“This book does not endeavour to do justice to particular religions; they have their own apologists. It tries, instead, to examine aspects of religious life which contain concepts that could fruitfully be applied to the problems of secular society. It attempts to burn off religions’ more dogmatic aspects in order to distil a few aspects of them that could prove timely and consoling to sceptical contemporary minds facing the crises and griefs of finite existence on a troubled planet. It hopes to rescue some of what is beautiful, touching and wise from all that no longer seems true.”
– If you could escape to another world, what would there be that is missing here?
It would be a world, of course, without pain and death. Perhaps this would mean that things were less intense, we’d be innocent and spoilt, but that would perhaps be no bad thing.
– What is the book you “inherited” from a parent or teacher that made a profound impression on you?
– What is the book you would like to pass on to the future generation?
My children are very young, 5 and 7 and at the moment, the book they are most fascinated by is a large atlas of the world, which inspires all kinds of imaginary journeys.
– What is the most Jewish thing you have ever done?
Worried a lot – about everything.
Saul Bellow’s Herzog.
– When did you know you would become a writer?
I’m still not entirely sure I am one. I have to keep reminding myself on a daily basis.
– If you were not a writer, what would you be?
I would love to be an architect.
– What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best choice is the one that leaves you with the least regrets.
– What would your superpower be?
To rewind time – and make less mistakes.
– Who (living or dead) would you invite to your ideal Friday night dinner?
– On the very distant day when you will make it to the other side, what would you like God (assuming there is one) to say to you?
You’ve done OK, despite everything…