Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism” as Want to Read:
Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism

by
3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  125 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Acclaimed writer and thinker Douglas Rushkoff, author of Ecstasy Club and Coercion, has written perhaps the most important—and controversial—book on Judaism in a generation. As the religion stands on the brink of becoming irrelevant to the very people who look to it for answers, Nothing Sacred takes aim at its problems and offers startling and clearheaded solutions based o ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 23rd 2004 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nothing Sacred, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Nothing Sacred

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 266)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Matthew W
The absurd arrogance of the author (and thesis of the book) can be summed up here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGt7_0...

As anyone can see, Rushkoff has no problem actually being somewhat honest, but this book is also full of half-truths, narrow generalizations, conscious distortions, and journalistic "scholarship."

For example, Rushkoff tries to blame Carl Jung for helping promote Jewish racial theories that would inspire Hitler and thus result in the holocaust. Of course, I think this is just
...more
Michael Benami Doyle
Jun 16, 2012 Michael Benami Doyle rated it did not like it
I am of two minds about this book. It's a very Jewish work--it questions and struggles with Judaism, God, and everything related in order to find meaning, which is at heart of Jewish scholarship. But it's also not about what it purports to be. Rushkoff calls the book "The Truth About Judaism." What it really amounts to is a thinly veiled call to turn Judaism into humanism.

Rushkoff's main idea is that the irreligious, largely humanist "lapsed" Jews of the 21st Century are really the most "Jewish"
...more
Miryam-Chavah
May 20, 2007 Miryam-Chavah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jewish people, students of ancient mid-east and Judaism
the book is most definitely "disturbing". but i love it.

the point of view of the author seems to be rather keeping with the Reconstructionist mindset, and he presents his information in a clear and conversational manner.. he is very easy to follow and his research is exhaustive...

he deconstructs many blindly-swallowed "facts" about rabbinical Judaism and it takes a strong gut to make your way through the book if you are of a more Orthodox/traditional persuasion, but i recommend sticking it out.

i
...more
Dena S.
May 23, 2014 Dena S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaica
I disagree with the author when he seems to insinuate that all Zionists are bat shit crazy religious and the only scholars are aware of the fact that the Torah contains mythical narratives. However, I appreciate his emphasis on the evolution of Jewish understanding. He encourages Jewish communities to tackle difficult questions and to encourage congregations to address issues with the moral and ethical implications. One of his premises is that Jewish communities have dumbed down Judaism. I would ...more
Matt
Aug 10, 2015 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaism
It appears to me that the average reader is inclined to base his or her review of Nothing Sacred on whether or not he or she liked Rushkoff’s ideas, rather than on the coherence and presentation of his arguments. When one examines the book according to the latter, the entire assemblage, regardless of the author’s intentions, begins to fall apart.

Rushkoff’s thesis is simple: The Jewish people have lost “the narrative,” that is, those qualities that define Judaism. It’s hard to argue that point. T
...more
Shoshana
Sep 10, 2012 Shoshana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, nonfiction
(4.5)

Douglas Rushkoff is thoughtful, irreverent, constructive, occasionally biting in his criticism, and absolutely passionate about Judaism and what it has the potential to be.

His vision is essentially secular, although he uses God-language, I would guess for one or both of two reasons - one, he feels connected to that language himself, and he finds feelings of spirituality enjoyable and constructive; two, it might connect him more successfully with Jews who come from religious backgrounds and
...more
Carrie
I've always felt that Judaism is inherently progressive and social justice-oriented, and this book affirms that. It explores the ways in which Jews who aren't traditionally observant may still be enacting the philosophy of Judaism in their daily lives. My biggest problem with the book was the fact that Rushkoff seems to think this opinion is groundbreaking, and it isn't. I was surprised that Rushkoff didn't spend any time talking about Reconstructionist Judaism, or even the Modern Orthodox movem ...more
Peter Dushenski
Sep 23, 2013 Peter Dushenski rated it it was amazing
Rushkoff makes a persuasive argument that those disenfranchised by the current Jewish institutions are more "Jewish" than they synagogue-attending counterparts. He argues that judaism is more about improving the world, iconoclasm, and conversations. To disagree is to disagree with history as well as a more engaged existence.
Alyssa
Jul 25, 2007 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
This book provides a scathing critique of the American Jewish Community and its organizations. The critique is brilliantly written, but his solution to the problems he cites is absurd. Nonetheless, read it, as he provides the most eloquent critique I've read yet.
Marianne Ogden
Feb 18, 2008 Marianne Ogden rated it it was ok
There is enough "truth" here, to make the lies sound believable. I did not agree with many of Rushkoff's assertions, but liked most of his suggestions at the end of the book. Also, he has a thourough list of references worth looking into.
Gabrielle
Jun 14, 2009 Gabrielle rated it really liked it
While much of this book was repetitive, I found the "alternate" Jewish history outlined absolutely fascinating. A provocative look at the true meaning of Judaism, and perhaps of religion altogether.
Paul Hirsch
Aug 21, 2007 Paul Hirsch added it
Recommends it for: "lapsed" Jews
this book, while quite critical of the way Judaism is being expressed in many if not most corners of the world, has paradoxically inspired me about what Judaism really stands - or could stand - for.
Noah Murphy
Jul 04, 2011 Noah Murphy rated it it was amazing
This book pretty much summed up everything I found wrong with modern American Jewish culture in one nice package.
Leah
Nov 01, 2007 Leah rated it liked it
this is a good one to quote at parties.
Hilary
Hilary marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Adam
Adam marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Alex
Alex rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2016
Ros Lederman
Ros Lederman rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2016
Max
Max marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2016
Nelson Ramos
Nelson Ramos marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2016
John Borthwick
John Borthwick rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2016
Marwan Rashid
Marwan Rashid marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2015
Amelia
Amelia marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2015
Ismael Schonhorst
Ismael Schonhorst marked it as to-read
Dec 03, 2015
drublood Duro
drublood Duro marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2015
Julia Walsh
Julia Walsh marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2015
Liat
Liat rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2015
Scott Goeke
Scott Goeke marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2015
Jon
Jon marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Back to the Sources
  • Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography
  • This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation
  • The Gospel According to Moses: What My Jewish Friends Taught Me about Jesus
  • Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays
  • The Lonely Man of Faith
  • The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living
  • Monolingualism of the Other: or, The Prosthesis of Origin
  • How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household
  • An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices
  • The Jewish Book of Why
  • At Home in Exile: Why Diaspora Is Good for the Jews
  • Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits and Legends
  • World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made
  • The Rebbe's Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch
  • Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels
  • Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition
  • Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals
80801
Douglas Rushkoff is a New York-based writer, columnist and lecturer on technology, media and popular culture.
More about Douglas Rushkoff...

Share This Book