I’ve been delving into Jewish fiction for my thesis. It’s been an interesting ride; some books have spoken to my soul and demanded that I read more, some books have been so-so. One of the books I picked up was Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander. Auslander is a regular contributor to the radio show/podcast This American Life (which, in case you didn’t know, is my favorite podcast ever. Some weeks, I can’t wait until it’s Monday again and another podcast will be available for downloading!) so I knew some of his stories already. Ultimately, it was a funny book, but a deeply tragic one as well. Auslander regards himself as being "theologically abused" and it really interferes with how he lives his life. He says thoughout the book, "I believe in God. It’s been a real problem for me." God, in his eyes, is a vengeful, wrathful man waiting for Auslander to be happy so he (God) can screw his life up.
I hope Auslander and others like him ever find peace (or, even better, the God I worship, who isn’t anything like the above). But on the other hand, they are keeping a battery of shrinks in work. As someone who has visited my fair share of mental health professionals, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one keeping that part of the economy going.
You can watch a book trailer/video thing about his book here.