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Foreskin’s Lament

Shalom Auslander, author of Foreskin’s Lament: A Memoir, was interviewed on Fresh Air. It continues to amaze me how similar the two communities are: Mormon and Orthodox Jew. He discusses what it was like growing up in an Orthodox community, how it exacerbated his family’s troubles, and why he can’t get God out of his mind but wishes he could. The title of the book comes from his dilemma of whether or not to circumcise his son and how it ruined his joy at being a new father.

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  1. C. L. Hanson said,

    October 9, 2007 @ 12:09 am

    Sounds interesting. On a related note, I’ve been reading the blog “Lubab No More” lately, and the blogger’s two recent posts about telling his wife about his non-belief (here and here) really reminded me of exactly what so many people go through when they stop believing in Mormonism.

  2. Jonathan Blake said,

    October 9, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    I definitely sympathize with Lubab No More. I hope things go well for him and his wife.

    Mormonism acts in many ways like an ethnicity rather than like a religion of choice, at least here in the United States. I wonder if things are different where the majority of observant members are adult converts. I wasn’t aware enough of the issue when I was a missionary to have made meaningful observations.

  3. Opal said,

    October 10, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

    As a woman, a senior citizen, and someone who had an orthodox background, and is now a secular Jew and agnostic, my heart goes out to Shalom. The buzz in your head is not god – it’s your parents and the fundamentalist community.

    Although my battle was difficult it was not as difficult as yours. I have come to terms with my background after many years and now appreciate what I did learn and make use of it. I’m so glad I know Yiddish, I love it. I’m glad I know some Jewish history and have been able to make use of it in some writing I have done.

    I am almost totally non-observant but still love a seder and the songs. I still identify myself as a Jew with all the paranoia that it entails.

    I think in time your anger will subside – hopefully. As a Jew, even your image of god is wrong – the grey-bearded old man is a Christian image. I hope you learn that it is futile to be angry at god and fight the proper battle on those who inflicted this fierce and vengeful image on you. It’s hard work and takes time but it is a fightable battle. The fight with god is futile.

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