The Pagan Rabbi Essay

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In the following essay, Friedman explores Ozick's rendering of Jewish identity and religion in "The Pagan Rabbi."

At the end of Trust, Enoch Vand (né Adam Gruenhorn) begins the arduous process of turning himself back into a Jew. Under the tutelage of a bearded Holocaust survivor whose concentration camp number, tattooed on his forearm, "was daily covered by phylacteries" Vand studies Hebrew. After devoting three years to reading the entire Bible in Hebrew, he finishes The Ethics of the Fathers in two months and is ready to take up the Talmud when Trust ends. Jewish authenticity— embodied in his teacher's beard, tattoo, and prayer implements no less than in Hebrew and holy texts— is Vand's goal as it will eventually prove to be Ozick's dominant theme. Coming as it does at the end of a novel begun "for the Gentiles" and finished for the Jews...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,788 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pagan Rabbi Study Guide
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