The ultimate fish-out-of-water tale . . . A child who never quite fit in, Rebecca Dana worshipped at the altar of Truman Capote and Nora Ephron, dreaming of one day ditching Pittsburgh and moving to New York, her Jerusalem. After graduating from college, she made her way to the city to begin her destiny. For a time, life turned out exactly as she'd planned: glamorous parties; beautiful people; the perfect job, apartment, and man. But when it all came crashing down, she found herself catapulted into another world. She moves into Brooklyn's enormous Lubavitch community, and lives with Cosmo, a thirty-year-old Russian rabbi who practices jujitsu on the side.While Cosmo, disenchanted with Orthodoxy, flirts with leaving the community, Rebecca faces the fact that her religion-the books, magazines, TV shows, and movies that made New York seem like salvation-has also failed her. As she shuttles between the world of religious extremism and the world of secular excess, Rebecca goes on a search for meaning. Trenchantly observant, entertaining as hell, a mix of Shalom Auslander and The Odd Couple, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is a thought-provoking coming-of-age story for the twenty-first century.
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by Neil Phillips, Dana Phillips
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"This book defies convention. The true story of the author's life with a Russian rabbi is at times charming, at times hysterical, and at times tedious. Overall, Dana's story of her relationship with a 30-year-jujitsu-practicing rabbi is a unique adventure that will introduce many listeners to the world of Lubavitch Jews. Dana's writing and delivery are generally entertaining, and clearly she relishes discussing this chapter of her life, before closing the door on it. However, there are times when the material drags and as narrator Dana sounds as though she's lost her focus. Overall, the memoir leaves one feeling that Dana has let us see only a bit of herself and, like the Lubavitch community, keeps many deep feelings private. D.J.S. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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