Without actually having read the book, it seems like Auslander feels that the Judaism he grew up with qualifies as a form of child abuse, and to be honest I’m not sure that I disagree. Listening to this as a Jew By Choice I realized a couple of things. One is that by coming to Judaism as an adult ,I am free of the childhood baggage most (if not all) Jews by birth have to deal with. That’s not to say, I don’t bring any of my own childhood baggage in to things, but I don’t think it’s the same thing. Second (and this is more just me remembering something I all too often forget) is that Judaism definitely comes in all sorts of varieties. More importantly is that, the Judaism Auslander describes in this interview, is light years away from the one I practice and the G-d he describes, is a G-D that I flat out don’t believe in.
Here’s the interview synopsis from the Tapestry website:
Shalom Auslander says religious belief is one big Stockholm Syndrome. But – unlike all the famous atheists out there – Auslander is very much a believer. As he puts it, rather wearily, “I believe in God. It’s been a real problem for me.” Shalom Auslander is the author of a very funny, very angry book: Foreskin’s Lament: A Memoir. It’s published by Riverhead Books.
Anyhow its a great interview and well with listening to if you have the 30 minutes to spare.
You can listen to it here.
NOTE: I think the CBC leaves it’s podcast’s up for 3 or 4 weeks, so you should at least have three weeks until it goes offline.