Foreskin's Lament

Foreskin's Lament

A Memoir

Book - 2007
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Penguin Putnam
Shalom Auslander was raised with a terrified respect for God. Even as he grew up and was estranged from his community, his religion and its traditions, he could not find his way to a life where he didn't struggle against God daily.

Foreskin's Lament reveals Auslander's youth in a strict, socially isolated Orthodox community, and recounts his rebellion and efforts to make a new life apart from it. Auslander remembers his youthful attempt to win the "blessing bee" (the Orthodox version of a spelling bee), his exile to an Orthodox-style reform school in Israel after he's caught shoplifting Union Bay jeans from the mall, and his fourteen mile hike to watch the New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden without violating the Sabbath. Throughout, Auslander struggles to understand God and His complicated, often contradictory laws. He tries to negotiate with God and His representatives-a day of sin-free living for a day of indulgence, a blessing for each profanity. But ultimately, Shalom settles for a peaceful cease-fire, a standoff with God, and accepts the very slim remaining hope that his newborn son might live free of guilt, doubt, and struggle.

Auslander's combination of unrelenting humor and anger--one that draws comparisons to memoirists David Sedaris and Dave Eggers--renders a rich and fascinating portrait of a man grappling with his faith, family, and community.

Baker & Taylor
An account of the author's youth in a strict Orthodox community describes his dysfunctional family's vengeful personification of God, his exile to reform school after a childhood misdemeanor, and his efforts to make sense of his religious beliefs while connecting with the outside world.

Blackwell North Amer
Shalom Auslander was raised with a terrified respect for God. Even as he grew up and was estranged from his community, his religion and its traditions, he could not find his way to a life where he didn't struggle against God daily.
Foreskin's Lament reveals Auslander's youth in a strict, socially isolated Orthodox community, and recounts his rebellion and efforts to make a new life apart from it. Auslander remembers his youthful attempt to win the "blessing bee" (the Orthodox version of a spelling bee), his exile to an Orthodox-style reform school in Israel after he's caught shoplifting Union Bay jeans from the mall and his fourteen-mile hike to watch the New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden, without violating the Sabbath. Throughout, Auslander struggles to understand God and His complicated, often contradictory laws. He tries to negotiate with God and His representatives - a day of sin-free living for a day of indulgence, a blessing for each profanity. But ultimately, Auslander settles for a peaceful cease-fire, a standoff with God, and accepts the very slim remaining hope that his newborn son might live free of guilt, doubt, and struggle.
Auslander's combination of unrelenting humor and anger renders a rich and fascinating portrait of a man grappling with his faith, family, and community.

Baker
& Taylor

An intimate account of the author's youth in a strict Orthodox community describes his dysfunctional family's vengeful personification of God, his exile to reform school after a childhood misdemeanor, and his efforts to make sense of his religious beliefs while connecting with the outside world. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2007
ISBN: 9781594489556
1594489556
Characteristics: 310 p. ; 21 cm

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astridmg
Jun 14, 2017

Loved it! Was a staff pick that I usually follow. I did not regret it! Laughed so hard at times. Since I don't know too much about Judaism and their rules, I learned something as well.

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