Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels

Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels

3.8 16
by Hella Winston
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0807036277

ISBN-13: 9780807036273

Pub. Date: 11/01/2006

Publisher: Beacon

Honorable Mention in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism

When Hella Winston began talking with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn for her doctoral dissertation in sociology, she was surprised to be covertly introduced to Hasidim unhappy with their highly restrictive way of life and sometimes desperately struggling to escape it. Unchosen tells the

Overview

Honorable Mention in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism

When Hella Winston began talking with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn for her doctoral dissertation in sociology, she was surprised to be covertly introduced to Hasidim unhappy with their highly restrictive way of life and sometimes desperately struggling to escape it. Unchosen tells the stories of these "rebel" Hasidim, serious questioners who long for greater personal and intellectual freedom than their communities allow. In her new Preface, Winston discusses the passionate reactions the book has elicited among Hasidim and non-Hasidim alike.

Named one of Publishers Weekly's Ten Best Religion Books of 2005.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807036273
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
11/01/2006
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
1,135,121
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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Unchosen 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is precisely reviews like 'Pulp Fiction' that show the great service 'Unchosen' has done. I, myself, grew up Chasidish and left. It was difficult. It is insulting to me that my experience and the individual experiences of the characters in 'Unchosen' need to be dismissed and regarded as fiction because it comes in conflict with the general happiness amongst Chasidim. Ms. Winston has successfully shared with us the stories and struggles of individuals who face a foreign outside world. She does not claim to tell the story of content Chasidim and that is clear to us in the TITLE of the book. For people who are interested in the glamour of a Hasidic life there are other books that can share that with you. However, it is unfair to attack a book that has given a voice to an unheard experience. It is not the duty of a writer to proclaim the wonders of the Hasidic community. It is similarly not the duty of the Hasidic world to proclaim the wonders of the outside world--and I assure you they don't. This book is not an advertisement for any world--it is the poignant story of pain and triumph that is a part of dramatic transition and choice on the part of the individuals who Ms. Winston so bravely introduces us to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For this chassidish woman, Hella Winston's book was like a gift. She only scratched the surface of the problems faced by people like me who cannot conform to this way of life. Please ignore those people who attack the author. To me and many others like me, this book tells the truth about our lives and offers hope that maybe things will change. This just proves that you don't have to be an 'insider' to understand what goes on in the chassidish world and maybe it even takes an outsider to have the courage to write the truth. Many chassidim are engaged in a cover-up, which helps no one and harms some very wonderful people in the process.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading Unchosen made me think that even a non-Jew could cook an authentic Cholent, something I never believed possible. What is sometimes referred to as a homogeneous body, 'Chassidic Jewry' is in fact splintered into many different factions. At times, these factions are indistinguishable from each other, and at other times they are unrecognizable as belonging to the same religion. Sadly, most Chassidim--especially those descended from Hungary--live as a close-knit community and have little or nothing to do with the outside world, not even with their Jewish bretheren, as the Lubavitch Chassidim do. Lubavtichers are extremely different in their outlook and interaction with the 'outside.' br Hella Winston chose to write about this less well-known majority of Chassidim, focusing on the 'unchosen,' or rebles. A hard, laborious task considering the closeness of the community and the tight-lipped members of Satmar and other lesser-known branches of Chassidism. br Unchosen will make an excellent read for Jews who are not affiliated with Orthodoxy--which, today, is most Jews. Every secular, Reform or Conservative Jew descends from an Orthodox ancestor not too far down the line and this is a fascinating way to re-live a great grandfather's quandary, an ancestor's pain and misery in leaving a tradition or way of life, or to understand the love/hate relationship with anything sacred of a beloved grandmother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hella
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MoraRut More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It honestly portrayed the challenges faced by those people, who for whatever reason, do not feel like they belong in the Chassidic community. It is comprised of the stories of separate individuals, and it was riveting!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Unchosen is well written, accurate and a great resource concerning the life of Hasidic rebels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thanks goodness for Hella Winston's accurate portrayal of those of us caught in the chassidic time warp. The frustration and sadness is overpowering. Her book was like a ray of hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a bit shallow,it seems the author was under the impression that 'if you look the same, you think the same'.There is a unique mind under the hat. The book fails to discuss the illusions these confused souls were expecting to have after 'the Change' & the continued feelings of emptiness in their lives. the book is telling a simple fact which is known to all in regard to any religion there are always those that are unhappy. lacking deep insight
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is doubtful that Ms. Winston will get very far with this 'research' project. Even if her book may contain some nuggets of truth about hasidim, it is way off the mark! The majority of hasidim lead wholesome lives and are quite content in practicing their religion and traditions. In fact, Hasidism blooms today more than ever in the U.S., Israel and other far corners of our globe! For every disgruntled, troubled person who leaves the 'fold' there are several hundred happy, well-adjusted hasidim who are carrying forth the torch! Demographics prove that the future of Judaism is with Orthodoxy and also with Hasidim. L'Chaim!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
1- A REBEL is someone that rebel's period. No matter in which culture or society they are raised in. 2- When a dog bites a human it's not published in all the news papers. But when a human bites a dog every body is talking about it. Because it's rare. The fact that the author wrote this book shows that it's very rare. 3- Unfortunately the author couldn't find a nicer way of making money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While well written, I find that Hella Winston missed the big picture because of her preassumed notions. In spite of her efforts to be open-minded it is always easier to have your beliefs validated rather the shattered. So quite naturally she chose the former. The Hasidic Community is as human as any other. We are a sensation only because of who we are, what we stand for - and the fact that we unfortunately sometimes forget that. I actually went so far as to open a blog to discuss her discrepancies, which arose from a perspective that was inevitable with her being as an outsider looking in. You can find me at blogspot.com under the blogger name of rechosen.