Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life—in Judaism (After Finally Choosing To Look There)

Spiegel & Grau. Sept. 2019. 352p. notes. ISBN 9780525510710. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525510727. REL
As a child, former White House speechwriter Hurwitz perceived Judaism as something one did, not something one lived. The performative Judaism of her youth felt irrelevant, and she eventually distanced herself from its religious aspects, preferring to think of herself as an ethnic or cultural Jew. However, as an adult, Hurwitz rediscovered the faith and found it to be inclusive, dynamic, complex, flexible, and relevant in a way that was different from the religion of her youth. Here Hurwitz shares her spiritual journey, as well as those of religious thinkers, and investigates the traditions and histories that shaped her renewed relationship with Judaism. She relates some details about the history and customs of the religion but primarily focuses on what she believes it means to be Jewish in the 21st century and the ways in which her beliefs have made her life better and full of meaning.
VERDICT Hurwitz identifies her audience as Jews who are seeking a reconnection with Judaism or people looking to convert, though readers who enjoy exploring spiritual memoirs and perspectives on religion from nonclergy will also find this to be an intriguing account.
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