Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Jesus Year


I don't remember how I stumbled on My Jesus Year: A Rabbi's Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith by Benyamin Cohen but I saw it at the library and thought, "Eh, what the heck?" The lengthy title pretty much sums it up, right? We'll press on nonetheless.

Cohen grew up in Georgia practicing Judaism under his father quite devoutly. For many years he questioned why Jews follow so many rules and what makes his religion any better than others that are not quite so stringent. He sees parishioners of the church across the street enjoying their time of worship and hopes that he might find the same thing. So, he embarks on a year-long spiritual quest. Cohen visits church after church, seeking out many varied religions, talking to other church leaders hoping for some clarity, all while still attending temple and keeping true to his Jewish roots.

This one had its moments, sure. But, as the book went on I found my interest in his journey waning. I appreciated the interjection of humor at times and was intrigued by some of the religious cultures he studied that I knew nothing about. It was slow-going about halfway through the book though and I kind of just wanted it to be over. I stuck it out though. Not knowing a whole lot about all of the laws and rules in Judaism, I thought the parts where he discussed them at length were most intriguing. You can probably skip this one. For me it was just so so.

Rating: * * 1/2

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