Unorthodox: the scandalous rejection of my Hasidic roots by Deborah Feldman

Raised by grandparents in a NYC community of an extremely orthodox Jewish sect, Deborah never felt like she belonged, and she never felt she would be good enough for either others or God. This memoir can be disturbing at times, and some revelations, such as this group’s belief that even speaking English or reading books written in English can be polluting and are therefore forbidden show the extent that some cultures go to enforce their beliefs on others. Needless to say, this author kept many of her own secrets and broke many rules to become a good enough writer to use her memoir as a main vehicle for freeing herself from the oppression of her childhood and early married years.

How long will life be a trial for her? Will she be able to take her baby boy with her when she escapes? This book kept me reading and reading. It is yet another example of ‘ideas’ not being the enemy, but rather ‘fear of ideas’ being the true danger.

Reviewed by Grace


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