In a heartbreaking and hilarious Yom Kippur sermon, Jonah tells a tragicomic Jewish-Buddhist love story that takes on one of the critical religious issues of the 1990s—can we stay true to tradition and keep our faith relevant to our everyday lives?
“American Jews have been mixing Buddhist saffron with Jewish matzoballs for over three decades now, but not until Allan Appel’s rabbi in High Holiday Sutra have we seen the perfect result. High Holiday Sutra is emotionally Jewish, philosophically Buddhist, and esthetically American. Om Shalom.” —Andrei Codrescu
“High Holiday Sutra should be an occasion for rejoicing and soul searching for the organized Jewish community. In a powerful and raucously funny story, Appel reveals the impotency of much of American Jewish life, its inability to sustain the spiritual or psychological energies of its youth, and its total failure to be witness to God’s presence on earth. Appel’s novel explores the belly of the beast of American Jewish life and its spiritual mid-life crisis.” Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun and author of Jewish Renewal: a Path to Healing and Transformation
“I’ve never heard such a voice such as Jonah’s in High Holiday Sutra. It captures a period and perspective that have been marginalized, if not hidden. The book is an inspiration.” —Joan Rosenbaum, Director of The Jewish Museum, New York
“Written with great energy and humor. The characters are beautifully drawn—my favorite is the narrator’s father, sitting in shul listening to baseball scores.” —Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew and the Lotus