Journey to Tradition: The Odyssey of a Born-Again Jew

Michael Graubart Levin, Author Ktav Publishing House $14.95 (129p) ISBN 978-0-88125-093-0
When Levin made known his plans to drop out of college for two years to study the Talmud and become an Orthodox Jew, his parents were disapproving. Yet he was determined to test for himself the claims made by Israeli rabbis that Orthodoxy is the glue that can hold Jewish life together. Twelve intensive days in a Jerusalem yeshiva, or school, transformed Levin from a noncommitted, assimilated American Jew into a passionate seeker of his cultural-religious roots. He tells us why he wore the yarmulke, or skull-cap, and adopted kosher eating habits and why he believes that Orthodoxy's ""sex-biased stereotypes'' make sense in its overall belief system. But he fails to take us fully inside the Orthodox mind, and sophomoric writing limits the book's appeal. A Reform Jewish religious service, to Orthodox eyes, might, as he argues, seem like ``a Christianized Judaism . . . sapped of Jewish content,'' but the reader is left wanting deeper explanations for Levin's conversion. The author lives in New York City and is a law-school graduate. January 15
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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