First, I confess I have not finished the book yet, but did not want to wait to encourage others to enjoy it! Dr. Blecher has a rare gift for intellectual curiosity, perceptiveness, and the courage to speak his mind. When I became engaged to a Jewish man, I agreed to raise our children in the Jewish tradition, but did not want to make a false conversion for the sake of appearances. Everyone asked me if I was converting, though fortunately my in-laws were astute enough to accept that I would be a wonderful wife without doing so. I am overjoyed to encounter a rabbi who sees our commitment to passing on Jewish identity to our children not as a failure or second best, but as a sign of hope for Judiasm.
I am also very pleased to discover Dr. Blecher's careful, impressive scholarship. So many books contain only a superficial nod towards actually doing your homework in service of gratifying the author's ego. It is a joy to spend time in the company of such a learned mind! This book combines a deep knowledge base with fresh ideas about the future of Judaism. I love to see books that make us question our assumptions, particularly when an author is not afraid to challenge an establishment.
His purpose is to make Judaism more meaningful, to invigorate discussion, and get us all thinking. He offers a new perspective on the role of rabbis, synagogues, and Jewish families in their communities. I would love to see this book provoking long needed national and international self-examination for all of us interested in exploring what it means to be Jewish, and what it means to offer this tradition to our children.