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A Baptist Among the Jews

A Baptist Among the Jews

Mary Blye Howe, John Wilson (Foreword by), Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (Afterword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-42576-3

Jul 2003, Jossey-Bass

224 pages

Select type: Paperback

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Like most Christians, Mary Blye Howe was uninformed about Jewish ritual and tradition. To satisfy her curiosity she joined a Jewish study group held in the home of a Hasidic rabbi. A Baptist Among the Jews is Howe's first-person account of her eye-opening experience of studying with that welcoming group and how this experience led her to a deeper, richer relationship with her God. While learning about the traditions of Judaism and studying the Torah, Howe discovered a new world of worship and ritual that expanded her experience to include several different Jewish groups, among them Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. She reveled in the joys of arguing with God (even though God always wins), synagogue-hopping on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, and dancing with a sefer torah through the streets of Dallas. Page after page, we join Howe on her religious quest and discover how her once-narrow concept of God has expanded with her ability to read the scriptures and understand this new faith. Howe's profound and transforming experiences helped her develop a new sense of worship— one that eschews spectatorship in favor of participation.

Acknowledgments xvi

Foreword xviii

Chapter 1 Hanging with the Jews 1

Chapter 2 Arguing with God 23

Chapter 3 Dancing with the Torah 39

Chapter 4 Discovering the Passionate Hebrew God 67

Chapter 5 Women in Yarmulkes 89

Chapter 6 Men in Black Hats 107

Chapter 7 Hungering for My Roots 133

Chapter 8 A Spiritual Journey 153

Afterword 169

Judaism 101 173

Glossary 189

Recommended Reading 193

Notes 195

References 199

The Author 203