Foreskin’s Lament – A Memoir, by Shalom Auslander

“Foreskin’s Lament” should carry a warning: “Only read with an open mind.”

Shalom Auslander thinks God’s out to get him in this memoir.
Foreskin’s Lament, by Shalom Auslander (Riverhead, 2007)

The book chronicles Auslander’s upbringing as an Orthodox Jew and his efforts to break free from this world. Incidentally, “Ausländer” in German means “foreigner”, and Auslander is indeed a foreigner in the world in which he has grown up.

As a teenager, he believes that God is out to get him, and, provoking the wrath of the Almighty, he breaks every rule in the Talmud. As an adult, he distances himself from the practices of Orthodox Judaism, until his wife gets pregnant and he is right back to his tussle with God – does his son’s foreskin stay or go? Auslander’s memoir can be viewed as irreverent or worse, but I thought it darkly humorous, original and provocative:

“…isn’t tradition just another word for that particularly religious, self-righteous, non-thinking inertia that propels so many to extremes they might not ever have engaged in had they stopped to actually consider, to weigh, to examine?”

It should carry a warning: “Only read with an open mind.”

0 comments on “Foreskin’s Lament – A Memoir, by Shalom Auslander

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s