Judaisms: A Twenty-First-Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities by Aaron J. Hahn Tapper takes a firm, post-modern, and as the title suggests, twenty-first century look at what it means to be Jewish.
Tapper explores the numerous narratives of Judaism. He certainly explains the so-called “normative” narratives of orthodoxy, Ashkenazi Judaism, but his real purpose is to open the conversation of how diverse this thing called Judaism really is; in that vein, the books asks more questions than providing answers. It presents other narratives of Judaisms for our examination.
But in the end, Tapper illustrates that he is clearly speaking to millennial and Gen X Jews who no longer feel at home in traditional Jewish denominations and organizations. Such people do not know “what it means to lost family to the Nazis, to watch the birth of an all Jewish-majority country… or to fight fiercely for the right of Jews in the former Soviet Union to freely practice their Jewish identities.”
This book is attractive to just such people; those who are looking to open the avenues of Jewish expression beyond those developed since the conclusion of World War Two.