Kristina Grish has been described as a "Nazi" and little better than a prostitute. Her crime: writing a light-hearted, non-Jewish woman's guide to understanding Jewish men.
On Web sites and letters pages in Israel and the US, Jewish women have railed at Grish, an American Protestant, accusing her of making it harder for them to find a Jewish man and trying to destroy Judaism.
On the surface, Boy Vey! The Shiksa's Guide to Dating Jewish Men, has little in common with Mein Kampf, but Grish has touched the insecurity of some Jews who feel that marrying outside their religion will lead to its gradual erosion.
The title is a play on the Yiddish exclamation Oy vey, and shiksa is a Yiddish word for a non-Jewish woman.
Grish said: "It was actually my best friend, a Jewish woman, who encouraged me to write the book because she was so darn tired of answering questions I had when I first found myself coincidentally dating Jewish men. I didn't consciously seek them out; I'm sure my past is a byproduct of living in New York, working in the media, having many Jewish friends."
Over six years Grish, 29, went out with 15 Jewish men and decided she had amassed enough experience to produce a guide for other women who are in her situation.
While relationships between Jews and non-Jews are frowned on by religious authorities, and a Jew cannot marry a non-Jew inside Israel, there are numerous biblical examples of the exceptions.
The great-grandmother of King David, Ruth, was a Moabite while one of David's wives, Bathsheba, was previously married to Uriah the Hittite. Their son, King Solomon, is believed to have included non-Jews among his many wives.
Marrying outside your religion is a source of conflict in many societies, but it is particularly an issue for Jews as there are only about 13 million of them in the world, mostly in Israel and the US.
Israeli newspaper Web sites seem to be financially sustained by advertising for Jewish "lonely hearts" Web sites, catering for secular to ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Grish's book begins with her experience of dating a Jewish man on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Although it is a day of fasting, the couple went out for a meal.
Later they had sex, after which the man wept tears of guilt for having sex, which is forbidden on that day.
"I wrote the book with a very honest, respectful and light-hearted intention of helping women who interfaith-date better understand the men with whom they're spending time," she said.
In the book, Grish describes Jewish men as wanting to make a woman laugh, being energetic in bed and keen to analyze the relationship. Because Judaism has a strong matriarchal culture, she says, they are trained from an early age to please women.
Despite her praise for Jewish men, she has been the target of vitriolic attacks from Jewish women. At a book reading in New York she was accused of being anti-Semitic and like a Nazi.
Letter writers in Israel have bristled at what they see as Grish's presumption. Darlene Jospe, from Jerusalem, warned the writer not to think too much of herself because she has managed to attract so many Jewish men.
"Non-Jewish women are not the attraction, but the forbidden fruit that is always sweeter. Kristina, like any other shiksa, is the appetizer for some men, but they are still likely to go home for dinner to their Jewish wives and girlfriends," she wrote to the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz.
Pamala Moteles, also from Jerusalem, sees the book as part of a "terrible trend" that forced her to leave the US for Israel. This "will spell the doom of the American Jewish community: the aggressive hunting of Jewish men by gentile women and the lack of interest expressed by Jewish men in Jewish women," she wrote.
She accuses the author of encouraging the breakdown of "Jewish heritage by cultivating a situation in which `Jewish' children will be raised by mothers of different religions" and of being hostile to Jewish women.
Grish said that she was hurt by some of the comments.
"I am obviously not a Nazi, nor do I have an anti-Semitic bone in my body," she said. "It's a bit absurd to assume that I hate either Jewish men or women, given that I've dated so many Jewish men, cared very much for their families and have a lot of Jewish friends."
Some women, however, have rallied to Grish's defense.
Hanna Bineth called the book good-humored and said the criticism "stems from the deepest, darkest residue of the Jewish diaspora, consisting of the worst, biased, racist and self-centered attitude."
Yoram Peri, a sociologist at Tel Aviv University, said many Jews would find the book amusing but see the generalizations as shallow.
"It is possible that American Jewish women who come to Israel seeking husbands -- and there are many -- might feel sensitive about the subject," Peri said.
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