Rebellious and spiritually precocious Miriam is the daughter of the richest man in Palestine. She is of age to marry, but resists "suitable candidates" proposed by her father. Miriam loses her heart to Yusuf, a humble craftsman laboring on her father's estate. Social obstacles appear insurmountable. Prophecies of Isaiah, rare astrological phenomena, political turmoil, conflicting cosmologies, and the curse of Jeconiah compound the young lovers' predicament. "The Rabbi's Gift" gathers shards of Roman history, Jewish mysticism, and Babylonian astrology, crafting a speculative backstory for two of the most recognized figures in western literature.