Do you feel guilty when too many good things happen to you?
Have you ever used Caller ID to dodge your mother's phone calls?
Are you sometimes tempted to give up on the idea of atonement and go get a pedicure on Yom Kippur?
The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt explodes with truth, humor, and insight into what it means to be a Jewish woman at the dawn of the 21st century. The women in this anthology bravely invite you along as they struggle to strike a balance between their heritage and their modern lives. Whether it's the pressure of hearing a grandmother's biological clock start to tick, the horror of being outted as a lesbian at your mother's Yiddish club, or the burden of being the only kid in Hebrew school who actually cares, their predicaments will make you laugh, cry, and howl in recognition.
One writer screws up the courage to tell her parents she's marrying a nice German boy, while another finds she can't live up to the Zionist ideals of her father. An Orthodox woman describes the constant pressure she feels to be perfect, and a rabbi tells us what it's like to be on the receiving end of other people's guilty confessions. Some give up the guilt altogether-like the author who refuses to go on a diet, pointing out that Golda Meir would never have been caught drinking Slim-Fast in the Knesset, or the writer who decides to RSVP no to every wedding, bat mitzvah, or family meal she doesn't actually want to attend.
So what happens when Jewish women join together to speak out? You blast away hackneyed stereotypes of nagging mothers and spoiled princesses and you get The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt-a hilarious, surprising moving and thoughtful book that captures all that is complicated and wonderful about being a Jewish woman today.
Includes pieces by:
Elisa Albert, Aimee Bender, Jennifer Bleyer, Kera Bolonik, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Baz Dreisinger, Pearl Gluck, Rebecca Goldstein, Lori Gottlieb, Lauren Grodstein, Dara Horn, Molly Jong-Fast, Rachel Kadish, Jenna Kalinsky, Cynthia Kaplan, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Amy Klein, Daphne Merkin, Tova Mirvis, Gina Nahai, Katie Rophie, Francesca Segré, Wendy Shanker, Laurie Gwen Shapiro, Susan Shapiro, Ayelet Waldman, Rebecca Walker, Sheryl Zohn