Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is billed as a “true story” by author Rebecca Dana, formerly a senior correspondent for The Daily Beast. Dana tells the tale of a rather dark and confusing time in her life. Forced from her Manhattan apartment by a breakup with her boyfriend, she resorts to Craigslist to find a place to live. Dana ends up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn renting a room from Cosmo, a Russian emigre.
Cosmo had trained as a Rabbi at a seminary of the Chabad Lubavitcher sect. He is having a crisis of faith, and is working at a copy shop shop in Brooklyn awaiting his green card. He is also becoming a serious student of jujitsu.
Dana is a non-practicing Jew, and is astounded to find herself living in the center of ultra-Orthodox Judaism in America. She is in her late 20’s and is really floundering in her life in general. She came to New York after college to live the lifestyle of Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City, in case you’ve been living under a rock). All her relationships (friends, boyfriends, workmates) are shallow and self-centered.
So-here she is. Living a split existence between her high style, high living Manhattan work life, and her rodent infested room in Brooklyn. Dana is so numbed by her breakup she doesn’t seem to mind the long commute or the odd neighborhood she has chosen.
Jujitsu Rabbi is a quick and easy read. Unfortunately, I think too many people are writing memoirs today. And a self-centered, immature 27 year old does not have the most interesting life experiences. Dana just bounces from one experience to another, and rarely seems to learn anything from either her errors or successes. This book is an unimportant piece of fluff.
Once again, though, I have to thank the LibraryThing Early Reviewer for sending this on to me.
Published in hardcover-Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam-2013