Darin Strauss on Faith

Darin Strauss’s most recent book, Half a Life: A Memoir, is now available. He will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.
Faith is a private issue. At least, I consider it to be one. (Try telling that to Tea Party evangelicals, though…) I consider myself a Jewish writer—even if my characters frequently are not Jewish—in the same way, I guess, that I consider myself a Jewish man, even though I don’t often attend shul. Continue reading here.

7 responses to “Darin Strauss on Faith

  1. I myself have an inactive relationship with G-d. The only time it is active is whenever I see a person/people in terrible distress. At that time, I utter aloud, “G-d bless him.” But one day a few years back, I felt caught between giving up writing or continuing on. The anguish was so extreme that I called out, “G-d, what should I do?”
    What happened shocked me. I actually heard a loud male voice say, “Keep writing.” I believed it was G-d. Then I decided I was hallucinating like Joan of Arc. Then I realized I was hearing my own thoughts. But my daughter said, “You were hearing the G-d inside you.”
    You must be familiar with that line that says, G-d is there to listen to you.
    And so G-d was.

  2. Love this. Like you, I find my relationship to faith, and to G-d, something I’d never really considered before my mid thirties, increasingly important to me. Yet, somehow, as it becomes more important it becomes simultaneously more inscrutable. Your words here help me get a little closer to that inchoate yet important center of what faith means. Thank you ! xo

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  6. Hi Darin
    I’m waiting to read Half a Life even though the topic scares the hell out of me. As to prayer, why don’t you read the Jewish prayerbook and see what our prayers say. I highly recommend the yehi ratzon after the morning blessings. That just about sums it all up. Some rabbis say that if you recite that you’ve done your praying for the day. Another favorite is the Asher Yatzar prayer which one recites after using the bathroom. That one is also considered a segula, (good omen–for lack of a better translation for good health). It thanks G-d for giving us healthy bodies with ust the right plumbing. You’ll see. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
    Good luck and blessings to you and your son.

  7. Marilyn Weintraub

    Hi Darin,
    Good Morning Darrin,
    I read your new memoir about two months ago (because I wanted to))when I was in the midst of reading all the other books I needed to read for work. I coordinate our community’s annual Jewish Book Festival. Your book is very moving– I encouraged my husband to read it — he is facing a lawsuit for a very minor traffic accident that he too was not at fault for. He has been distraught for more than a year and internalizes all of his emotions. I was hoping it would give him new strength as he awaits a new “court date”. Your courage for all those young years of yours and the ability to move forward is remarkable and to be commended. I wish you and your family continued strength and courage as you face new challenges with your young son. My thoughts and prayers are with you as well.
    Marilyn W.

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