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by Adrienne Petterson 2006

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The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt
edited by Ruth Andrew Ellenson
ISBN 0-525-94884-8
Published August 2005 - Hardcover - 321 pages - $24.95

I'm not Jewish but I've observed the guilt that is part and parcel of being a female Jew.  Not easy.  However, if it wasn't for the wonderful Jewish sense of humor, I wonder how many would actually cope.  The guilt comes from all around: the schooling you had; your friends (Jewish or otherwise); family pressure and expectations; the close-knit society; potential spouses, and on and on.  Thankfully, however, feminisim opened many doors and now there are many more opportunities for Jewish girls than there were for their mothers (maybe) and grandmothers (certainly).  How one handles and deals with the guilt one bears when falling in love with someone outside the faith, Oy!; doing something other than observing a religious holiday (God forbid); persuing an unorthodox career for a nice Jewish girl, can all make or break you.  This anthology covers many stories of guilt, with dignity and humor, and deftly shows the hereditary guilt that so many people have to juggle and make work for them.  I can't wait for the Catholic version, which I am not.  Sometimes I feel meshugenah about my insecurities but then I remember the chutzpah it took to survive and get when I am today.
Conclusion - Funny and interesting.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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