By Nora L Rubel
Before 1985, depictions of ultra-Orthodox Jews in renowned American tradition have been infrequent, and in the event that they did look, in motion pictures comparable to Fiddler at the Roof or in the novels of Chaim Potok, they evoked a nostalgic imaginative and prescient of previous global culture. but the ordination of ladies into positions of non secular management and different arguable concerns have sparked an more and more obvious and voluble tradition battle among America's ultra-Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, one who has came upon a very inventive voice in literature, media, and film.
Unpacking the paintings of Allegra Goodman, Tova Mirvis, Pearl Abraham, Erich Segal, Anne Roiphe, and others, in addition to tv exhibits and flicks akin to A fee Above Rubies, Nora L. Rubel investigates the alternatives non-haredi Jews have made as they symbolize the nature and characters of ultra-Orthodox Jews. In those inventive and aesthetic acts, Rubel recasts the struggle over gender and relatives and the anxieties over acculturation, Americanization, and continuity. greater than only a research of Jewishness and Jewish self-consciousness, Doubting the Devout will converse to any reader who has struggled to stability faith, relatives, and culture.
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Additional info for Doubting the Devout: The Ultra-Orthodox in the Jewish American Imagination
Peck’s dealings with Tzuref and the yeshiva coincide with the birth of his first child, and both experiences produce ambivalent emotions within him. In the conclusion, Peck finds himself wearing the man’s black suit—vowing to buy one for his newborn son—as men in white coats take him away. A satirical piece, “Eli the Fanatic” is concerned with the artifice of 1950s Jewish suburbia. Roth admonishes the citizens of Woodenton for the short-term memory that seems to have accompanied their newfound wealth and security in America.
Intentionally, these authors provide a diversity of backgrounds. Pearl Abraham comes from a hasidic background and offers a critique of a community she experienced firsthand, while Erich Segal—a liberal Jew and a professor of classics—offers an academic’s perspective on the history of hasidism. Boaz Yakin and Naomi Ragen are both from secular backgrounds but had brushes with the yeshiva/haredi world. 55 Anne Roiphe and Tova Mirvis come from quite different backgrounds—Roiphe’s was decidedly secular and Mirvis’s was Orthodox.
My attempt at even-handedness on these relationships did not assuage her grief or bitterness. Her hostility was fueled by what she saw as my apologetic for the haredim. I therefore do not expect this book to change, soften, or curb the growing polarization among American Jews. These fissures, cracks, and divisions have roots in a long debate that stretches back a number of generations. The study is also not meant to indict either side for their chosen lifestyle; nor is it meant to undermine the objections that liberal or haredi Jews may have to the religious and social behavior of others.
Doubting the Devout: The Ultra-Orthodox in the Jewish American Imagination by Nora L Rubel