America,  Book Reviews,  FOUR STARS ****,  Humor,  Judaism/Jewish Culture,  Memoir/Biography,  NON FICTION

Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander **** (of 4)

Auslander carries all of Woody Allen’s neuroses into the 21st Century and does it with panache. This autobiography is a therapeutic disgorging of growing up under the thumb of an abusive father and overbearing God in an orthodox Jewish home in Monsey, five minutes from my boyhood town. While, in my opinion, he hasn’t yet distinguished his parents’ mishegas from his Yeshiva’s he acts out his youthful frustration by alternately worrying God is going to kill him for going to the Naunuet Mall on Shabbat and giving God the finger for messing with his life. I laughed aloud at scenes such as God’s testing the young Auslander by placing porn magazines behind a stone (not unlike Moses’ stone on Mount Sinai) in a test of faithfulness. My parents thought it was a whiny kvetch book. I loved it. You decide. November 2007