Wednesday, December 16, 2015

John Lennon and the Jews by Ze'ev Maghen

This book is a great apology in the spirit of the great Jewish apologies like Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy's Kuzari.  It is an exegesis, a rationale to be a willing practicing Jew.  The book is a personal screed as a response to a conversation the author had at an airport with Hari Krishna who actually were Jewish Israelis.  Their dismissal of Judaism pained the author and he himself was at a loss on how to respond to their arguments. This book is his deliberate well thought out response why one should retain acting Jewish according to the ancient traditions.

It is written as a "rampage" with much gusto and passion. There is a lot of yelling!  John Lennon's song Imagine is eviscerated as an unworkable paradigm for living.  Mr. Maghen name drops, waxes philosophic by quoting from almost every real and pop philosopher for the last 2000 years.  His breadth of knowledge is breathtaking.

This type of book seems like a yawn from it cover, however, it is very entertaining and meaningful!  If one has ever experienced a polemical discussion or would like a reasoned justification for Judaism in a very contemporary style taking from American and Israeli culture of the past 50 decades, I recommend this book.  It is the type of book that one picks it with some skepticism, and ends up becoming engrossed by it!

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