The Christian Science Monitor

'The Chosen Wars' tells how Judaism redefined itself in America

At the beginning of , Steven Weisman quotes the historian Jacob Rader Marcus, who, describing early American Jewry, wrote that “squabbles in God’s house were almost as traditional as the liturgy itself.” From an 1843 lawsuit over a South Carolina temple’s addition of an organ to a riot in an Albany synagogue on Rosh Hashanah in 1850, Weisman deftly brings those squabbles to life. In doing so, he tells the compelling story of how Judaism redefined

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