Coming out of the closet is not easy, but for those in the closet, it provides a freedom that compares to nothing else. While coming out is mostly associated with the LGBTQ community, it can also be associated with those who break from the ultra-religious communities that they were born into.
Late last year, Lynn Davidman published Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews. Reared in the world of Orthodox Judaism, she came out and left Orthodox Judaism. In the book, Ms. Davidman interviews a group of former Orthodox Jews, all, whom for various reason, are no longer part of that stream of Judaism. Their reasons for leaving include sexual abuse, not feeling like they fit in and for several of the women profiled, they felt restricted by the rules imposed upon them because of their sex.
While the stories were interesting, Ms. Davidman’s writing style was a bit dry. There is also an issue of repetition within the interviews, which sometimes felt like the interviews were blending into each other.
Do I recommend it? I will have to go with maybe for this one. Unless the reader is using the book for academic purposes or has some knowledge of Orthodox Judaism, this book might not be well received by some readers.