The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days


A young Lutheran girl grows up on Long Island, New York. She aspires to be a doctor, and is on the fast track to marriage and the conventional happily-ever-after. But, as the Yiddish saying goes, "Man plans, and God laughs." Meet Andrea Myers, whose coming-of-age at Brandeis, conversion to Judaism, and awakening sexual identity make for a rich and well-timed life in the rabbinate.

In The Choosing, Myers fuses heartwarming anecdotes with rabbinic insights and generous dollops of humor to describe what it means to survive and flourish on your own terms. Portioned around the cycle of the Jewish year, with stories connected to each of the holidays, Myers draws on her unique path to the rabbinate--leaving behind her Christian upbringing, coming out as a lesbian, discovering Judaism in college, moving to Israel, converting, and returning to New York to become a rabbi, partner, and parent.

Myers relates tales of new beginnings, of reinventing oneself, and finding oneself. Whether it's a Sicilian grandmother attempting to bake hamantaschen on Purim for her Jewish granddaughter, or an American in Jerusalem saving a chicken from slaughter during a Rosh Hashanah ritual, Myers keeps readers entertained as she reflects that spirituality, goodness, and morality can and do take many forms. Readers will enthusiastically embrace stories of doors closing and windows opening, of family and community, of integration and transformation. These captivating narratives will resonate and, in the author's words, "reach across coasts, continents, and generations."


The Choosing explores what it means to survive, and to flourish, on your own terms. For me, this has meant leaving my Lutheran upbringing, coming out as a lesbian, converting to Judaism, and becoming a rabbi. This book contains the stories I have collected along the way, stories that reach across coasts, continents, and generations. Whether they take place in Germany or Jerusalem, the Rocky Mountains or suburban Long Island, they bear witness to what happens when cultures collide. Ultimately, though, this book is one of integration and transformation, showing how any real lifechange should only make you more of who you are.

Rabbis are often depicted as sagely men whose stern features speak of lives spent learning ancient texts and timeless traditions. When I served a congregation in Colorado, the synagogue had a “rabbi room” in the basement, where they kept all the portraits of rabbis that congregants had donated, not knowing what to do with them. the synagogue leadership concluded that they didn’t want the congregation’s spiritual life defined by traditional stereotypes, so they put all the paintings in a room, mailed a tax-deductible receipt to each donor, and moved on. I learn the same texts as did the rabbis whose portraits are in that room; I celebrate the same holidays; I eat the same foods; I pray the same prayers. But I am in no way a sage, or an old-world stereotype captured . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.