Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion.

Ruttenberg, Danya (Author)

Aug 2008. 256 p. Beacon, hardcover, $24.95. (9780807010686). 296.709.

Ruttenberg, who was recently ordained as a rabbi, decided at the age of 13 that she was an atheist. Then in the late 1990s, she experienced a spiritual awakening, taking what she describes as “a winding, semireluctant path through traditional Jewish practice that eventually took me to the rabbinate.” Ruttenberg writes that for her the work of the religious life has been about reconfiguration and reintegration, determining which parts she has outgrown and which could grow with her. The author, who lives in Los Angeles, lived for some time in Jerusalem. A tremendously satisfying memoir of spiritual awakening from the author of a variety of books and periodicals, including Encyclopedia Judaica.

— George Cohen

We’re in Little Rock now, which is supremely cute–its riverfront market area is, anyway. We’ve been strolling on President Clinton Avenue, and wandered into the Clinton Gift Shop, which includes paper dolls of the whole Clinton family (kind of scary, actually.) We camped last night in the Ozarks, which was very, very beautiful–very foresty and wet. Around dusk there were a slew of lightning bugs, which I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Happymaking.

This afternoon we go to Memphis. Memphis!!!

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