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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Lively and intelligent.—Seattle Times
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.
The other essay I LOVED was by Aimee Bender (who wrote "The Girl in the Flammable Skirt"). As a Highly Assimilated Jew myself I completely 100% saw myself in her story. I don't feel particularly religious, but always feel a spooky air of superstition around me, a fear of an "evil eye" if things are going too well--if I'm too happy, I'm screwed.
I read the book over several lunch breaks at work and found it a fun way to take myself out of my day.
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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