At thirteen, Danya Ruttenberg decided she was an atheist. As a young adult, she immersed herself in the rhinestone-bedazzled wonderland of late 1990s San Francisco-drinking smuggled absinthe with wealthy geeks and plotting the revolution with feminist zinemakers. But she found herself yearning for something she would eventually call God.
Surprised by God is a memoir of a young woman's spiritual awakening and eventual path to the rabbinate, a story of integrating life on the edge of the twenty-first century into the discipline of traditional Judaism, without sacrificing either. It's also an unflinchingly honest guide to the kind of work that goes into developing a spiritual practice-and it shows why, perhaps, doing this in today's world requires more effort than ever.
Brand: Beacon Press
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm probably not being fair to Ms. Ruttenberg; my standard for religious autobiography is Anne Lamott. And Thomas Merton's "Seven Story Mountain".
She writes a decent book but plunges through the decades with only a good glance at all that occurred. I hoped she would expand on her family, as it sounded like their dysfunction had much to do with hers. Religion is lived on two levels: the intellectual, received in seminary, and the fierce discussions about the meaning of laws. The other level is the raw, unfinished world. Watching someone die in the hospital. Following someone in the congregation for a few decades, then preaching their memorial after you've walked the whole way with them.
A greater revelation of personal struggles and encounters with what Jack Kerouac called "Naked Lunch"
It was an OK read and I would recommend it to others.
This book is a very good book to start you thinking about how to balance Jewish teaching with a secular life. The author went from being an atheism to an observant Jew. It was a journey with a lot of bounces. It was done for the right reasons, to meet a passion to be a better person. It is entertaining and thought provoking. I enjoy seeing some my home town Chicago area bars listed, but I enjoyed more the journey to be an observant Jew even though I myself will not meet that criteria. It helped me think about my journey along that route.
I absolutely devoured this book. I'm someone who is converting to Judaism after a long religious search myself, so this book really spoke to me. Additionally, however, it's incredibly well-written, thought-provoking, and deep. Ruttenberg manages to seamlessly integrate philosophic and religious critique with mystical texts alongside teenage angst and adult reflections and experiences. It's a wonderful read, not only for Jewish people, but for anyone who has been on a religious journey. Mazel Tov Rabbi Ruttenberg!
The authorised South African distributor of this product is under no obligation to honour the manufacture's guarantees/warranties or to provide after-sales service.
Please note that this item is imported from the USA, and is designed to be used in the USA. In addition, if the unit is powered it will come with a US plug and an adapter/transformer may be required. Please click here for more information on power requirements, or check with us if you are unsure or need any assistance!
Please also note that certain items cannot be imported, these include Alcohol, Animals, Batteries, Flammable Materials, Currency, Food, Furs, Chemicals, Explosives, Medications, Plants, Seeds, Supplements, Pressurized Cans, Tactical Equipment, Vitamins, Weaponry and Weaponry Accessories. In these cases, the item and information is displayed for reference purposes only. If you are not sure if we are permitted to bring an item, please send us an e-mail with a link to the item to confirm.
Please also ensure that you are ordering the correct item for your particular application as returns to the USA are costly. Product reviews are also provided for most of our items, which can give you a good idea for possible things to look out for and the quality of the item. By clicking Add to Cart, you are confirming that the item is correct and you accept the conditions listed here.