Customer Reviews for

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

Average Rating 4
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(29)

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(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

36 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

A must-read!

"Unorthodox" is an authentic, gripping narrative of the author's experiences growing up in an oppressive religious Hasidic community, and of how she courageously walked away from that community to provide a better life for herself and her child. Having lived many years ...
"Unorthodox" is an authentic, gripping narrative of the author's experiences growing up in an oppressive religious Hasidic community, and of how she courageously walked away from that community to provide a better life for herself and her child. Having lived many years in that community myself, I can attest to the veracity of the author's description of the Hasidic lifestyle, as well as relate to the challenges she faced in leaving, and the exhilaration of being able to freely explore the world outside. The story, while poignant, also has its humorous moments. It is certainly as entertaining to read as it is informative, and for those looking for a good book to read it will not disappoint.

posted by BklynBookBuff on October 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

26 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Well-written

I noticed there are many negative reviews, but the readers never indicate that they've actually read the book. Since I have read the book, I will say it's carefully written. While Deborah details the daily life of the Satmars, she's also very conscious not to add too mu...
I noticed there are many negative reviews, but the readers never indicate that they've actually read the book. Since I have read the book, I will say it's carefully written. While Deborah details the daily life of the Satmars, she's also very conscious not to add too much judgment. Her writing seems very honest. For example, she conveys an awareness of the material things she covets after her engagement and marriage.

One thing the Satmars who are angry with Deborah and also Deborah herself doesn't seem to notice. The reason she noticed what was missing in her life was because she dipped her toes into our pool. In essence, she ate from the tree of knowledge, and once she did, she was unable to feel satisfied with the life she had. Being treated as an outcast by her own family, what did she really have to lose? I came across a few sites where people are defaming her, and I'm sure the Satmars are unhappy mostly because they are private and exclusive and she's basically torn the veil off their secret society, but so it goes. This is her story, and if it doesn't align with other Satmars, so be it. That doesn't mean it isn't true.

posted by AlexaF on February 21, 2012

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    A waste of money

    Interestingly I live in Williamsburg and know alot about the community despite not being a Hasid, and what she writes in her book doesn't match up with what I know about them. I think she's like the "disgruntled employee", trying to get back at the community that she left. A bunch of rubbish and distorted views in the book. It's like reading someone's fictional novel.

    6 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    fascinating, wild with imaginations.

    Although i'm an ex-hassid, i'm still outraged how this author decides to go forth writing a book in a way that's tragically twisted, i can understand her madness and frustrations being raised by ailing grandparents, etc. it's still NO excuse to exaggerate or excessive lying ! i'm half way thru the book and feel it fair enough to say it's over 75% fabricated !! if you don't believe me you need to go no further than Googling: "Unorthodox' Author's Claim Of Murder Cover-up Rebutted", plus many more fabrications in the upcoming news. I think instead of returning the book, i'll keep it for future references, articles for evidences.For anyone who decided to buy the book or has the book, just enjoy it as a fascinating, wild with imaginations read ! I give more than 1 star bec i applaud her for the courage to get up, pack up and move out of the old community. Great bravery for standing up for herself. I just feel sad that she thought lying was the way to go ( and make more quick money ). if she comes out with her next book, 100% pure true then i'll give rating 4 or 5 stars...

    5 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Completely Not accurate

    Having read the book and knowing some Satmars personally , I can tell that this is not acurate at all. Completely distorted, and I am short of saying that some customs in the Hasidic works are grossly exaggerated. I have first hand knowledge of the most religious hasids, (not being jewish myself) WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY.

    5 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2012

    A book full of lies

    I am not sure how such a prestigious publisher like Simon & Schuster would publish such a book based one persons word with no factual backing defaming a whole religious community as a matter of revenge for her admittedly unhappy life, because of her family troubles.

    5 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    ┬┐Unorthodox┬┐ Belongs in the Fiction Section

    “Unorthodox” Belongs in the Fiction Section

    4 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Bad choice of title, Simon & Schuster! Un Orthodox or Un Chassidic?

    A letter to Simon & Schuster.

    Re: Deborah Feldman and Unorthodox.

    Perhaps you should have looked at the the countless Chassidim and Orthodox individuals worldwide, who have become huge successes careerwise, through their intellect, hard work and education, who are serving humanity in many arenas as doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists, judges, scientists, actuaries, authors, politicians, etc.

    There is no field in the US and beyond where Chassidim and Orthodox individuals have not become successful, where the world at large hasn't benefited from their brainpower and expertise. And this is with their 4th grade education, according to DF- ha! At the same time, they have no desire or interest or thought to leave Chassidism or Orthodoxy behind.

    Believe it or not, the above didn't need that 150 or so member organization, that Ms Feldman speaks of fondly, laden with social misfits and shlemazels to straighten out their minds and guide them in life and offer them vocational advice in addition to "everything goes" sex education, etc.

    Some do obviously. Once theyre out in the big world, all morals die for many. The cancer of immorality and the “everything goes in the name of enlightenment mindset”, takes over. Not with everyone though.

    Simon & Schuster: she’s NOT the first Chassidic individual to have gone to college! You chose HER to tell HER story and thereby represent uniquely successful (ex)Chassidim? You people are living in the dark ages! Shame on you!

    If anything the book should have been named Un-"Satmar", but even among Chassidic people there are highly educated and very worldly individuals (doctors, lawyers, judges, etc). The author put everything negative about Chassidim in one book, and then you named it Un”Orthodox”?

    Are all non- Chassidic people educated and worldly?

    Orthodox people are mostly VERY highly educated and VERY worldly. Bad choice of title, S&S!

    3 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    not good

    I didn't like the book. First of all it was written in a very boring and uninteresting way. She was so negative, a whiner and a complainer. This was her family's way of life, she was not abused and she made it sound as though nothing was right. (I am Jewish and I still didn't like the book.) It wasn't even informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

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    Posted July 17, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

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