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An Unorthodox Match: A Novel

por Naomi Ragen

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
499412,123 (3.77)4
A powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from the international bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem. Yaakov is a man of God, a father, a Talmud scholar, and a widower. After failing to save his wife's life, he is struggling both financially and spiritually. Lola is a woman from the secular world who has suffered terrible tragedy and hardship in her life. To find her place she has turned to God and the Orthodox community in Brooklyn. She now goes by the name of Leah. Yaakov needs help to keep his home and his children in order; Leah needs a purpose and a place in the Orthodox community. They both need a partner in life, a perfect match. But the instant chemistry they share is fraught with drama and prohibition. Forces are against them while necessity pushes them together. And then there is the possibility - will love win, or won't it?… (mais)
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There's been a recent fascination with the lives of women in Orthodox Jewish communities, and this novel is set in the American center of that world, Boro Hall, Brooklyn. Jacob, a widower with five children, is struggling to continue his studies after the trauma of his wife's death. The community provides him with a helper, Leah, born Lola, who is of Jewish parentage but is considered a convert, as is any person raised outside the Orthodox community. Here, the restrictions of this life (dietary, behavioral, rigid dress codes and gender roles) pales in comparison to the terribly judgmental and critical actions of the allegedly pious community, featuring the actual shunning of anyone not born into this insular world. This reality is presented in contrast with the Torah instructions and rabbinical teachings, which urge acceptance, respect, and charity. The portrayal of the hypocrisy, as seen through the eyes of Jacob's mother-in-law, is vivid and revelatory. ( )
  froxgirl | Mar 31, 2021 |
A fun romance novel set in an orthodox Jewish community. I expected this book to take a serious look at people entering the Orthodox community and very soon I realized that this was a romance novel first and foremost and I would have to give up my expectations to enjoy the book. After I started looking at it like a Hallmark movie I really enjoyed it. ( )
  KamGeb | Jan 30, 2021 |
I did not care very much for the writing, nor for the coincidences that occurred. I also felt many of the characters' actions were not believable, but I did really care about the characters. I also was interested to learn so much about this observant community. ( )
  suesbooks | Aug 23, 2020 |
Compelling plot; engaging pacing, characters, timing, and dialogue add up to a very good read.

Ragen describes the good and bad of both the secular and religious worlds, allowing some of the characters to act as 'the critical judges.' Cheryl Howard, Leah's mother is the judge against the ultra-orthodox, while Shaindele, grandmother Fruma Esther, the matchmakers, and many other members in the ultra-orthodox community are the judges against the secular world, and against fully accepting sincere Baalei T'shuvim (those who 'return' to orthodoxy).

The path from secularlism to orthodoxy is not for the weak. One has to be passionately committed to learning a remarkably new way of seeing the possibilities of the world; to changing one's life-style, behavior, dress, food, and more.

It takes Leah years to make this committment.to the ultra-orthodox way of life where she hopes to find a loving husband and start a family. But the cynical, hypercritical matchmakers match her up with awful candidates that insult her intelligence, embarrass and anger her. Why did they even bother; did they think she thought herself as worthless as they considered her?

But Leah attracts many friends and supporters who help her reach her well-deserved goals.

I definitely recommend this book!
  Bookish59 | Jul 15, 2020 |
Baal t’shevah means one who has returned. In this novel, Lola, is longing for something more. After growing up in a non-religious house, she finds herself looking for something more which leads her to a Hasidic community in New York. Jacob is newly widowed and trying to continue being a Torah scholar and a father. When Lola becomes his new housekeeper, they discover what they’ve both been looking for.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Oct 31, 2019 |
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I will lead the blind by a road they did not know, and I will make them walk by the paths they never knew. I will turn darkness before them to light, and rough places into level ground; these are the promises, I will keep them without fail.
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Half a century of friendship, love, support, joy, partnership.
Thank you, my dear husband.
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Leah Howard sat there facing Rabbi Weintraub's empty chair, rehearsing what she was going to say to him.
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They are so strict about laws that were never written in the Torah and so lax about the laws that are actually there!
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A powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from the international bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem. Yaakov is a man of God, a father, a Talmud scholar, and a widower. After failing to save his wife's life, he is struggling both financially and spiritually. Lola is a woman from the secular world who has suffered terrible tragedy and hardship in her life. To find her place she has turned to God and the Orthodox community in Brooklyn. She now goes by the name of Leah. Yaakov needs help to keep his home and his children in order; Leah needs a purpose and a place in the Orthodox community. They both need a partner in life, a perfect match. But the instant chemistry they share is fraught with drama and prohibition. Forces are against them while necessity pushes them together. And then there is the possibility - will love win, or won't it?

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