“No doubt, Hebrew Union College expected an edgy talk from Chabon”

JEWISH REVIEW OF BOOKS
Michael Chabon’s Sacred and Profane Cliché Machine
by Elli Fischer
June 13, 2018

Hebron, a small and heavily fortified Jewish community with a violent history, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, exemplifies for Chabon, all that is wrong with particularist Judaism. This, for him, is the reductio ad absurdum of Judaism’s “giant interlocking system of distinctions and divisions,”—between Jew and non-Jew, man and woman, kosher and treif, pure and impure. In fact, though he doesn’t mention it, it was in Hebron that the “sandal-wearing idiot” Abraham was commanded to mark his particularism—his particular mission, his particular covenant with God—on his body….He [Chabon] writes: “Any religion that relies on compulsory endogamy [marrying within one’s faith] to survive has, in my view, ceased to make the case for its continued validity in the everyday lives of human beings.” READ MORE

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