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Nothing Sacred:
The Truth About Judaism

by Douglas Rushkoff

ISBN 1400051398 / 9781400051397 / 1-4000-5139-8
Publisher Three Rivers Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

In Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism Douglas Rushkoff argues that Judaism is in danger of compromising the core values that have made it so resilient and enduring through the millenniums. The strength and longevity of Judaism lies in its original values--iconoclasm, media literacy and the ability to encourage inquiry instead of obedience. But Rushkoff argues that these values have become dangerously compromised to the point that Judaism is now more concerned with adherence to a righteous path and unquestioning assimilation. Unless the Jewish community restores its emphasis on "inquiry over certainty and fluidity over sanctity" he believes it will be impossible to reach the numerous disaffected Jews who are struggling with the intense and sometimes terrifying challenges of modern life.

As a media watchdog and social commentator, Rushkoff (Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say) is especially attuned to the negative affects of globalisation and media technologies. One of his main gripes is that Judaism is starting to function more like a global corporation. For instance, instead of challenging the market culture's influence over children, "Jewish outreach groups are hiring trend watchers to help them market Judaism to younger audiences", he writes. The good news, says Rushkoff, is that Judaism also has a renaissance tradition: it has faced similar crises in the past and successfully reorganised itself according to its original tenets. He sees the potential for such a renaissance now and offers ideas on how it could come about. With its inflammatory premise and hard-hitting message, this book is destined to stir enormous controversy and, ironically, a good deal of inquiry and debate within the Jewish community. --Gail Hudson, [via]