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Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 4, 2007
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Despite being in an unhappy home, Shalom does his best to ease tensions in the household - from doing Nixon impressions to asking his father about tools. His father is a master carpenter, and we aren't told how he makes his living, but do know he doesn't measure up to most of Shaloms other schoolmates fathers, who are doctors and lawyers. He certainly doesn't measure up to his wife's (Shaloms mother) two famous Rabbi brothers. So Shaloms dad takes his misery out on his sons.
All through the book, Shalom writes of how he first fears God, then begins to test Him. He starts to eat non-kosher foods and takes off his Yamika, just to see what God will do. He looks at pornography, disobeys the rules of the Torah, and goes out on the Sabbath. This continues for years, he can do what he wants, it seems, because dressed in his Orthodox garb, he is invisible. He is able to shoplift whatever he wants, because the security guards at Macy's are watching the black kids, not the conservative Jewish boy.
And the book is funny. Very witty & clever. The author processes his childhood religion and makes the bad parts go away. He doesn't forgive his parents at all. He, as an adult man, husband, and new father, takes charge of his life and moves away from his religious beginnings.
I loved reading this book and recommend it to anyone that enjoys reading memoirs.
The author's epiphany moment when faced with choosing to circumcise his new born Son also transcends religions as many of our generation wrestle with the decision to raise our children in the organized religion of our parents.
I'm not knocking organized religion, however in some instances it comes with allot of baggage.
Witty, intelligent writing - reduces complex problems of evil to direct, confrontational, sparring matches with a vindictive, childish, anger-challenged, trickster God. Very Jewish and ultimately a very sad book.