Gonzo Judaism

031235227101_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_v41696952__1Niles Goldstein, the rabbi at our temple, The New Shul, just published another book.  Gonzo Judaism is his seventh book.  Pretty impressive.  I’d say he is not your typical rabbi but what is a typical rabbi?  He is smart, driven, articulate, caring, community oriented which could probably describe a fair amount of rabbis but a writer of seven published books is probably not the norm.

I went to the reading tonight at the Barnes and Noble on Astor Place.  Haven’t read the book yet but plan on it.  The book is about how you can connect to being a Jew even if you aren’t that religious.  You can be a Jew on your own terms but be a Jew.  Niles has never one for not being brutally honest about his thoughts.  He has done a great job of building a really interesting community of people at the New Shul.  He has tried to create a synagogue which wasn’t the one you grew up in.  He has pushed the envelope and set different boundaries.  Very impressive guy. 

I will follow up on the book when I’m done but I am looking forward to reading this thoughts and ideas. These two quotes alone make me interested in seeing exactly what this book is about.

“In his compelling new book, Gonzo Judaism, Rabbi Niles Goldstein reminds us that we need not enter a synagogue to live Jewishly. We can do it on top of a mountain, at the theater, or in a drink-fueled discussion with friends. This book should be read by Jews of any age or affiliation who, in the words of Paddy Chayefsky, are ‘mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.’”
—Amy Sohn, columnist for New York magazine and author of My Old Man

“For disenfranchised mystics like myself, Gonzo Judaism creates an accessible, entertaining, and inspiring connection between real life and Jewish spirituality.”
—Danny Goldberg, CEO of Air America Radio