Naked Rabbi, The
The joys, quirks and pitfalls of congregational life when God is both present and absent.
What is it really like being a minister of religion? How much Vicar of Dibley, dealing with dotty parishioners and how much Rev, wading through social dilemmas and individual crises?
The Naked Rabbi takes a serious, but also affectionate, look at the life of a rabbi, which will resonate with any person of faith.
Jonathan Romain opens a remarkable window onto cycle of life areas - from birth to betrothal to burial - along with the joys, hiccups and tragedies in between.
He also charts how he has put sermons into action, speaking out on issues such as pioneering a more welcoming approach to mixed-faith couples, trying to make faith schools more inclusive, arguing for assisted dying to be legalised, and intervening in the 2020 General Election against Jeremy Corbyn.
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The Naked Rabbi by Jonathan Romain, Christian Alternative Romain is a well- known Reform rabbi, author, and broadcaster. Here he provides an insight into his life, campaigns, and controversies. He describes his early training and his forty years with Maidenhead Synagogue. Although pointing to the particular features of Jewish religious life, he shares his considerable experience of dealing with the challenges of pastoral ministry - such as consoling couples who are having to cope with a miscarriage. In these situations, his advice is just to be with them. “A soft voice and kind eyes”, he tells us, “is much better than any attempts at theological justification.” He has his own “theory of the rabbinate” which he says is applicable to all, “to work to ensure your congregation feels you know them and love them.” He has been at the forefront of four controversial national campaigns. First, in his work with mixed faith couples for which he was appointed an MBE. Second, with the potentially divisive effect of faith schools, becaming Chairman of the Accord Coalition, which promotes inclusive education. He considers it is important to build bridges between different elements in society not erect barriers. Thirdly, he has supported Dignity in Dying which advocates assisted dying of the terminally ill. He describes his journey from opposition to acceptance. Finally, he was a leading critic of Jeremy Corbyn whom he accused of antisemitism. This is an enjoyable and readable book. Romain’s wisdom provides excellent guidance for all those in the early stages of ministry whatever their denomination, and his views on the complex issues for which he fought are thought-provoking. ~ Progressive Christianity Network, Progressive Voices 43
The Naked Rabbi By: Jonathan Romain - Christian Alternative, $16.95 Description: What is it really like being a minister of religion? How much Vicar of Dibley, dealing with dotty parishioners and how much Rev, wading through social dilemmas and individual crises? The Naked Rabbi takes a serious, but also affectionate, look at the life of a rabbi, which will resonate with any person of faith. Verdict: In The Naked Rabbi: His Colourful Life, Campaigns and Controversies, Jonathan Romain opens a remarkable window onto cycle of life areas - from birth to betrothal to burial - along with the joys, hiccups and tragedies in between. He also charts how he has put sermons into action, speaking out on issues such as pioneering a more welcoming approach to mixed-faith couples, trying to make faith schools more inclusive, arguing for assisted dying to be legalized, and intervening in the 2020 General Election against Jeremy Corbyn. Now, as I’m sure you are all aware by now, a Rabbi is not a priest, neither in the Jewish sense of the term nor in the Christian sense of the term. In the Christian sense of the term, a priest is a person with special authority to perform certain sacred rituals. A Rabbi, on the other hand, has no more authority to perform rituals than any other adult male member of the Jewish community. Indeed, a Rabbi is simply a teacher, a person sufficiently educated in halakhah (Jewish law) and tradition to instruct the community and to answer questions and resolve disputes regarding halakhah. When a person has completed the necessary course of study, he is given a written document known as a semikhah, which confirms his authority to make such decisions. Thus here in Jonathan’s new book, speaking on a wide variety of subjects that showcase the circle of life already shown to him, you will find endlessly funny, compelling, intriguing, thought provoking, and intellectually acute ponderings within his peak behind the Rabbi curtain, so to speak. A man devoutly expressive in his beliefs and devotions, Jonathan - one of the most prominent holders of his position/title in the United Kingdom - opens our eyes to some of the most important figures within past and present social and political debates that have centered around his life; each one as entertaining a painted scene as the next. Containing chapters such as Once Upon a Rabbi, River Jews, Scratch, Ouch! The Difficult Bits and Fifteen Minutes of Fame (x4), The Naked Rabbi: His Colourful Life, Campaigns and Controversies doesn’t palm us off with a subtle scratch at the surface of Jonathan’s aforementioned life, campaigns and controversies, moreover it rips the band-aid off, exposes everything to the core, and welcomes you in to view and at some level, judge for yourself if what goes on behind the curtain is relevant to you or not. About the Author - Rabbi, writer and broadcaster, Jonathan Romain is minister of Maidenhead Synagogue and one of Britain’s leading rabbis. He writes for The Times, Jewish Chronicle and other religious papers, and is often heard or seen on the BBC. He lives in Maidenhead, UK. ~ Exclusive Magazine, https://annecarlini.com/ex_books.php?id=333
Do you want to know what it's really like to be a Rabbi? Then you've got to read this book. It's not an orthodox account but then the author isn't an orthodox man. But it is funny where it should be and moving where it should be, and intellectually stimulating throughout. ~ Daniel Finkelstein, Associate Editor, The Times
Not only is this a fascinating ‘behind the curtain’ look at the day-to-day life of a rabbi, it is one that will resonate with all of us who seek to minister to a religious congregation - its joys, its pains, its challenges. It skewers the lazy idea that the religious professional is other-worldly and only works at weekends. It reminded me what a great privilege it is to be alongside people in their great adventure of faith, however expressed. It's a terrific book. ~ Giles Fraser, Anglican priest and broadcaster
A fascinating insight into rabbinical life from one of the most prominent holders of this office in the UK, Jonathan Roman is in equal measure informed and entertaining. His position has given him access to key figures engaged with the most significant social and political debates of the past few decades, and his perspective from that of a reform rabbi is truly engaging. ~ Ruth Gledhill, Online Editor, The Tablet
In just one book Jonathan Romain encapsulates the rollercoaster of being a rabbi, or any clergy for that matter. With a depth of warmth and honesty that is so rare, we are taken through the daily delights and difficulties that not only make up the life of a rabbi, but far more importantly, all of our lives. I loved every moment of reading this book, as you will too. ~ Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner. Former Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism