In 1974, teenager Jake Stein wants to be a good Jewish boy. But, he finds himself struggling to reconcile his traditional beliefs and strong faith in God with his growing attraction to other boys. After he lands a part in the school play, The Diary of Anne Frank, he falls in love with the boy who’s playing the romantic lead. The following year, at Princeton University, Jake suffers ever greater temptations and angst.
This novel offers readers a compelling young hero trying to walk a path between desire and devotion, often with advice from the voice of God, or at least the voice Jake imagines the Almighty would have when instructing a young man to do the right thing.
Daniel began drafting the novel during a fellowship residency at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA.
The Rainbow Awards awarded YELED TOV an Honorable Mention, saying, "This book is an absolutely gorgeous coming of age story. Jake's struggle to be a good man and a devout Jew as he wrestled with the realization that he's homosexual is a beautiful, sometimes devastating, but ultimately a hopeful journey to self-acceptance. It was the perfect balance of bittersweet, funny, and insightful. I highly recommend this novel." Elisa Rolle.
Book Reviews From the Press:
"Jaffe writes in a polished prose style…locating Jake's conflict in the particulars of Judaism and Jewish culture, while also presenting a story that will feel relatable to a wide audience…. An empathetic story of faith and desire." Kirkus Reviews.
"As I started to write this review, I learned that Philip Roth had died….And it struck me certain parallels existed between Roth and Daniel M. Jaffe. Some of the same themes exist in their work, especially the exploration of the 'promiscuous instincts' Roth has written about…. Those instincts are on full display in Jaffe's latest work, Yeled Tov.… Jaffe takes on Jake's story with a keen eye for detail and a good ear for dialogue. Jake's discussions with God are very well done, and the one near the end of the book will bring a tear to your eye as both he and God come to peace with each other. It did mine, anyway. And I'm an atheist." Out-in-Print (Jerry Wheeler).