Earthly Rites – Around this time, I discovered that I was Jewish by birth and took refuge in the library to hide from my stepfather and to learn about my heritage. Investigating and researching, I rode the reading room through space and time, discovering that I was part of something. Something profound. I was the descendant of an ancient tribe that had emerged from the mists of prehistory to introduce the world to God, to write the Bible, and to shine unto the nations like a beacon of righteousness. We had been scattered to the wind, driven to the four corners of the Earth. Oppressed and demeaned time and time again, yet we wandered on, excelling in isolation wherever we went. This was powerful stuff, and it helped give me the strength to stand up to my stepfather. Claudia and I moved on to a commune near the Canadian border where they observed some of the pagan holidays. Watching the Maypole celebration with incredulity, it struck me that what bothered me most was not the paganism or idol worship of the adults around me, but of its total contrivance. They were making it up as they went along and their ethics and morals eroded as a consequence.
From love child to Jewish attorney ...»