A Seat At The Table: A Novel of Forbidden Choices

Front Cover
Sourcebooks, Inc., Mar 1, 2009 - Fiction - 304 pages
18 Reviews

Lust • Tradition • Love • Faith • Self • Family

Elisha walks through Brooklyn with side curls tucked behind his ears and an oversized black hat on his head. He is a Chassidic Orthodox Jew and the son of a revered rabbi in whose footsteps he's expected to follow. When he leaves his insular world to take classes at a secular college, he vows to remain unchanged…

PRAISE FOR A SEAT AT THE TABLE

"A poignant depiction of a deeply loving father and a no less loving son desperate to find his own very different path without shattering the connection to his family, to his father."
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Author of Jewish Literacy and a Jewish Code of Ethics

"Halberstam takes you deeply into the Chassidic community with a critical eye but a loving, understanding heart. This tender, compassionate coming-of-age story brims over with wisdom from the Jewish tradition. It's worth reading for the Chassidic tales alone."
David Grubin, Documentary Filmmaker, The Jewish Americans, LBJ

"Joshua Halberstam knows the soul of Chassidic Brooklyn better than anyone without payes and a black hat. He explores that world with a unique combination of skepticism and compassion. A Seat at the Table is a lovely and deeply humane book."
Melvin Jules Bukiet, Author of Strange Fire and Neurotica

"In this novel of fathers and sons, faith and doubt, Joshua Halberstam illuminates a world rich with religious tradition and Chassidic stories, and he proves himself to be a master storyteller in his own right. A Seat at the Table is unusually wise, genuine, and always affecting."
Tova Mirvis, author of The Ladies Auxiliary and The Outside World

  

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Review: A Seat at the Table: A Novel of Forbidden Choices

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

Interesting, with great imbedded stories, but not a fully fleshed-out novel. And the only developed female character is quirky and charming and unpredictable and oh, so irritating. However, Halberstam is enough of a writer that I finished the book and don't regret reading it. Read full review

Review: A Seat at the Table: A Novel of Forbidden Choices

User Review  - Debi - Goodreads

The difference in writing quality between the Chassidic stories and the overall plot portions of this novel is striking. The former were beautifully rendered and resolved in meaningful, poetic ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

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Acknowledgments
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Reading Group Guide
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About the Author
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Back Cover
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Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Joshua Halberstam has published widely on topics ranging from philosophy, education, culture, and religion. His previous books include Everyday Ethics: Inspired Solutions to Everyday Dilemmas; Work: Making a Living and Making a Life; and Schmoozing: The Private Conversations of American Jews. He studied at the Rabbinical Academy of America and received his PhD in philosophy from New York University. He has taught at NYU and TC - Columbia University and currently teaches at BCC of the City University of New York.

Mr. Halberstam is a descendant of prominent Chassidic dynasties from both his mother's and father's side - his grandfather was among the first Chassidic Rebbes in New York. This is his first novel.

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