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Two Jews, Three Opinions

Two Jews, Three Opinions
edited by Sandee Brawarsky and Deborah Mark
Perigree, $24.95

Two Jews, Three Opinions is a wonderful collection of Twentieth Century American Jewish Quotations, as the book is subtitled. Unlike other Jewish quote books, it is organized by category, which helps make the information easily accessible to the dabbling reader. The divisions are very specific and demonstrate the wide range of topics on which Jews have expressed their opinions. Some surprising contemporary sections include those on HIV-AIDS, Black-Jewish relations, computers, delis, and the trial of O.J. Simpson. A wide range of people are quoted in this book—from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to Howard Stern. Although many women are quoted, they are predominantly in predictable categories: feminism, friendship and women in Judaism. The variety of sources adds a unique flavor to this book, which helps to represent modern Jewish culture.

On Ethics: “How does one teach children to live an ethical life? By walking hand in hand to the synagogue. That is when sons and daughters ask their questions.”
by Francesca Lunzer Kritz, 1998

On Faith: “However you may choose to resolve the contradictions between patriarchal religion and the ethics of equality, belief in male supremacy must not be permitted to be the badge of the faithful.”
by Letty Cottin Pogrebin, 1980

On Gay and Lesbian Issues: “A significant number of frum [Orthodox] Jews, including myself, have decided not to throw the baby out with the bathwater … Aren’t there countless fine people in all Jewish circles who neglect one major mitzvah or another?”
by Student at New York’s Congregation, Beth Simchat Torah, 1983

On Ideology: “There are two sides to every issue. One side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”
by Ayn Rand, 1964

On Women and Judaism: “Being a Jewish woman is very much like being Alice at the Hatter’s tea party. We did not participate in making the rules, nor were we there at the beginning of the party. At best, a jumble of crockery is being shoved aside to clear a place for us. At worst, we are only tantalized with the tea and bread-and-butter, while being confused, shamed, and reproached for our ignorance.” 
by Rachel Adler, 1983