Man in Search of God

A compelling personal narrative about his inner life serves as the occasion for David Klinghoffer to engage in a dialogue with Judaism. His story, weaving the personal with the public, carries him from adoption by a Reform Jewish couple in California to deep reflection on the meaning of "being Jewish" and the interplay of family and faith. What he has discovered in his journey—from secularity to Reform, thence Conservative, and finally a humanistic Orthodoxy—is that Judaism is not a matter of blood and kinship but of faith and love of God. And he spells out precisely what that faith and love comprise.

This is not an autobiography in any narrow sense; Klinghoffer only uses himself as the occasion to tell the story of faith. He states the outcome in these words:

It took a trip to Sweden [where he found his biological mother's family had no links to Judaism] to make me realize . . . the error at the heart of the tribal conception of Jewishness, an error I had shared in. It is the belief that blood will persevere in the absence of belief . . . I became a Jew for one reason: because I reached the conclusion that Judaism is true. . . .

. . . I say that Mt. Sinai is in Stockholm. For me, it is at any rate. Torah has a very good reason for keeping quiet about where the event of Sinai took place: because it happened, and happens, everywhere. . . . for all Jewish souls who have...

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