Judaism: A Choice for the Chosen

To be a Jew, as often as not, means little more than sharing a common stock of habits and lore: bagels and gefüllte fish, wistful jokes about schlemiels, the struggle against discrimination in country clubs—and childhood memories of the stately dining ritual on Passover. This, complains Theologian Arthur A. Cohen, is not Judaism but Jewishness—"the whole array of atavisms and sentimentalities which a secure minority can now afford." Cohen, in a fervent new book marred occasionally by some advanced term-paper prose, summons the comfortable, conforming natural Jew of the American present...

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