In the Jewish religion, the most basic definition of treyf is that of food that is considered un-kosher. That, however, does not prevent many Jews from eating non kosher food.

Elissa Altman’s recently published memoir, entitled TREYF: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw, follows her childhood in 1970’s era Queens, NY. The child of a Jewish family, Ms. Altman, like many of the Jewish faith, lived a double life. While her family followed many of the Jewish traditions, they also consumed pork, bacon and other non-kosher foods.

I was drawn to the concept of the book because like many non-orthodox Jews, I live a double life. I am traditional to a certain degree, but at the same time, I have a love of certain foods and live in a way that my more traditional co-coreligionists would not approve of. However, the first half of the book was a little slow, I was almost ready to give it up. It is only in the second half of the book when I was finally engaged in the book.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.


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Filed under Book Review, Books, New York City

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