"I read Nothing Sacred reluctantly, from a stance of deep
skepticism, and learned to my delight and enlightenment, that this
is truly a Jewish approach. Rushkoff uses millennia of Jewish teachings
to reveal that God is indeed to be questioned not obeyed, created
not worshipped, continually revised, reconsidered, and debated
not graven in stone. I truly believe this book might end up as one
of the most important works of Jewish literature, worthy of comparison
with Maimonides and Buber. Many will be outraged and even furious
at Rushkoff for daring to revise the Jewish tradition of self-questioning.
I thank him for helping me feel like a Jew again." Howard Rheingold
From the Publisher
Acclaimed writer and thinker Douglas Rushkoff, author of ECSTASY
CLUB and COERCION, has written perhaps the most important - and
bound to be controversial - book on Judaism in a generation. As
the religion stands on the brink of becoming irrelevant to the very
people who look to it for answers, NOTHING SACRED takes aim at its
problems and offers startling and clearheaded solutions based on
Judaism's core-source-values and teachings.
Disaffected with their synagogues' emphasis on self-preservation
and obsession with inter-marriage, most Jews looking for an intelligent
inquiry into the nature of spirituality have turned elsewhere, or
nowhere. Meanwhile, faced with the chaos of modern life, "returnees"
run back to Judaism with a blind and desperate faith, and are quickly
absorbed by "outreach" organizations, who - in return
for money - offer compelling evidence that God exists, that the
Jews are, indeed, the Lord's "chosen people," and that
those who adhere to this righteous path will never have to ask themselves
another difficult question again.
Ironically, the texts and practices making up Judaism were designed
to avert just such a scenario. The tradition stresses transparency,
open-ended inquiry, assimilation of the foreign, and a commitment
to conscious living. Judaism invites inquiry and change. It is an
"open source" tradition - one born out of revolution,
committed to evolution, and willing to undergo renaissance at a
moment's notice. But the underlying codes must be kept open for
all to see and change. And, says Rushkoff, to do this may require
smashing the sacred cows - temple, Jewish "fidelity,"
even Israel. Ironically, some of the very institutions created to
protect a religion and its people are now suffocating them.
If the Jewish tradition is one of participation in the greater
culture, a willingness to wrestle with sacred beliefs, and a refusal
to submit blindly to icons that just don't make sense to us, then
the Jews labeled as "lapsed" might truly be are most promising
NOTHING SCARED is a bold and brilliant book, attempting to do nothing
less than tear down our often false preconceptions about Judaism,
and build in its place a religion made relevant for the future.