About this book
Lawrence Bush springboards from each of the fifty-four portions of the Torah into deeply personal and provocative artworks in this all-new edition of his American Torah Toons. Each two-page spread includes a Torah passage, a paragraph of commentary from both traditional and modern Jewish sources, and a photo-collage that responds to the text with humor, ethical conscience, and both social and self awareness.
An innovative creator who has been active in American Jewish life for over four decades, Bush is the author of a dozen books, including Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist; BESSIE: A Novel of Love and Revolution; and Pinko Jew, an anthology of his writings and artworks. He edited Jewish Currents, a 75-year-old magazine, from 2002-18, for which he conducted JEWDAYO, a history blog that appeared every day for nine years. He was also the founding editor of Reconstructionism Today for thirteen years. Bush’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Village Voice, MAD magazine, Tikkun, Reform Judaism, and many other publications.
“What a vexing, funny, offensive, insightful, infuriating, thought-provoking book. At times I suspect most readers will, like me, identify with each of these descriptions. Lawrence Bush’s art and written reflections on one key text in each Torah parasha, combining interpretations from tradition, insights into contemporary social justice issues, and the lived experiences of the author, will deeply engage and often provoke spiritually questing and Jewishly wrestling Jews. An atheist who wrestles with the meaning of God; a socialist who engages the politically contradictory insights of Judaism’s 3,000-year-old tradition; a secularist who cannot escape the call of religious meaning, Bush has produced a fascinating book for all — but I believe one of particular interest to young Jews whose social justice identity is a defining expression of their Judaism.”
—Rabbi David Saperstein, Director Emeritus of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
“Readers! What’s your cup of tea? Erudition? Humor? Wit? Clever visuals? Social awareness? Wisdom? Chutzpah? American Torah Toons has all this and more! Lawrence Bush has brought together his multiple talents to create an illuminating and fabulously entertaining collection.”
—Marcia Falk, author, Night of Beginnings: A Passover Haggadah and The Book of Blessings