In a hotel near the Taj Mahal, I thought back on my week in Israel leading into a month in India. The Taj, a marble poem to lost love, was built by the Muslim king Shah Jihan, the “Emperor of the World.” His wife died after nineteen pregnancies during her fourteenth birth and this, perhaps the finest building ever built, became her resting place.
But the Emperor of the World was cast down by one of his sons, who had killed three others, leaving himself the sole heir. Battles had raged among these brothers, just as they had among the sons of King David. Continue reading