Book: My Jesus Year
Author: Benyamin Cohen
One day a Georgia born son of an Orthodox rabbi discovers that his enthusiasm for Judaism is flagging. He observes the Sabbath, he goes to synagogue, & he even flies to New York on weekends for a series of "speed dates" with nice, eligible Jewish girls. But, something is missing. Looking out of his window & across the street at one of the hundred of churches in Atlana, he asks, "What would it be like to be a Christian?" So begins Benyamin Cohen's hilarious journey that is "My Jesus Year" - part memoir, part spiritual quest & part anthropologist's mission.
During his year long exploration, Cohen sees the best & worst of Christianity - from megachurches to storefront churches; from crass commercialization of religion to the simple, moving faith of the humble believer; from the profound to the profane to the just laughable. Throughout, he keeps an open heart & mind, a good sense of humor & takes what he learns from Christianity to reflect on his own faith & relationship to God. By year's end, to Cohen's surprise, his search for universal answers & truth in the Bible Belt actually make him a better Jew.
I saw this book in "Entertainment Weekly" one day & though the idea of it was interesting... & interesting it was.
I had NO IDEA how many laws the Jewish people follow still today & the ways of life that they follow.
This book is Benyamin's journey - & it does have it funny moments, it does have its moments of insight & it definitely taught me alot - about Jewish culture & about Christianity from an "outsider's" view...
The way he saw Christian book conventions & the idea that Stephen Baldwin is big in the Christian world made me laugh out loud. It was also interesting to see the take on Christmas - & it was a sad view to me - how it has become so commercial... something we know, but to see if from a fresh perspective was just a little eye opening...even the "Big" preachers of the day, this man left nothing out... visiting different demoninations, faiths, ways of worshipping, seeing what Easter is about...
I even had a chuckle at his visit to "Winter Jam" as I know exactly which year he went... I went that same year...
Makes me wonder who's in the crowd now too... someone who is trying to disect Christians? Would that make a difference in how you act if you knew someone was watching to learn from you?
The book was a little long - but it is full of Jewish traditions & while interesting, it was a little long for me. Especially because the print in this book was so small & still over 200 pages, it just seemed like a long book.
I did enjoy that in the end, this experience drew Benyamin deeper into his own faith... maybe I'm a Christian & I personally dont understand how you can deny the sacrifice of Christ... but I did appreciate his closing words of "Hanging with Jesus made me a better Jew"... that just shows a bit of how this book goes...
I did find it interesting - I did learn from it... so:
My Rating: 3 skeins