Alfredo's Reviews > Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman
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Jun 18, 2012

it was amazing

I just finished reading a book titled: Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman. This book made the bestseller list in the New York Times. Contrary to the numerous deprecatory, denigrating, angry, and just simply malicious reviews and comments I read online and heard from even non-orthodox Jews about the book and its author, I found it to be a deeply insightful description of a journey that I, as a gay man who grew up in an exceedingly religious, chauvinistically male Latino culture, where manhood is KING and the slightest deviation from it is severely punished, was able to closely identify with her struggle for selfhood and freedom. Reading this book, given my Jewish conversion through the reformed movement last year, actually reiterated my commitment to the Jewish faith and its most important tenant: “Tikkun olam”, heal the world. In order to heal the world, one has to start from within and that’s what I found to be very rich about this particular book. Having to leave all that you know behind, including family, friends, costumes, language, and traditions, and throw yourself into an unknown yet promising abyss is applicable to anyone despite of religious or cultural background. Having to make a life transforming decision to either give up to fears and settle for what’s familial yet suffocating or to acknowledge your terrifying fears and nevertheless plunge into the unknown holding tightly to your hopes and dreams is a feeling many of us can relate to and have experience in our own lives. I know I did.
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Saloma Miller You might like my memoir “Why I Left the Amish” You can also visit my blog and my website

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