Coming Home by Linda Shires
A Woman's Story Of Conversion To Judaism

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She grew up in an upper-middle-class Protestant family in New England. She can trace her father's family back to the Mayflower. Yet, "Judaism was to be my bashert, my destiny," maintains Linda Shires - wife, mother, professor, and author. For almost twenty years, she lived the life of a Jewish wife, passing as a Jew when she participated in Jewish holiday rituals with her husband and her three step-children. When she wanted, she thought of herself as a Christian. But after deciding to ground her child in one religious tradition, Shires discovered her own. Coming Home tells the story of why a former WASP Debutante opted for a position at the margins: a Jew-by-Choice and why she became committed to a life of religious observance and questioning. Her narrative is quietly passionate, spiritual, and learned as it moves from the halls of Princeton to the Holocaust camps of Germany and back again. This richly felt story of conversion to Judaism expands our idea of what constitutes a spiritual journey and a religious practice.

About Linda Shires

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LINDA M. SHIRES is professor of English and Textual Studies at Syracuse University, where she also teaches in the Judaic Studies program. A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, she lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and Syracuse, New York.
Published October 15, 2003 by Basic Books. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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In 1999 at age 48, Shires, daughter of a prominent Episcopalian and granddaughter of a devout Greek Orthodox Christian, did what she had been contemplating for nearly 20 years, ever since falling in love with the Jewish man who would become her husband: she immersed herself three times in a ritua...

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