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Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey
Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey
Our Price: $13.75
Publisher: Hyperion
Author: Joshua Hammer
Format: Softcover

Product Code: 14770

What happens when two brothers' paths deviate because one becomes a religious fundamentalist? This question is sensitively explored in this absorbing and deeply felt memoir. Hammer is a successful journalist, having written articles for several national magazines and served as foreign correspondent and Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Newsweek. In this, his first book, his journalistic experience is evidenced by a well-written, accessible account and easy-to-read prose. Hammer focuses on his relationship with his younger brother, Tony (now called Tuvia, "the Blessed One of God"), four years his junior. Originally a liberal Jew, Tony was involved in politics as a youth and aspired to an acting career. On a trip to Israel, he became attracted to a Hasidic yeshiva, and on his return sought out a counterpart in Monsey, N.Y., home to several pious sects. He accepted an arranged marriage, produced a large family and devoted himself to full-time study of the Torah and the Talmud. After 16 years of practically no contact, Hammer visited his brother and his family eight times during the course of a year, attempting to understand his brother's decision to renounce the secular world. Hammer scrutinizes the impact of Tuvia's ultra-Orthodox beliefs and practices on their nonobservant parents. He pulls no punches in describing Tuvia's life, including what he sees as his brother's religious extremism and racism, but admires his devotion and wishes him success. This perceptive narrative warmly recounts how, in one case, tolerant acceptance gradually replaced suspicious mistrust.

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