The Jewish Eye
25 Questions for a Jewish Mother
25 Questions for a Jewish Mother
By Judy Gold and Kate Moira Ryan
Hyperion Voice: New York (2007)
ISBN 10: 1-4013-0311-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-4013-0311-2
Reviewed by Auggie Moore - May 30, 2007
What is the essence of being a mother? Is being a Jewish mother different from being a non-Jewish mother? Do Jewish mothers really have a guilt-complex or is that just a stereotype? In 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, by Judy Gold and Kate Moira Ryan, the authors explore the essence of Jewish motherhood by going to the source, and asking Jewish mothers what makes a Jewish mother. In the process they also address several issues that are uniquely Jewish, such as the impact of the Holocaust on modern Jewish life, antisemitism, and the influences that Judaism has on raising a child, even for those mothers who only consider themselves culturally Jewish.
Filled with humor, wisdom, and unique insights, the variety of opinions that emerge in 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother makes this book a must read for all mothers, or mothers' to be, both Jewish and non-Jewish! In writing this book, the authors posed their 25 questions to fifty Jewish women from all varieties of Judaism from nonpracticing to Orthodox, and from all walks of life and experiences from homemakers and lawyers to Holocaust survivors and their children. The book is divided into 25 chapters - one for each of the questions posed. Each chapter includes excerpts from the answers garnered from the numerous interviews that the authors conducted, along with the author's commentary on each question and with insights drawn from their own experiences.
Some of the questions that are tackled in this insightful and, at the same time, entertaining book include:
Are Jewish mothers different from other mothers? Do the religious and philosophical differences that they deal with differ from those faced by a Protestant or Hindu mother? In large measure, mothers of every ilk have more in common than it may appear on the surface. No matter what your cultural or religious background, motherhood is made up of somewhat equal parts of worry, joy, and lots of hard work. What readers of this book will discover is that while Jewish mothers face some unique challenges due to historical and cultural issues, on the whole, Jewish mothers, like mothers everywhere, have one issue paramount on the mind - What is best for my child, and how can I ensure that my child grows up happy, healthy, and well adjusted? All the rest are just minutiae. 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother is a witty book to share with the Jewish mother in your life, enjoy!
- What makes a Jewish mother different from a non-Jewish mother?
- Are you kosher? (Kashrut or Kosher is the name given to the Jewish dietary laws.)
- Do you find Judaism limiting or empowering?
- Would you sit shiva if your child married a non-Jew? (Sitting shiva is a mourning practice that is carried out when someone dies.)
- Have you ever experienced anti-Semitism?
- and my favorite, 'Jewish' question of them all is: How many times a day do you call your children? Or conversely, How many times a day do you call your mother?
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- Inspired Parenting, by Rav Moshe Weinberger.
In this series of lectures, Rav Weinberger covers how to raise and educate your children in order to bring out their best qualities, and how to infuse them with more yiddishkeit. He offers advice on how to motivate and inspire your children, and points out that even the most difficult child has unlimited potential. He also touches on controversial issues, as what happens when someone cannot have children.
- The Jewish View of Feminism, by By Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller.
With candor, humor, and an in-depth knowledge of the subject, Mrs. Heller expounds on the Jewish view on feminism and what it means to be a Jewish woman - in this two-part audio series.
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