Becoming Brothers by Howard Waskow

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This is a book for brothers - and for sisters, too; for the feelings to which these brothers testify - fear, envy, anger - are familiar to almost everyone who has a sibling. They are heightened and dramatized in the tale of Cain and Abel, which like other stories in the Bible speaks to us of universal themes in human life. Howard and Arthur Waskow grew up as brothers in a quiet Jewish neighborhood in Baltimore during the 1940s. In this unusually honest book they demonstrate that powerful emotions such as these do lie beneath the surface of everyday family life. As with many siblings, behind a superficial layer of civility their relationship was distant, competitive, antagonistic; their conflict extended well into their adult years. Eventually their divorces, their mother's final illness, and their own desire to change brought them toward one another. Wary at first, they set out on a journey of discovery and recovery that was helped to completion by the need to care for their aging father, and by the collaborative writing of this book. Becoming Brothers is uniquely both a record and an instrument of this deliberate and painful reconciliation. In alternating chapters, these brothers reconstruct their struggle piece by piece, crossing back through years of conflict to the roots of their estrangement - often wrestling with contested bits of memory, enlightening and enlivening each other, doing the hard but necessary work of intimate relationship. Theirs is a universal story about the way in which people grow apart and how they can discover one another, and themselves, by acknowledging their similarities and accepting their differences. In the end, the brothers find that only throughunderstanding who they were as sons and brothers can they fulfill their mature roles as husbands and fathers. Their search for wholeness requires them to cooperate and finally to forgive. This beautifully written, humane, and intelligent book reminds its readers not only that everyday l
 

About Howard Waskow

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Rabbi Arthur Waskow is a pathfinder of ALEPH: Alliance for JRabbi Arthur Waskow is a pathfinder of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He founded and directs the Shalom Center, a dewish Renewal. He founded and directs the Shalom Center, a division of ALEPH devoted to Jewish thought and practice to pivision of ALEPH devoted to Jewish thought and practice to protect the earth. His other books include "Seasons of Our Jorotect the earth. His other books include "Seasons of Our Joy" and "Godwrestling - Round II" He lives in Philadelphia wiy" and "Godwrestling - Round II" He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Phyllis Ocean Berman. th his wife, Phyllis Ocean Berman.
 
Published June 1, 1993 by Free Press. 218 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Arthur suggests that Howard's Judaism is limited to nostalgia, but Howard protests that his wedding banquet is richly Jewish, ``overspilled with whitefish, chopped liver...knishes, kishke, and challah.'' To the now mature Arthur, a leading figure in American Jewish renewal, this response is theol...

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Publishers Weekly

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Now in their 50s, both published authors, Howard, a family therapist, and Arthur, a leader of the Jewish renewal movement, alternate in evoking family members and other inhabitants of the middle-class, Baltimore Jewish ghetto of their childhood, and in defining the complex origins of their deep h...

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Los Angeles Times

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"I really may have to kill you some day after all," said Howard Waskow to his brother, Arthur, on a momentous day back in 1972.

Aug 11 1993 | Read Full Review of Becoming Brothers

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