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Growing Up Jewish, or
Why Is This Book Different from All Other Books

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Penguin USA (P) (October 1, 1987)
ISBN: 0140098364
© Rabbi Jack Moline

Why is this book different from all other books?
Well, first of all, I wrote it. At least most of it.
Second, it is funny. At least most of it.
And third, it is the real truth. At least some of it.

Actually, to be authentic, I ought to have four answers. So here is the only intentionally serious thing in the whole book.

My generation shuttled between urban apartments and suburban developments, between Little League and Hebrew School, between Daddy's parents for first seder and Mommy's for second seder (after all, that's why there are two, right?). We knew the "old world" through our grandparents and their friends, who taught us creative ways to wreak havoc with the English language. We also knew the comforts of their homes and rituals. We knew the American dream through split-level synagogues and upward mobility. We knew the modern world through Vietnam, rock 'n' roll, and the Jetsons. There was so much to enjoy, and so much laughter.

I didn't write a primer on Judaism, nor an attack on religion and tradition. I wrote about what I love, what I love so much that it doesn't matter to me whether you are laughing at me or with me—or not at all, for that matter—as long as the book is bought and paid for.

If you are offended, write to me. I won't answer, but you'll feel better. If you are inspired, send me your inspirations. Maybe they'll wind up in Volume II. If you don't understand the book, chances you (a) are not Jewish, (b) never spend much time in a Jewish community, or (c) se habla espanol. I suggest you buy a bagel, a bottle of Schapiro 's Extra-Heavy Sacramental Concord Wine, and a Billy Crystal album, and then reread the book.

Enough already. Turn the page, and you're on your way to understanding what makes a Jew tick, other than a Middle-Eastern terrorist.

Don't worry, the rest of the book is funnier.


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