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Lord Will Gather Me In: My Journey to Jewish Orthodoxy Hardcover – December 3, 1998

3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Ari L. Goldman Author of The Search For God at Harvard The spiritual traveler's road is never a straight one, but David Klinghoffer's journey has so many unexpected twists and turns -- through adoption and romance and more circumcisions than anyone should have to endure -- that he kept me fascinated and reading to the last splendid page. -- Review

About the Author

David Klinghoffer is a senior editor at National Review, where he writes about culture and edits the "Books, Arts, & Manners" section. His reviews and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Commentary. A thirty-three-year-old California native and graduate of Brown University, he lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (December 3, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684823411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684823416
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,251,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I always read books written on the subject of Othodoxy with scepticism. Having been born and raised Orthodox, I can tell if the book or movie is authentic. Movies where,for example,the Chasidim wear their Talit to the meal, proves to me that most people that write about the subject, clearly do not live it. Klinghoffer's book, however, is totally authentic. His explanations into the origins of words, and his insight into the nature of the Halacha, not as law, but as a way of life, is refreshing.
I know that the bulk of Conservative and Reform Jews probably do not agree with his spin on their religion, however, I have to agree with him. History will bear out the fact, that Judaism by association of blood alone, will not survive. In my neighborhood we have an exceptionally large amount of Baaley tshuva and converts. I find it extremely impressive and am in awe of a person that generally gives up all that he has been raised to beleive, in search of something almost illusive: the truth.
After my divorce, I became semi-orthodox. I was angry at G-d, whom I held responsible, and felt that if he deserted me, certainly I had no obligation to maintain contact with him. On the outside I continued all the ritual, but inside I knew it was just a show. After my remarriage and subsequent death of my second husband, I reevaluated my religion and my beliefs and came to much of the same conclusions as Klinghoffer. G-d walks with me and I know that he is watching me...and not from a distance.
It would be simple if our religion could be relegated to an occasional temple trip, and not eating pork, but in our hearts, we all know that this is not what binds us together and maintains us as Jews. It is not only in the blood.
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Format: Hardcover
David Klinghoffer's book is high on my list of books as a must read for all Jews, especially those who are searching for some sort of meaning and value behind Judaism. Klinghoffer makes it clear that Judaism in American has become a Judaism of vague cultural association which generally means nothing to the younger generations who are seeking meaning in their lives. Hebrew school offers no solutions, so young Jews seek out other paths, not knowing that all the meaning and spirituality that they want in life is located in the parts of Judaism that the Conservative/Reform temples voted out. I went to a very traditional Conservative Hebrew school and came out apathetic towards everything Jewish. Thank G-d, today I am a baal teshuvah. I was amazed how similar Klinghoffer's attitude towards Judaism at that point in his life was to mine and so many other Jewish children who have come to scorn Judaism through Hebrew school.
Contrary to what many other reviewers say, Klinghoffer's book is anything but condescending. He presents the truth from a Jewish perspective, even at the risk of embarassing himself with his own failings along the way. He presents the inevitable problems faced by so many baalei teshuvah when religious observance and current lifestyles start to clash. The confusing world where one might date a non-Jew but keep kosher and shabbos is where many baalei teshuvah can end up. Klinghoffer makes it clear that such illogical actions are a part of this process of discovering authentic Judaism and the confusion of leaving old habits behind. He goes through what seemed to be a logical progression to him, seeking truth through Reform and Conservative, even going to JTS, before coming back to Torah Judaism. In each step, he noticed something was lacking.
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Format: Hardcover
I first became aware of David Klinghoffer when I saw articles by him on the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion." I appreciated his comments and wanted to read more by him. So, I picked up this book.
I have mixed feelings about it. At times I got the strong sense that someone had informed the author at some point in his life that he was brighter than other people and that he didn't need to do the same intellectual work that others do. Further, I got the impression that, thanks to that perception, the author is a bit contemptuous of other people and a bit lax in presenting the facts.
I don't mean to make ad hominem attacks on this author, but if my perception is correct, it is unfortunate. Klinghoffer writes about Judaism and Christianity and troubled interactions between the two faiths. This interface is of world importance. One must be very circumspect when addressing these issues. For this reader, Klinghoffer was not adequately circumspect.
An example of intellectual laxity: Klinghoffer claims that Paul converted to Christianity from Judaism because he did not want to, or could not, follow Torah. This statement alone renders every reported fact in Klinghoffer's entire book suspect.
People who know nothing else about Paul often know that he converted as a result of one of the most famous conversions experiences in history. Paul's dramatic conversion is so famous that "road to Damascus" has become a phrase to describe a conversion experience of any kind, Christian or non-Christian, indeed, religious or secular.
Too, Klinghoffer implies that Catholics sing "Deutschland Uber Alles" as part of the mass. I'm a lifelong Catholic and I've never heard the German national anthem sung during mass.
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