Sunday, February 19, 2012
Non- Fiction Genre: Unorthodox The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots A Memoir by Deborah Feldman.
I was raised in a Jewish home but nothing like the way Devoireh was raised by her Bubby and Zeidy. We did not speak Yiddish in the home, my mother never shaved her head and I did not have to be covered up the way Satmer sect of Hasidic Judaism did. I was familiar with the practice of men and women sitting separately in Shul but as there was no balcony women were not as separate.
I was not familiar with all the practices of this sect and realize that I probably would have been a rebel as Deborah was. I was lucky and never had to hide books and went to co-ed schools - both public and Hebrew Schools. Deborah had to hide the English books she brought home. I did not have my parents find a matchmaker for me when I was 17 and did not marry until over age thirty.
I did not know a lot of about Hasidic Jews before reading this book. I watch television, listen to the radio, drive and have a college education. Education was valued in my family. Deborah did not even get a regular diploma from high school. She was expected to have lots of children and keep house for her husband.
Deborah is attending Sarah Lawrence College and appeared on the View the day her book was allowed to be sold. She is a very independent woman and a well spoken one. This book is easy to read and I will be lending it to some of my friends to read.