Author: Abigail Pogrebin

June 1, 2017

“In addition to many small details of Jewish practice, Pogrebin learns about two overarching themes of religious Judaism. First, she explains, ‘how we behave says a lot more than how we feel.’ Judaism demands action. Even if we do not feel generous, the giving of tzedakah, or charity, is demanded by Jewish law. With enough correct behavior, there is the explicit assumption that moral action will lead to moral beliefs. Second, she clearly sees the threads connecting every Jewish holiday. They all commemorate different events, but they are bound through the force of collective Jewish memory, and the natural cycle of the seasons. She says, ‘the Jewish schedule . . . [reminded] me repeatedly how precarious life is, how impatient our tradition is with complacency, how obligated we are to rescue those with less, how lucky we are to have so much history, so much family, so much food.'”

Read the full text of Eric Maroney’s review on the Colorado Review website.