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

Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman
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's review
Jun 10, 2012

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bookshelves: book-club

This was a book club selection and not one I would normally gravitate to, but because of my Jewish background I thought I would find it interesting. Since I know a great deal already about the Hasidic community, the book reinforced many of my impressions. The Hasidic community is insular, closed to outsiders and in many ways medieval. Control of women by men is at the forefront of the philosophy, disguised as obedience to God's law - and it seems there's a law for everything. Ms. Feldman does a good job of describing her life in this community and why she chose to leave. A free spirit cannot be contained. But at times her writing was pedantic and overly descriptive of emotion. Her story improved, however, from the time she marries to the end of the book. It would have made the book complete if she had also written of the first year she spent away from the Hasidic community and how she managed. As I read I couldn't help but think of non-Jews reading this book and wondering what all the Yiddish words meant and the Hebrew words for the holidays. A glossary would have been helpful to those unfamiliar.
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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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