Lovesong: Becoming a Jew

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Overview

Julius Lester was born the son of a black Methodist minister in the south. His book Lovesong is a beautifully written account of his spiritual journey away from the conventions of his Southern heritage and Methodist upbringing, culminating in his personal self-discovery through a conversion to Judaism.

Growing up in the turbulent civil rights era South, Lester was often discouraged by the disconnectedness between the promises of religion and the realities of his life. He used ...

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New York 1991 Softcover 248pages. Softcover. Like New. JUDAISM. The moving account of a life and spiritual odyssey, of a major writer's path from his boyhood as the son of a ... black Methodist minister in the American South to his conversion to Judaism. Lovesong is equally a powerful picture of Lester's spiritual struggles, in which he poignantly portrays his early encountrs with faith in the figure of his father, his earliest recollections of the pull of Judaism, the South before the Civil Rights Movement, the impact of that movement and his eventual conversion to Judaism. (Key Words: Julius Lester, Conversion, Jews, Judaism, Blacks, American South, Proselytes, Proselyting, Converts, Autobiography, Judaica, Authors). Read more Show Less

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Lovesong: Becoming a Jew

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Overview

Julius Lester was born the son of a black Methodist minister in the south. His book Lovesong is a beautifully written account of his spiritual journey away from the conventions of his Southern heritage and Methodist upbringing, culminating in his personal self-discovery through a conversion to Judaism.

Growing up in the turbulent civil rights era South, Lester was often discouraged by the disconnectedness between the promises of religion and the realities of his life. He used the outlets available to him to try to come to grips with this split and somehow reconcile the injustices he was witnessing with the purity of religion. He became a controversial writer and commentator, siding with neither blacks nor whites in his unconventional viewpoints. He became a luminal figure of the times, outside of the conventional labels of race, religion, politics, or philosophy.

Lester’s spiritual quest would take him through the existential landscape of his Southern, Christian upbringing, into his ancestry, winding through some of the holiest places on the planet and into the spiritual depths of the world’s major religious cultures. His odyssey of faith would unexpectedly lead him to discovering Judaism as his true spiritual calling.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lester, son of a black southern Methodist minister, writes of the eventful odyssey that culminated in his conversion to Judaism. The private journey was often at odds with his public life. As writer, radio commentator in New York and college professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lester's outspoken and unconventional views often angered blacks as well as whites, and placed him in a political and philosophical fray between blacks and Jews. His spiritual quest, begun here with a lovingly detailed sketch of his southern heritage, took many turns, involving visits to sites of faith (Gethsemani Abbey, Wounded Knee, Shakertown) and intensive exploration of religious cultures, until he acknowledged the pull of the Jewish faith. He discusses his interracial marriage and fatherhood, and pays moving tribute to the fulfillment he finds in celebrating the Jewish faith. Lester is the author of Look Out, Whitey! Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama! and To Be a Slave. (January 29)
Library Journal
Well-known author, academic, and former civil rights activist Lester takes the reader on an extraordinary spiritual odyssey that starts in the Forties with his childhood in segregated Nashville; continues through his years of avowed atheism and civil rights work, with accusations of anti-Semitism by whites and betrayal by blacks; and concludes with his conversion to Judaism. His search for meaning and faith lead him to Thomas Merton, Wounded Knee, and Protestant sources; his early discovery that his grandfather was Jewish eventually sparks his search for a Jewish identity. The path to conversion is difficult, but the result- ing ``lovesong'' to God is powerful and beautifully written. Recommended for wide audiences. Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559703161
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  • Publication date: 9/11/1995
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Julius Lester is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling Look Out, Whitey! Black Power’s Gon’ Get Your Mama and Do Lord Remember Me. The recipient of numerous awards, Lester has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the New Republic. Now retired after forty years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he lives with his wife in western Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    Wingsar

    Ok earse it now

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Wingstar

    Thank you and i will tell the clan we are moving to carcal resullt 1 and i notice your good at finding replacement camps that will be helpful in the future i had posted some of the den there already but not the med cat yet if need we can move around and hopefuly with some advertisment we can get this clan back on its feet

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    Mossshadow to stormfang

    I love you. Will you be my mate?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    A wonderful book

    More than a chronicle of a spiritual search, Mr. Lester also writes of his political journey through the 60's as well. I found it to be a heartfelt book, one in which Mr. Lester conveyed many similar thoughts and emotions that I've had through my own quest for a spiritual life. The final chapter is for me especially moving.

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