The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith

The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith

by Judy Gruen


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As Judy Gruen walked down the aisle and into her Orthodox Jewish future, her bouquet quivered in her shaky hand. Having grown up in the zeitgeist that proclaimed, “If it feels good, do it,” was she really ready to live the life of “rituals, rules, and restraints” that the Torah prescribed?

The Skeptic and the Rabbi is a rare memoir with historical depth, spirituality, and intelligent humor. Gruen speaks with refreshing honesty about what it means to remain authentic to yourself while charting a new yet ancient spiritual path at odds with the surrounding culture, and writes touchingly about her family, including her two sets of grandparents, who influenced her in wildly opposite ways. As she navigates her new life with the man she loves and the faith she also loves—surviving several awkward moments, including when the rabbi calls to tell her that she accidentally served unkosher food to her Shabbat guests—Gruen brings the reader right along for the ride. Reading this wry, bold and compelling memoir, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and when you’re finished, you may also have a sudden craving for chicken matzo ball soup—kosher, of course.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631523021
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 644,417
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Judy Gruen is the author of several award-winning humor books and coauthor of a book on MBA admissions. She has written for the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Saturday Evening Post, American Thinker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Los Angeles Times, Northwestern, Woman’s Day, and many other media outlets. She has been quoted in The New York Times and Better Homes & Gardens, and has been a guest on many radio programs. Her writings on Jewish interest and spirituality have been featured on the websites and, as well as the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles and Jewish Action. She has also contributed to ten anthologies.

Table of Contents

Foreword Michael Medved ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Wedding Day 4

Chapter 2 The Grandparents I Have to Thank 11

Chapter 3 Seven Circles 25

Chapter 4 "Every Family in the World…" 32

Chapter 5 Journeys Near and Far 41

Chapter 6 Back in the USSR 54

Chapter 7 The Gallery of Regrettable Dates 66

Chapter 8 Growing Conflict 77

Chapter 9 Meeting Rabbi Lapin 88

Chapter 10 Friendships Lost and Found 103

Chapter 11 Decision Time 115

Chapter 12 The Plunge 122

Chapter 13 The Talking Donkey 134

Chapter 14 Dinner with Charlie 140

Chapter 15 The Ritual Bath 150

Chapter 16 Can I Still Say That? 158

Chapter 17 Hi, My Name Is Judy and I'm a Religious Fanatic 163

Chapter 18 Hair Today, Hidden Tomorrow 171

Chapter 19 Through a Child's Eyes 184

Chapter 20 Out in the World 194

Chapter 21 Grandpa's Little Girl 202

Chapter 22 Seven Circles 208

Acknowledgments 213

About the Author 215

Reader's Guide 217

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