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The Marrying of Chani Kaufman

by Eve Harris

To open this book is to gain entry into the intriguing world of an ultra-orthodox Jewish community, in particular the rituals observed by a young betrothed couple and those teaching them. This is real fly-on-the-wall drama, candidly portrayed with humour and heartache. I gulped it down in a couple of sittings.

Extract

There was nothing left to be learned now, no more private tutorials with the Rebbetzin, whispering together behind closed doors to prevent the Rebbetzin's children hearing of matters so intimate and feminine. The mysterious knowledge of Jewish womanhood and wifely duty had been passed on and stored faithfully in Chani's heart. In a month, she would return to the mikveh alone. There may not even be another visit for a while. Chani froze. She was not ready to have a child. But if HaShem willed it, so it would be. There was nothing she could do. The inevitability of her life and role as a woman sank in.

Parallels

The Innocents by Francesca Segal
The Sisters Weiss by Naomi Ragen
 

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