Thursday, December 17, 2015
Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family / Chaya Deitsch 227 pp.
Deitsch's book is far better. She is a grownup, and her strong introduction and opening chapters demonstrate the complexity of her situation as a member of a loving extended family with a strong need to live as an individual. She understands what she's given up, respects those who choose to live differently, and has the honesty to admit her nostalgia for her particular path not taken. Later chapters bog down in chronological detail which doesn't glow like the introductory passages describing her contemporary self sitting shiva with her family.
Deitsch and I are almost exactly the same age and I enjoyed reading about her 70s childhood, in some ways not as different from mine as I would have expected.