The Choos­ing: A Rab­bi’s Jour­ney from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

  • From the Publisher
August 28, 2013
A young Luther­an girl grows up on Long Island, New York. She aspires to be a doc­tor, and is on the fast track to mar­riage and the con­ven­tion­al hap­pi­ly-ever-after. But, as the Yid­dish say­ing goes, Man plans, and God laughs.” Meet Andrea Myers, whose com­ing-of-age at Bran­deis, con­ver­sion to Judaism, and awak­en­ing sex­u­al iden­ti­ty make for a rich and well-timed life in the rab­binate.

In The Choos­ing, Myers fus­es heart­warm­ing anec­dotes with rab­binic insights and gen­er­ous dol­lops of humor to describe what it means to sur­vive and flour­ish on your own terms. Por­tioned around the cycle of the Jew­ish year, with sto­ries con­nect­ed to each of the hol­i­days, Myers draws on her unique path to the rab­binate – leav­ing behind her Chris­t­ian upbring­ing, com­ing out as a les­bian, dis­cov­er­ing Judaism in col­lege, mov­ing to Israel, con­vert­ing, and return­ing to New York to become a rab­bi, part­ner, and parent.

Myers relates tales of new begin­nings, of rein­vent­ing one­self, and find­ing one­self. Whether it’s a Sicil­ian grand­moth­er attempt­ing to bake haman­taschen on Purim for her Jew­ish grand­daugh­ter, or an Amer­i­can in Jerusalem sav­ing a chick­en from slaugh­ter dur­ing a Rosh Hashanah rit­u­al, Myers keeps read­ers enter­tained as she reflects that spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, good­ness, and moral­i­ty can and do take many forms. Read­ers will enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly embrace sto­ries of doors clos­ing and win­dows open­ing, of fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty, of inte­gra­tion and trans­for­ma­tion. These cap­ti­vat­ing nar­ra­tives will res­onate and, in the author’s words, reach across coasts, con­ti­nents, and generations.”

Discussion Questions