Holy Unexpected

Holy Unexpected

3.24 (50 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This work is an irreverent, funny, poignant account of one woman's midlife awakening to a long-neglected Jewish heritage. Raised by a Catholic mother and a Jewish father as a born-again agnostic, Robin Chotzinoff had no interest in religion - and practically no experience in it - until she turned forty. When she suddenly discovered a belief in God, she had no idea what to do next. This book is an account of the path she took, and those who showed her the way. From her privileged New York upbringing, to years of unhappiness and drift including stints as a waitress, shoe-shiner, petrol pump attendant and blues pianist, through a bad marriage and into a good one and joyful motherhood, Robin regarded religion with the curiosity one might bring to a museum exhibit. But when her young daughter inexplicably expressed a desire to go to shul, she found herself inexplicably drawn in. Discovering that Judaism embraces arguing with God, hot sex and acts as opposed to beliefs, Robin embarks on a journey to reconstruct her Jewish heritage and forge a relationship with her faith. While studying for her own bar mitzvah, learning Hebrew and Yiddish and delving into Torah, she also explores Judaism through the perspective of many teachers. These include a trail-running "Adventure Rabbi" who performs Jewish weddings in the wilderness and tries to teach Robin the meaning of the Sabbath while snowboarding; the Jewish inmates at the state prison; the local Hadassah ladies; the desperate-not-to-be-Jewish-singles at the Christmas Eve Matzoh Ball; and a father who can't quite eradicate all traces of his Jewish past - though God knows he tries. Without condescension, proselytizing or self-absorption, Chotzinoff takes readers on an unexpected religious journey, lit by humour and grace.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 144.8 x 208.3 x 22.9mm | 498.96g
  • INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1586483080
  • 9781586483081

About Robin Chotzinoff

Robin Chotzinoff is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in many publications including The Washington Post Magazine and New York Times Magazine.show more

Rating details

50 ratings
3.24 out of 5 stars
5 18% (9)
4 18% (9)
3 36% (18)
2 26% (13)
1 2% (1)
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