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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shalom Auslander

posted by on October 24 at 10:10 AM

I’ll be doing an on-stage interview with writer Shalom Auslander tomorrow night as part of Nextbook’s local reading series. He’ll be reading from and discussing his new book, “Foreskin’s Lament,” which received a nice review in The New York Times on Sunday.

Auslander is a funny guy, even though his author photo is rather severe:


And he writes on a theme that has been a favorite of Stranger writers and readers this year: The divine ridiculousness of God. As The Times wrote:

It has been another good year for God everywhere but in the bookstores. Whether it is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s emancipation proclamation from Islam in “Infidel” or the historian Mark Lilla’s reckoning with Christianity’s relationship to politics in “The Stillborn God” or Christopher Hitchens’s withering indictment of the Big Three in “God Is Not Great,” the religious impulse so prevalent around the globe has been taking a serious — that is to say high-minded — drubbing. With the exception of Hitchens, who is not above throwing a sucker punch to please a crowd, the current challengers to the Lord’s dominion have been instructive and edifying company on the page, but rarely any fun.

Now Shalom Auslander has entered the ring, flying off the ropes, pro-wrestling style, with his memoir, “Foreskin’s Lament,” a no-holds-barred affront to the G-d whose name is never uttered by the faithful under Jewish law.

The details:

October 25, 7:30 PM, Conor Byrne’s Pub

I’m sure Issur has a question for Auslander. Anyone else want to help me figure out what to ask him?

RSS icon Comments


Does he know where the hip Jews go to Temple?

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 24, 2007 10:14 AM

I think an interesting question might have something to do with even though he's rejected orthodoxy and frumkeit, has any of it crept into how he raises his family? Does he do or say things in spite of himself?

Posted by ahava | October 24, 2007 10:32 AM

With a name that translates into
"Farewell, foreigner" this guy should take a hint and get lost.

Posted by Giddada Here | October 24, 2007 10:51 AM

Does the Judaic law that there shalt not be not one crumb in the household prior to Passover cause many Jewish women to become the traditional neurotics so beloved of the Borscht Belt comedians?

[quote] It is prohibited by Torah law to own chametz (leaven) on Pesach (Passover). Therefore we search and destroy chametz before Pesach. In most homes the process of cleaning begins weeks before Pesach. The house is scoured from top to bottom to remove all traces of chametz.

Posted by MOHEL ESCAPEE | October 24, 2007 11:56 AM

Why is it so easy to hate/love Jews from one moment to the next? How come they do not make Jews like Leon Trotsky anymore? If my father's grandmother is Ashkanazi, are some Palestinians in the West Bank living on a patch of land with my name on it? Did a Jewish film maker invent ass to mouth?

Posted by Nathan Explosion | October 24, 2007 1:26 PM

1. Why does he insist on saying he was brought up in Monsey, when he never lived there? He lived in the adjacent town of Suffern, which is also where his synagogue was (and still is) located. He went to school in Spring Valley (again not Monsey) up until the 5th grade. His total schooling in Monsey lasted 4 years, yet he insists on saying he grew up in Monsey, because it feeds the stereotype he is attempting to promulgate.

2. Would he commit suicide or disown his son if his son became an Orthodox Jew?

Posted by BaBaJewey | October 24, 2007 2:29 PM

As a former orthodox Jew myself, I wonder what, if anything, he teaches his son about G-d. Also, having left the fold, what traditions does he continue? What aspects of OJ life does he miss most?

Posted by Chaya | October 24, 2007 10:17 PM

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