Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander

An exerpt…to read more, please come to Chevra!
Parsha Yitro                                      Shalom Auslander

When I was a child, my parents and teachers told me about a man who was very strong. They told me he could destroy the whole world. They told me he could lift mountains. They told me he could part the sea. It was important to keep the man happy. When we obeyed what the man had commanded, the man liked us. He liked us so much that he killed anyone who didn’t like us. But when we didn’t obey what he had commanded, he didn’t like us. He hated us. Some days he hated us so much, he killed us; other days, he let other people kill us. We call these days “holidays.” On Purim, we remembered how the Persians tried to kill us. On Passover, we remembered how the Egyptians tried to kill us.  On Chanukah, we remembered how the Greeks tried to kill us.

–Blessed is He, we prayed.


2 responses to “Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander

  1. VFineberg January 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Listening to the ferocious description of Auslander’s relationship with God in The Foreskin’s Lament, I realized that his is a “negative adoration”. And it reminded me of a strange ritual in Spain’s Holy Week, held yearly in Andalusia iin April, when images of the Virgin Mary are taken out of churches and paraded through the streets of Seville. As the procession goes forward, people along the way, and particularly men, address the Virgin in very crude terms: I adore you, my whore! Or, how beautiful you are, slut! Again, negative adoration, that is certainly bewildering to a stranger to this rite.

  2. Emily Grotta January 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I so wish I could be at the table to hear the discussion this week. if you have a chance, watch the video on Auslander’s website in which he is heard reading lines from this week’s excerpt.

    It’s at

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