No Other Gods: The Politics of the Ten Commandments a Review of Ana Levy-Lyons Book

No Other Gods: The Politics of the Ten Commandments

by Ana Levy-Lyons

Published by  Center Street/ Hachette 2018

Reviewed by Natan Margalit

{Editor’s Note: You are invited to a NYC book launch of Ana Levy-Lyons new book at Book Culture (Columbus Ave. & 82nd St.) on Wednesday, March 7 at 6:30pm.More info at her website ( Ana Levy-Lyons is a member of the Tikkun inner-editorial board and her articles in Tikkun have inspired many of our readers.–Rabbi Michael Lerner }

It is evident from the first page that this book is swimming against the current in our contemporary political and spiritual landscape. Author Ana Levy-Lyons tells a story in her preface about how one of her teachers back in high school liked to entertain the kids by listing oxymorons: pretty ugly, jumbo shrimp, etc, and he sometimes included: “liberal religion.”  The laughs that he got demonstrated the underlying assumption in our culture: liberal and religious don’t go together.  The task that the author takes on is to prove that assumption wrong. She does a very good job. The book is structured around Ana Levy-Lyons’ modern commentary on the ten commandments.

From Waste to Wonder

Not long ago, as I was composting the rinds and peels collecting in my kitchen, my mind wandered to the words of a mystic rabbi who claimed that whenever any event happened in the world, it surely has a reason for existing—that it is up to us to find the spark of holiness even in our greatest mistakes. Those things that we’d like to hide from, tuck away, and forget, he said, must be held up to the light, because there is something in them, some energy which could hold the key to our happiness and fulfillment, that is calling to be redeemed.