Modern Jewish Girls Guide To Guilt Hardcover – Aug 23 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Rabbi's daughter Ellenson's wide-ranging and thought-provoking collection touches on familiar-mothers, marriage and bacon-as well as less obvious, but equally potent, sources of guilt. In one of the strongest essays, Susan Shapiro explains how she's done what most women only fantasize about: declined social engagements and cut back on granting favors so she can do what she wants. It's selfish, she admits, but she's happier. Binnie Kirshenbaum manages to retain a sense of humor despite being greeted with "When are you going to grow up and have a family?" whenever talk turns to her childlessness. Humor is a staple for many of Ellenson's writers, among them Lori Gottlieb, whose "loving but lethal" mother seems to have been pulled from central casting. But Gottlieb captures the right tone, and the result is fresh and funny. As is Sharon Brous' recollection of being reprimanded by a religious Jew for placing an unopened bottle of salad dressing on a kitchen counter. "I was mortified and guilt-ridden-as much by my stupid mistake as by the fact that I didn't understand half the words she was shouting at me." Her solution: she is now a rabbi. That won't work for everyone, but given the variety of approaches offered here, most readers will find something to help assuage their guilty consciences.
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"Strong and moving stories about what it means... to be a Jewish woman in today’s world."—Los Angeles Times
"Lively and intelligent."—Seattle Times
--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a little bit of additional heresy, I kept this book as bathtub reading, since each essay was about as long as a short story. Full of laughs! I highly recommend.
More than a few commentators have observed that we are living in an age of the renaissance of the essay as a form, whether on NPR's `This American Life' or the blogosphere. Ellenson here demonstrates how entertaining and provocative one can be when gathering contributions by a group of smart and thoughtful people. Generally funny, rarely preachy, and with enough schmaltz to make you giggle, this work will make a fine companion for summer travelers or even if you are just sitting around feeling guilty that you can't manage to get away.
The man from Israel who just posted a review obviously didn't read the book: there's nothing about the triumph of eating cheeseburgers on Yom Kippur (note to reviewer: try to read the actual book before you write about it in public! Reading reviews and then commenting on those just makes you look like an idiot)
What I found in these pages were great writers talking about a wide range of Jewish experiences--some I'd felt, some I didn't--but all of them taught me something and made me think about what being Jewish means to me (and, you know, I laughed a lot too) If you're expecting to hear about Jewish mothers (well, okay they're in there some) and liking bacon you will be surprised.
This wonderful book made me feel less guilty. My Grandfather has been a Cantor for over 50 years. I also attended a Jewish Day school and Jewish Summer camp. I felt guilty for wanting more; breaking away from that environment.
I identified with a lot of these stories. Some had me laughing hysterically and I cried at times too.
These true stories were written beautifully; honest, personal, heartfelt, and with lots of personality.
It's not just for women to read either! My husband loved it and identified with a it a lot! It's so nice to know that we are not alone out there and that we are finding our place in this world individually and as a whole. "The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide To Guilt," is a book long overdue. I feel less guilty now!
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