Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism
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Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  13 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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 8th 2003 by Crown (first published 2003)
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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 Doyle
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
Chavah
May 20, 2007 Chavah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Shoshana
(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
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
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
This book pretty much summed up everything I found wrong with modern American Jewish culture in one nice package.
Leah
this is a good one to quote at parties.
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80801
Douglas Rushkoff is a New York-based writer, columnist and lecturer on technology, media and popular culture.
More about Douglas Rushkoff...
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