Book Review — You Don’t Have to be Wrong for Me to be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanatacism by Brad Hirschfield (Harmony Books, 2007)

On a recent visit to family out of state, my husband picked up a copy of Rabbi Brad Hirschfield’s book, You Don’t Have to be Wrong for Me to be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanatacism.

I thought it an unusual choice for Bob as he usually leans toward action, mystery, intrigue and science fiction in his reading.  Yet, within a couple of hours, he’s telling me how much he likes what he’s reading.  He’s even sure I’m going to enjoy reading it.

When we returned home, I made a point to check the book out from our local library to see if Bob was in fact correct in his assumption.  And I’m here to report that he was.  I very much enjoyed Rabbi Hirschfield’s perspective on religion in today’s world and political climate.

Rabbi Hirschfield has tackled in 248 pages what has been sought after for centuries — the ability to dialogue about our religious beliefs without debasing or demoralizing the other party for his or her differences.  He shows how we can actually begin to reach a level of understanding between ourselves when it comes to faith that no one has to be wrong . . . we each have the right to be right about our own personal story without the implication by another that we are wrong because of their individual beliefs.  It is a refreshing read and well written.

The following quote found at page 198 is a perfect summation of this work:

The absence of conflict is not the height of relationship.
When we feel deeply, conflict is part of the process of loving,
and so, too, is the willingness to be there for each 
other and nurture each other. 

Nearing the end, I must admit that the narrative became a little dry and it was a tough finish to get to the last page, but all in all, I think the eager individual looking for an understanding of how to present your faith to another without draining your spirit and that of another will find it in these pages.

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