"The Choice: A Novel of Love, Faith and the Talmud" by Maggie Anton
to challenge Jewish customs concerning women, marriage, and equality.
The award-winning author of Rashi's Daughters, Maggie Anton, has written a wholly transformative novel that takes characters inspired by Chaim Potok and ages them into young adults in Brooklyn in the 1950s, a time of Elvis & Marilyn, communist scares & polio vaccines, Jewish migration & American integration. When Hannah Eisen, a successful journalist, interviews Rabbi Nathan Mandel, a controversial Talmud professor, she persuades him to teach her the mysteries of the text forbidden to women—even though it might cost him his job if discovered. Secret meetings and lively discussions bring the two to the edge of a line that neither dares to cross, as their relationships with each other and Judaism are tested.
“The Choice is about the choices Jews make and the rules we break for reasons of conscience, consideration, logic, and love. Buy this book for the endearing romance at its core and as a bonus get a feminist brief for women's inclusion in sacred space and communal life, plus twenty brilliant Talmud lessons for free. A surfeit of riches.”
—Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of twelve books including Deborah, Golda, and Me, and the forthcoming Shanda: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy