Book Review: Judaism Without Tribalism
With precision derived from decades of immersive experience and devoted thought, Rabbi Rami Shapiro investigates the diverse branches of Judaism to reveal a creative path that is open and accessible to anyone.
In many ways, Judaism Without Tribalism is a love letter, illuminating how to remain rooted in one’s religious identity even when it is imperfect. With passion, Shapiro explains the core Jewish values of returning to one’s true nature as a manifestation of divinity (teshuvah) and helping repair the world to a more compassionate and sacred state (tikkun). He breaks down seemingly complex traditions into meaningful practices for developing spiritual connections and living in a way that eschews self-centeredness.
In other ways, Judaism Without Tribalism is an account book and sharp critique of the dysfunction and argumentation within Jewish denominations that prevents Jews from living into these two core values and precludes non-Jews from discovering the beauty within the tradition.
With his characteristic sharp wit and irreverence, Shapiro outlines the strengths and pitfalls of religious thought in general. He then chronicles the complex history of Jewish people, describes the essential elements of practicing a vibrant Judaism, and, in the end, makes a solid case for how everyone, whether Jewish or now, can benefit from engaging in teshuvah and tikkun.
Shapiro’s powerful manifesto is a timely and valuable roadmap for an age fraught with ideological division, hatred, and violence. Judaism Without Tribalism offers contemplative thought-starters and practical advice for how to invent a better future for all people in the human family.