Young men and women in Jerusalem, London & New York seek

identity, spiritual clarity and that nice Jewish girl or boy.

Unsure if they are starring in a tragedy or a  comedy, they never

stop aiming for a deeper connection, a more meaningful life. 


>> Esther, former rock star turned religious

>> Hannah, a struggling feminist pelted with fruit in the synagogue  

>> Emma, aka blogger Katamonsta, possibly in love with a terrorist

>> Ged, an ex-Hasid in an attack of angst on an El Al flight

>> Hudi, a Manhattan rabbi blacklisted from dating in 2029

      and many others.


-- Finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards, category Religious Fiction --




* EBOOK:  Amazon (Kindle) / Nook Books /  Kobo

* PAPERBACK: from Amazon USA / Amazon UK or your local Amazon. In Israel, pick up

    a signed copy from me in Jerusalem (contact me) or order from Book Depository.

   Australians click here.

* You can also order from anywhere directly from the publisher Yotzeret.



TV: The Jewish Channel "Up Close"


RADIO: TLV1's Ilene Prusher, in Let's Get Lit

Nachum Segal Network's Miriam Wallach, in That's Life  (itunes download only)


Jewish Book Council 

Tania Writes

Kavannah blog (Alan Brill)


Jerusalem Post: "It is in writing the many sides of the issues arising that Yael excels."

Jewish Link: "The stories themselves contain much that is familiar, but they delight in their surrealistic twist."

Jewish Week: "Unterman’s gift for comedy is unmistakable, not hidden at all."

Reporter Group: "Although Yotzeret Publishing publishes books aimed at the Jewish reading public, this work deserves a wider audience."




From Zion has come forth an outrageous, wise, and funky voice. I’ve already started re-reading it, that’s how good this book is.

- Ruchama King Feuerman, author of In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist and Seven Blessings

It would be wrong to characterize Yael Unterman simply as a writer – she is a force, a spirit of turbulent and joyful query. Her sketches of life in modern Israel and the Diaspora evoke the sweetness and melancholy of Chekhov. Her passion to understand, to find a way to live a life of meaning both in a commitment to tradition and to derech eretz, the way of the world, however, give them the spice of something unique and original.

One feels throughout The Hidden of Things a furious and original energy. The plight of the woman and man who find themselves single in their early thirties searching references from matchmakers, friends, Internet dating sites for a soul-mate is anatomized often with a breathless laughter.

- Mark Jay Mirsky, author of Blue Hill Avenue and Dante, Eros and Kabbalah, and editor of Fiction magazine

Each story is a jewel strung upon a glittering chain that joins complexity with deep insight. I found it difficult to stop reading. The insights into singleton Orthodox life for women and for men were cogent and compelling. Katamonsta and The Hidden of Things quite blew me away – the former with its brash humour flecked with poignant awareness and intelligence, and the latter with its agonising representation of a woman in search of her identity and of peace, possibly in all the wrong places.

-  Yvonne Fein, author of April Fool and The Torn Messiah 

 In this rollicking book - simultaneously empathetic, tragic, and comic - the playful scenes and the ironies, the joy in language, and the cleverness of the dialogue delight. Unterman has an Austen-esque touch where seemingly small moments are experienced as profound; at the same time, a Malamudian darkness permeates some of the stories and sinks into the soul.

But the hiddenness of things in this book is in its female friendships. This hiddenness illuminates a quiet undercurrent of support, compassion, humor, comfort, kindness, and connection. You will find both kinds of blessings in this book: hidden and revealed.

- Eve Grubin, author of Morning Prayer

In Yael Unterman's stunning debut collection The Hidden of Things, she presents her readers with a gallery of compelling characters in headlong pursuit of the spirit and the flesh.  That they often find these goals to be mutually exclusive turns out to be a source of both heartbreak and riotous humor.  How she manages to embrace such extremes in stories that are also poignant, passionate, and brave is a mystery whose result is a deeply irresistible experience.

- Steve Stern, author of The Frozen Rabbi and The Book of Mischief



Excerpt 1: From "Species"

It was at this point that it all began to go wrong. Just as Hannah finished shaking and was about to put her set down, something came flying toward her, and without any warning, a round bumpy object smashed into the side of her head. 

Yelling in astonishment, Hannah dropped her Arba Minim in order to clutch at her stinging ear. She barely had time to wonder if she had been shot by a terrorist before another hard object slammed into her shoulder. This was followed closely by a third whizzing into her eye socket. Hannah screamed again and, clutching her eye, tried to decide whether to crawl under a bench or make a run for it. A round yellow object rolled past her foot as another flew overhead and, to her horror, it began to dawn upon her that she was being pelted with etrogs. As she crouched there in a frenzy of indecision, a man’s voice howled, “Disgusting woman!” and yet another fruity projectile came flying over the partition.

 Excerpt 2: From "Katamonsta"

Well, with no love life to speak of, let me tell you, dear blogreader, about the supermarket on Palmach street. See, this is no ordinary supermarket. This is the place where all the Katamon singletons come to stock up. This is where you’ll meet the ones you’ll never run into at singles events or on internet sites, coz they gotta eat, right?

The best time to meet people at this location is on a Friday morning. It’s also at that time that you realize why the street is named for the Palmach, the pre-State army corps – coz when you’re in there on a Friday morning, if you don’t know how to fight your way with sharpened elbows into the queues that sprawl endlessly up each aisle, you’re going to find yourself still there after everyone’s gone home, spending Shabbat with the frozen peas. It’s a wild place.

So on a Friday morning, we Katamon singlettes put on our lipstick and our second-best T-shirt (our best one is reserved for strolling casually down Emeq Refaim) and pose next to the veggies, looking seductive and gorgeous while at the very same time like someone who would make a superior mother and worth choosing from all the rest (to paraphrase one of our own, “If you pick me, will I not breed?”).

 Excerpt 3: From "The Ged of El Al"

But eventually loneliness set in. The two tractates of Talmud he had brought with him as souvenirs of the old life glared at him from their shelf, their crumbling covers covered in dust. He found himself desperate to escape them, and stumbled out into the streets, searching for a girl in a short red skirt or following religious Jews with his eyes as they walked quickly down the street, hunching into their black coats to escape his fierce gaze. “They don’t recognize me!” he thought in amazement. “They’re afraid of me!” But the thought did not make him glad.

“It’s so different from home!” Ged observed to Dr Fein. “Here you can look at anything you want – jewels, clothes, women’s bodies. But most of it is not yours, and never will be, so you’re left thirsting after it. By us, we only look at what is ours. We look at a woman only when our parents have decided she is suitable to marry. We look into the Torah and it is ours. We look at what we love, and we love it by looking.”

Dr. Fein scribbled something down on a pad. “Have you noticed,” she asked, “that you still say ‘we’?”


The characters—including a former rock star turned religious, a woman pelted with fruit in synagogue, a wacky British blogger named Katamonsta, and a Manhattan rabbi blacklisted from dating in the year 2029—struggle to make sense of their lives and find love. While braving the surreal world of internet dating, experiencing the trauma of terrorism, and embracing feminism, secularism and religious extremism, they persist in their quest for God, authenticity, and that nice Jewish boy or girl.