On a recent Saturday night at a Hasidic home in Brooklyn, a mother of 10 children ushered her guests past a dining room lined with leather-bound volumes, most written in Hebrew and pertaining to the proper conduct of Jewish life. There were books on science, childbirth, kabbalah, gematria (the art of numerology), biblical texts, and Jewish archaeology. Beyond them, squeezed into a small living room, were about 40 people: modestly dressed women, men in knitted yarmulkes, and a few whose round fur hats and black silk caftans recalled the garb of 18th-century Northern European ghettos. After many friendly greetings, everyone settled down to watch a documentary about people struggling to reconcile their Orthodox Jewish faith with their lives as... More >>>