with a few unexpected friends. Raffel has written four prior novels but Temple Mount demonstrates a new maturity in his work. The characters are more fully formed, nuanced and complex. The growing romance between Aron and Rivka is well developed. And the twists and turns of the plot will keep you guessing to the end and beyond. Does Aron find the Ark? You’ll have to read for yourself, and have faith.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel L. DeLuna

    Good story This is the second book I’ve read and I have enjoyed both books. While the story is fiction, I think the outcome is plausible.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vallery Feldman

    fun fantasy about finding the Ark under the Temple Mont in Jerusalem. with insights into history and the mideast political situation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Farris

    Keith Raffel tells us he suffers from career ADD. I think he has a keen intellect and is curious and brave enough to want to experiment. Keith is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Oxford. One of his first jobs was serving as “counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the secret world of the CIA, NSA, and other clandestine three-lettered agencies.” Then he started a company in Silicon Valley and sold it to Siebel Corporation which was then swallowed up by Oracle. After that, Keith Keith Raffel tells us he suffers from career ADD. I think he has a keen intellect and is curious and brave enough to want to experiment. Keith is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Oxford. One of his first jobs was serving as “counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the secret world of the CIA, NSA, and other clandestine three-lettered agencies.” Then he started a company in Silicon Valley and sold it to Siebel Corporation which was then swallowed up by Oracle. After that, Keith turned to writing thrillers. The first two books were centered in Silicon Valley and were traditionally published. The second two books were self-published e-books, which relate more to his work in the Government. All four books have been successful. I reviewed the last two “Drop by Drop” and “A Fine and Dangerous Season” and raved about them. Both made it onto my yearly best books for book club list. For Keith’s fifth book, he decided to try something new, Kickstarter. With 193 backers contributing $18,746. His latest book, Temple Mount was just published November 2, 2014. As “Temple Mount” opens, Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley company and is wondering what to do with his life. Then a deathbed request from his estranged grandfather sends him to find the Ark of the Covenant under Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The result is a captivating thriller with a little romance as well. The book would have been fantastic, if that was all that it was. But what makes Keith Raffel’s books so special are the layers that exist. I saw the book as a philosophy book, which looks at religion. Once again with his book, I have highlighted many passages that I want to remember and to consider. For the rest of the review see: http://www.examiner.com/article/read-...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sam Dubbin

    I highly recommend Temple Mount! It is an engaging thriller that offers high-quality entertainment for readers of all political outlooks and religions. As with his last novel, A Fine and Dangerous Season, Keith Raffel’s meticulous research and experience as a staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee give him what it takes to imbue the book with high drama and out-of-the-headlines realism. Throw in Raffel’s experiences as a former Silicon Valley executive and his unmistakable Yiddishkeit, and I highly recommend Temple Mount! It is an engaging thriller that offers high-quality entertainment for readers of all political outlooks and religions. As with his last novel, A Fine and Dangerous Season, Keith Raffel’s meticulous research and experience as a staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee give him what it takes to imbue the book with high drama and out-of-the-headlines realism. Throw in Raffel’s experiences as a former Silicon Valley executive and his unmistakable Yiddishkeit, and the result is a book that sticks with you even after you've finished it: Temple Mount makes you think about the search for answers that even material success does not provide. 5 Stars!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Clearly Raffel did his research before writing this book, and, although I am no expert on the tensions in this region, he most likely accurately represented the long standing debate over the holy land. That is probably the most interesting part of this story. Overall, I thought the plot lacked creativity and the repeated encounters with Saudi thugs seemed very gratuitous and random in the end. I did find the connection of biblical events and afflictions to modern day occurrences with scientific Clearly Raffel did his research before writing this book, and, although I am no expert on the tensions in this region, he most likely accurately represented the long standing debate over the holy land. That is probably the most interesting part of this story. Overall, I thought the plot lacked creativity and the repeated encounters with Saudi thugs seemed very gratuitous and random in the end. I did find the connection of biblical events and afflictions to modern day occurrences with scientific explanations such as the plague of boils explained away as anthrax to be quite interesting food for thought....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Okun

    A book that I won't forget. A history lesson---Biblical----current mid-eastern events---A spy novel. A beautiful love story. Murder-gun shots and a great opening. "Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon start up and is sitting at home in an armchair bored and purposeless. The phone rings .The grandfather he never knew is dying.He rushes to the Old Man's bedside and finds himself promising to find The Ark of the Covenant missing for over 2,500 years." A book that I won't forget. A history lesson---Biblical----current mid-eastern events---A spy novel. A beautiful love story. Murder-gun shots and a great opening. "Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon start up and is sitting at home in an armchair bored and purposeless. The phone rings .The grandfather he never knew is dying.He rushes to the Old Man's bedside and finds himself promising to find The Ark of the Covenant missing for over 2,500 years."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob Usdin

    A good rollicking religious/political adventure. Some of the prose is over the top - "took a swig and felt the liquid run down my gullet", and pop culture references that were unnecessary. But it is fun, and if you like adventures like the Da Vinci Code in ancient places with history check this out. A good rollicking religious/political adventure. Some of the prose is over the top - "took a swig and felt the liquid run down my gullet", and pop culture references that were unnecessary. But it is fun, and if you like adventures like the Da Vinci Code in ancient places with history check this out.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Schley Cox

    Another Ark Novel I don't think anyone can write a bad novel about the Ark. It is the ultimate treasure. Like a lot of other readers, I believe the Ark is still somewhere. Temple Mount handles the issue of where very well. Same for why all mention of it ceases in scripture. The back story is sexy and exciting. Read it. Another Ark Novel I don't think anyone can write a bad novel about the Ark. It is the ultimate treasure. Like a lot of other readers, I believe the Ark is still somewhere. Temple Mount handles the issue of where very well. Same for why all mention of it ceases in scripture. The back story is sexy and exciting. Read it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A thriller that combines a splintered family history with religious history and geo-political implications. While not quite as engaging as the Cotton Malone series that has been a recent favorite, this still was worth the time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bunny

    Predictable Fun, easy read, but nothing left to the reader's imagination. Nice use of history and religion without being preachy. Try it. Predictable Fun, easy read, but nothing left to the reader's imagination. Nice use of history and religion without being preachy. Try it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judie

    Thriller, adventure, mystery, a little romance - Tem Mount: A Novel has it all and it's entertaining. A very good read. Thriller, adventure, mystery, a little romance - Tem Mount: A Novel has it all and it's entertaining. A very good read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    A fun read I enjoyed the archaeological parts but it wasn't very well written and the pace was a bit off. But I would recommend it for a light, adventure read in the summer. A fun read I enjoyed the archaeological parts but it wasn't very well written and the pace was a bit off. But I would recommend it for a light, adventure read in the summer.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Levine

    Great read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Good fast read. Would read other books by this author.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Moved along at a good pace. Abit like The Da Vinci Code but for Judaism. And it seemed more realistic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nell Ross

    Intriguing book Very interesting. Facts were verifiable. The storyline believable. Would love a series on the storyline. Recommended. Good mystery & keeps your attention.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ed Egbert

    Great Read This was one of the best. Looks that I have come across. A real page Turner that was hard to put down..Oh the lost sleep, Irecommemd this book to all. Ed

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gene K

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna Zaffuto

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carole Norwood

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul Henretty

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chad Costas

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Black

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