Here All Along (Spiegel & Grau, $28) is a little literary gem. The author, Sarah Hurwitz, is a lawyer-turned-speechwriter who landed in the Obama White House and penned most of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speeches. Toward the end of the administration, after breaking up with a boyfriend, Hurwitz was looking for ways to fill her evenings and a friend suggested a class on Judaism at the Jewish community center. She went, and thus began a several-year plunge into a religion she had only been exposed to through Hebrew school and her Bat Mitzvah. Hurwitz spent thousands of hours studying ancient texts, querying rabbis and scholars, and debating with herself about the contradictions and paradoxes of Judaism as she explored how to apply its ethical teachings day-to-day. Hurwitz is a fluid, eloquent writer whose humility, honesty, and humor infuse each page, whether she is discussing conflicting interpretations of Jewish ritual and prayer or her own (often hilarious) adventures as she rediscovers the meaning and place of Judaism in her life. By the way, you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy and learn from this wonderful book.
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Published: Random House - September 3rd, 2019