Surprised by God
Beacon Press, 2008
Subtitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion,” Danya Ruttenberg’s very personal account includes: rejecting the sterile religion of her childhood, dancing her way through punk culture, the cancer-induced death of her mother, and her path through a meditation-oriented Judaism that eventually opened the doors for a deep encounter with God, found through her own religion. At every point, Ms. Ruttenberg is sharp in her insights about the world and about herself. Soon to become an ordained rabbi, Ruttenberg gives us reason to be hopeful about the future of American Judaism.
The reviewer got a couple of details wrong (God starts getting discussed in Ch. 3 and the Jewish meditation business doesn’t turn up until Ch. 7, and obvs I’m already ordained now) but overall, it’s a nice review, so thanks, Tikkun!