Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir by Shalom Auslander

By Shalom Auslander

Shalom Auslander used to be raised with a terrified admire for God. at the same time he grew up and was once estranged from his group, his faith and its traditions, he couldn't locate the trail to a lifestyles the place he didn't fight day-by-day with the terror of God's bold wrath. Foreskin's Lament finds Auslander's "painfully, cripplingly, incurably, miserably religious" formative years in a strict, socially remoted Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and recounts his uprising and efforts to make a brand new lifestyles except it. His blend of unrelenting humor and anger renders a wealthy and engaging portrait of a guy grappling along with his religion and family members.

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He asked his friend Sheikh Mahmoud Tabari (so called after Tiberias, which in Arabic is Tabariah) for a horse and was given a sturdy steed. His plan was to ride first to Tiberias. The route took him through the towns of Ableen and Hittin, passing through A’yn Mahel. Hittin, eight kilometres north-west of Tiberias, was a particularly attractive village with breathtaking views. Its houses stood on descending terraces. Built of stone, with roofs made of arched wood, these dwellings were surrounded by orchards.

Jaffa was the Mecca of Palestine to which all roads led, much like ancient Rome. In Haifa, Jaffa Road was the town’s principal artery, originally connecting the eastern and western gates. This was also the main market street, divided into sections, each housing a specialised trade. It was by following this road that Najib fled the city. The covered marketplace he passed had been cleaned just before the start of the war, its roof repaired, its alleyways paved with tile. Further east along the seashore were to be found the oldest public buildings: the post office and government house, which 17 A Rift in Time was locally referred to as the saray (Persian for house).

Najib listened intently. He was now convinced that he must not give himself up. He had to go into hiding. Once he had made the decision, he began to feel that all eyes were upon him. I know that feeling also. In its early days the offices of the human rights organisation I had helped establish, Al Haq, were stormed by the Israeli army. After that they kept us under surveillance. On one occasion I went into the office to smuggle out some files and as I walked into the street with them I felt that everyone was looking at me.

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