Light Fell

December 30, 2007

My friend Evan Fallenberg who is on his way to the States for a publicity tour for his new book ‘Light Fell’ (Soho Press) read from his novel last night to an audience of friends, family and students.  I was delighted to be present. 

The phrase nafal nehora is Aramaic for Light Fell and it was used in the Talmud to describe a sudden overwhelming desire.  It is this very desire that Evan writes about in his intriguing and touching story that opens with a married man experiencing nafal nehora, a tremendous sexual longing for his rabbi. 

When I read this book, I was fascinated by this image of nafal nehora, a spark of heavenly light that opens our eyes to who we really are and what we really want.  In my mind, such a moment of enlightenment is a true blessing and one that I have been privileged to experience in my own personal way and use it to change my life around. 

I feel sure that Evan’s book will have a profound effect on many readers, strip blindfolds off weary eyes and allow for buried truths to surface.

I wish him every success.

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Another Inconvenient Truth

October 26, 2007

Welcome to my very first blog.

First of all, I would like to thank all the people who wrote me such wonderful letters about my book The Rabbi’s Daughter.

On the other hand, London rabbis have preached from their pulpits advising congregants not to buy it.

I sympathize with those rabbis. After all, they have read the sensationalist press. They have seen the words ‘sex’ and ‘drugs’ and ‘orthodoxy’ slashed over the newspapers. They want to protect the memory of my dear father and the reputation of United Synagogue. They fear the book and its content. But I believe, before they dismiss my book and censor my right to free speech, they should read the book.

What they will find is a woman struggling to come to terms with herself, her sexuality, her religion, her own values and beliefs and finding a deeper and more truthful love and respect for the teachings of the Torah and respect for her family.

But unfortunately they have not been brave enough to do so. Their reaction saddens me as it is a direct violation of the Torah maxim ‘Ve’eveh dan et kol adam l’kav schut’ (Ethics of the Fathers 1:6)—Judge each and every person favourably.

Yes, there is uncomfortable reading in the book that portrays my difficult and self-destructive journey, but The Rabbi’s Daughter has a lot to offer in bringing Torah in a palatable form to the masses, and will bring hope and strength to those who have hit rock-bottom in their lives and help them struggle to overcome… surely this is what Judaism is all about?

By banning my book, not only have the rabbis helped promote book sales, as the forbidden is always sought after, but they have discarded their own values in their desperate quest to keep sweeping inconvenient truths under the carpet.

With this new blog I encourage you to comment and discuss issues pertaining to the book. I look forward to having an open dialogue about the controversies it generates and the reactions to it.

To make a comment on any blog post (entry), simply click on the word “Comment/s” under each post to open a field when you can type in your thoughts.