Lights to the Nations: Two Jewish thinkers release their books for the secular–even non-Jewish–audience

Wow.

That’s pretty much all I could say. I read an amazing blog post by Ann Koffsky this morning (thanks Ann for sending me the link!) where she interviews the unforgettable writer Gila Manolson. The interview is chock full of advice to writers, advice to parents, and other neat stuff. But the biggest revelation to me is that Manolson has created a website to promote her upcoming book–her first book for a non-Jewish audience.

Manolson is not alone. Rabbis Shalom Arush and Lazer Brody just put out a rewritten version of their classic The Garden of Emuna. Entitled The Universal Garden of Emunathe volume explains basics of faith, trust (and trustworthiness), and maintaining an emotional equilibrium to non-Jewish audiences.

Is there an audience for these books?

My bet is yes. Popular Jewish websites like Aish.com and Chabad.org are quite popular with non-Jews. Jewish books are gobbled up by South Koreans (who want to emulate Jewish success) and Bible Belt Christians (who welcome wisdom tied to their “Old Testament” foundations). Tablet this week had a fantastic article about a (non-Orthodox) rabbi who has brought the system of character refinement known as Mussar to California prisons.

Even the success of Matisyahu (regardless of his recent transformation) with both secular and gentile audiences attests to a non-traditional audience that welcomes the guidance of Jewish wisdom and morality.

Any thoughts out there from readers on the subject?

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