The Woman Who Laughed at God: The Untold History of the Jewish People (Compass)
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Who is a Jew? In this colorful, eye-opening work, bestselling author and lecturer Jonathan Kirsch takes us on a three-thousand-year tour of Jewish identity and diversity and offers answers to this complex and difficult question. Kirsch reveals that Judaism has never been a religion of strict and narrow orthodoxy. For every accepted tradition in Jewish faith there are countertraditions rooted in biblical antiquity: the Maccabee freedom fighters who closed the Bible and picked up swords, dervish-like ecstatics who claimed to enjoy direct communication with God even after they had been excommunicated by a distrustful rabbinate, and courageous men and women who were the forgotten heroes of the Holocaust. With drama and narrative verve, Kirsch explores these and many other "Judaisms" that make up the rich tapestry of Jewish identity.