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With Roots in Heaven: One Woman's Passionate Journey into the Heart of her Faith [Paperback]

By Rabbi Tirzah Firestone (Author) & Tirzah Firestone (Author)
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Item description for With Roots in Heaven: One Woman's Passionate Journey into the Heart of her Faith by Rabbi Tirzah Firestone & Tirzah Firestone...

"Candid, intense, and compulsively readable, this is spiritual biography at its very best."--Letty Cottin Pogrebin

At age seventeen, Tirzah Firestone left the oppressive home of her Orthodox Jewish parents and set off on a spiritual odyssey. With Roots in Heaven is the story of that journey, a fascinating and moving account of her evolution from rebellious young seeker to renegade rabbi. This is an inspiring, true account of a courageous woman with strong convictions and a passion to know and feel God. It is also a book that goes beyond one person's story of wandering and redemption to explore the dangers of modern religion and the joys and conflicts of intermarriage and raising interfaith children. An unforgettable story of love, sacrifice, and transformation--of grace sought and found--With Roots in Heaven offers hope, wisdom, and encouragement to anyone seeking deeper spiritual meaning in today's world.

"A daring exploration of different spiritual paths . . . filled with joy, story, community, and a celebration of ancient wisdom."--Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and A Woman's Book of Life

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Plume
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.03" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   0.68 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 1999
Publisher   Plume
ISBN  0452278856  
ISBN13  9780452278851  
UPC  091857013954  

Availability  3 units.
Availability accurate as of May 29, 2017 07:07.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about With Roots in Heaven: One Woman's Passionate Journey into the Heart of her Faith?

Fantastic Book  Feb 12, 2008
This book was one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It truly opened my eyes to a new journey of Judaism by allowing me to see into someone else's life and their Jewish journey. It combines both Jewish and secular struggles in a way that makes sense to anyone of any sect of Judaism and especially any Jewish woman.
A Kindred Spirit  Jan 15, 2005
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone's memoir struck a chord in me, as a fellow Baby Boomer. So many of our generation -- especially
Jews -- are seekers, and have been dissatisfied with the Judaism we grew up with. It felt lacking in spirituality and rather rigid in its expectations and demands. Eastern religion has attracted many of us; witness JuBu's (Jewish Buddhists).
I have been on a similar journey, but without the original Orthodox roots, and without the extensive time spent abroad. I appreciate Tirzah's candor and willingness to open her heart, both in her life and in her book. Her dedication to building a Jewish Renewal community in Boulder, and in educating herself, is truly stunning. What startled me was the fact that her marriage to the minister, Evan, lasted as long as it did. It seemed too good to be true. Having married and divorced two Christians, I feel I can speak to the tremendous challenges and heartbreak inherent in interfaith marriages, especially when at least one person is observant (and fantasizing about having her partner participate). My only regret in the book was that she didn't tell us about her ultimate partner, who is briefly mentioned in the Introduction. Otherwise, I found it an inspiring and riveting book. Definitely recommended!
A Really Good Book for Returnees to Judaism  Oct 14, 2004
I was a little taken aback by some of the caustic reviews of Rabbi Firestone's book, claiming that it was "self-centered" and "narcissistic."

Well, duoh, folks --- it's a memoir! What else would it be about other than the author?

Also, some of the reviewers seem to be offended by Rabbi Firestone's portrayal of the dark side of Orthodoxy and make questionable claims about there being lots of tolerance for different viewpoints in the Orthodox community.

Based on my own experience --- my mother ran away from a dysfunctional Orthodox home --- I can attest to the truthfulness of Rabbi Firestone's depiction of the dark side of Orthodoxy.

Actually I thought it was a very courageous book. In an effort to help other people returning to Judaism, Rabbi Firestone unsparingly described her stormy journey from Orthodoxy to the New Age to marriage with a Christian minister to ordination as a Renewal rabbi with humor, tolerance, and kindness, using her own story as a way to do compassionate outreach to other Jews with dysfunctional families, intermarriages, flight from Orthodoxy, and alienation from Judaism.

Far from trying to aggrandize herself, Rabbi Firestone narrated many stories about her spiritual journey that someone more pompous or reputation-oriented would have gladly buried. There is a deep humility in sharing some of your worst stories in hopes that they might help others.

I have met Rabbi Firestone. She is not a perfect person --- are any of us? --- but the reviews questioning her sincerity and honesty are way, way, way out of line. She is a deeply spiritual person, with a strong sense of humor and warmth. I got the impression of a very human, but learned, spiritual and caring woman who still has many journeys ahead of her.

Admittedly, as a Renewal lay leader I would be biased towards Rabbi Firestone. But there are some Renewal books and teachers who do not "spark" me at all, and I don't post reviews about them, positive or negative.

I have shared Rabbi Firestone's book with members of my Renewal women's havurah on several occasions, and it has always interested them. They have always been truthful with me about books that they liked and didn't like, which I regard as the acid test of a book!

Mixed feelings  Aug 28, 2000
Tirzah Firestone really knows how to write. Her prose is compelling, her stories vivid, and the people she desribes all seem to leap off the page. My first reaction to this book was "Wow! What a deep and meaningful book."

Then I went away and reflected a bit. This book is all about Tirzah, which is what you would expect from a memoir. The problem is that she extrapolates from her experience to make sweeping generalizations about other people's experience. Her spiritual journey was crooked and laboured -- it took her a long time to figure out where she wanted to go and start down the path that would lead her there. She holds this up as a banner, implying that people whose journeys were shorter, or easier, or straighter have less authenticity than she does.

I find that the book works well as an honest description of one person's path to deeper spirituality. I am disappointed that even though she sees others very clearly, she has such a limited view of herself. It's as if she cannot see what she reveals about herself in her prose. This book is the story of a flawed person trying to get closer to G-d. It should be inspirational for the rest of us flawed people trying to do the same. But she thinks she's special, so she offers only a story to read, to watch, not a guidebook or an invitation.

I wish the reviews were more mixed.  Jul 14, 2000
The book reflects the path of a narcissistic western woman in a narcissistic western world. Jewishness is secondary. The spiritual experiences are to be treasured and found meaningful..for her..the spiritualITY remains shallow and self-asserting above all else. Sure, tons of people leave the religion of their parents, only to return to something like it as they mature. judaism is a special issue though. People find some epic meaning in leaving Orthodoxy, some universal emancipation. it seems to escape the escapists that people have been doing it for *centuries* fact, most of the jews in world history became completely assimilated. but then comes the '60s. People come back. People who were never religious before. Kids whose parents participated in Eastside Yom Kippur pigroasts, who sent their beatnik kids to communist summer camps. The Judaism isn't new, thats for sure, so what is it? its not Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, he may reel them in, but he doesn't keep them for long. Carlebach? more likely. Its probably from a personal exploration of the real thing, instead of a mediated Old World "Zeyde" form. And the number of Vassar College Women's Studies graduates I know personally who became Frum takes up one hand; including other schools, two. the number of formerly Zen, Buddhism (one was a Fireplug in Sri Lanka), even Pentecostal Orthodox RABBIS can't be counted. a trip to New York or Jerusalem will introduce you to Orthodox Jews of every conceivable philosophical school, from Sartre's Orthodox Jewish secretary, Jacque Lacan's main exponent in the U.S. (an Orthodox university professor), to Bresolver Anarchists and Meah Shearim Nietzsche scholars..And Nechama Leibowitz Z"TL. Its just not fair to paint Orthodoxy as narrow-minded Yiddish accented patriarchy. It wasn't fair or true then anymore than now. She can only speak from her experience, admittedly interesting, but cliche' and predictable.

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