Suicide is always shocking. It raises many questions. Why would someone take that ultimate drastic step? What was going on in their mind? And then there is the insatiable macabre in us all, which desires to know how did they do it. Whatever the reason – and there are many – rare are those who end their lives to save others, as in the case of Sarah Aaronsohn, the protagonist in Barry Shaw’s new book, A Tale of Love and Destiny.Like all heroes, we also keep Sarah on a pedestal. Courage serves as superhuman inspiration from afar. Heroism is only for the few. Valor, we tell ourselves, cannot possibly be expected of mere mortals like us. In viewing heroes solely as the eternal brave, we form a shallow understanding of what their bravery actually demanded from them by conveniently shifting aside their frailties and disappointments.Not so with A Tale of Love and Destiny, an intimate portrait of one of the greatest Jewish heroines in history. Sarah’s short life, far from perfect, is passionate and purposeful yet vulnerable and flawed. Her loves are ours, her fears are ours, her injustice is ours and her yearnings are ours. Hers was a life of hardship and hope, daring and determination – without which the preservation of the local Jewish community and the ultimate creation of the State of Israel would have tarried.