Jewish writer challenges religion with lesbian story

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A Jewish novelist is challenging her religious upbringing in a debut book about a lesbian affair with an Orthodox rabbi’s wife.

Naomi Alderman, 31, wrote “Disobedience” to raise questions of the central values of Orthodox Judaism and to highlight women’s issues in the religion.

The book is set in her home town of Hendon, North London, it explores how a lesbian affair with the wife of a rabbi upsets the close community, and seeks to reconcile religiosity and homosexuality.

Ms Alderman told Reuters, “Asserting my right to question is the way to put it, actually, Judaism has a very healthy tradition of questioning and being irreverent, and it is to be regretted that it has dwindled away in recent years.”

“These are two modes of human desire which unfortunately are in opposition, and nothing can really be done about that.”

She is being touted as one of the newest provocative voices in Jewish writing. Some readers have already voiced disapproval of her style. Her father joked there would be book burnings in their streets.