The Foer questions: Literary wunderkind turns 35
Jonathan Safran Foer is author of the "New American Haggadah," releasing March 5.
March 5th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

The Foer questions: Literary wunderkind turns 35

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

New York (CNN) - There's a magical time in the morning between 4 and 6:30 when Jonathan Safran Foer works in quiet. It's before his sons wake up, before he takes them to school, before he goes shopping for milk and diapers - errands in which he takes a certain pleasure.

A few days before his birthday, a recent Tuesday, the internationally acclaimed writer almost forgot he would be turning 35. The milestone doesn't put more pressure on Foer, but he does feel a different sense of urgency.

"I'm less worried about accomplishment - as younger people always can't help but be - and more concerned with spending my time well," he says, "spending time with my family, and reading, learning things."

With wavy hair, an unshaven face and round tortoise-shell glasses, he's easy to miss on the streets of Brooklyn or the West Village. But adoring fans will sometimes blog about possible "JSF" sightings at his local library or park. And Foer's literary and artistic endeavors are getting harder and harder not to notice.

Read the full story about Jonathan Safran Foer
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Judaism

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Leticia

    Font issue: I have an issue. I plan on putting all of my laouyts together in one album that is 7.5 10.I don't plan on using a lot of photos because I really want this to be a story and not an album.I have all my laouyts caught up and I can't decide on a font. I know, I don't have to have JUST ONE. However, for the sake of the album, I want it to be one. I can't decide if I should hand write the prompts or if I should use a font.If I use a font, which one?Can you have some place where the gallery users indicate what font they are using for the journal section of their layout?Thanks

    September 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  2. md2205

    Prayer helps us remember about G-d's involvement in our life, and is one wayto establish our relationship with Him. He gives us what we have and expects us to use it all for good, and since our physical desires tend to overcome our intellectual inclinations, we need the strong reminder of prayer to overcome that. It is our connection to G-d. The Hebrew word for prayer is tefila, which means connection. If our prayer would not be a connection but would only be requests, it would be called bakasha (request). Prayer focuses us on what is important in life – what we are here in this world to do. When we praise G-d we are showing ourselves how great He is. Even when we are only asking G-d for what we want, that is fine, because it shows G-d we know that He exists and cares about us, and that we are dependent on Him for everything. However, we have to remember that He is not our servant, and He doesn't have to give us everything we ask for. Sometimes when we ask for something, the answer might be no.

    March 11, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 6, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • Ken Oberman

      No it doesn't. There are more persuasive means of changing things. Like a solid punch to the face of every retard that believes in the sky hostess.

      March 6, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • just sayin

      There is more life changing Truth in prayer than in all the activities of all the atheists this world has ever produced. Nothing is a greater waste of a life than atheism. Give me a believing " retard over any atheist any day.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You've already got a 'believing retard'. It's in your mirror, captain fake.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      There are several that I know personally that are working on curing cancer at this very moment. Pray on and see what it does for that tumor.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~

      March 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      The studies cited have been proven false, for honest study study God in prayer.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Jesus

      "The studies cited have been proven false,"

      You've been proven a LIAR!

      March 7, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  4. Ken Oberman

    People care how old this roadhead-giving-prancer is?

    March 6, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • ThisIsWhy

      Man your parents never told you they loved you did they?

      March 6, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Ken Oberman

      Sure they did. Why would that have anything to do with this guy's age being newsworthy?

      March 7, 2012 at 3:34 am |
  5. stupid people believe what they don't understand because they don't read, or don't know how - which is worse?

    I may be cruel, but you shall love me as God. In the word of God. Praise be to God. And all that mumbo jumbo. Thanks be to me for reminding you that even God hates you. So smile and remember, under his tyranny you will never be free! Quote any part of the Bible you like, it will make no difference. If you believe in God then the history of God is your basis for belief. How can one make claims to without full knowledge of? With full knowledge how is it that any believe unless they already harbor hatred for a great many? Answer – most have never read the Bible. Those who have made one of two choices – ratiionalize it and believe based on interpretations or deny it and not believe. What do you get from this?

    March 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  6. Ungodly Discipline

    Can I have his heart when he dies?

    March 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  7. Sharon

    For at least 30 years, I have become happier and more relaxed about religion. I know now that I do not believe in a higher power. Life is so easy at my age.. I am now over 70. I do not see how my very smart friends can believe the whole storybook of Christianity.

    March 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Good for you. It is puzzling and even a bit disturbing that people can compartmentalize their religious beliefs from their otherwise critical thinking.

      March 6, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • captain america

      By presidential statement an atheist is totally useless to our country, and a butt in canadian one is worth ten times less. There's your sign.

      March 6, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      That's funny. President Obama is quite receptive and tolerant to non-believers. That old Texan redneck Bush's opinion is about as useful as yours CA...which is to say completely useless.

      March 6, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • captain america

      You can disrespect America all you want canadaian the point remains the overwhelming majority of US have no use for atheistic bull sh it from our own and even less from foreigners and our Presidents have confirmed that fact. Go screw up your own country ass hole. There's your sign

      March 6, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Criticizing Bush is hardly disrespecting America... just ask any Democrat.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      captain dumbazz sayin lies rides again.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • AGuest9

      I guess CA voted for the moron. Speaks volumes.

      March 6, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  8. Reality

    Putting the kibosh on orthodox Judaism:

    Only for the newbies:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

    March 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • .....

      Hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  9. Ungodly Discipline

    Just fyi, just sayin is stalking me now.

    March 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Just a head's up: when captain america or just sayin shows up, keep in mind they're one and the same. Same troll; at least two names.

    March 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • sam

      That darling character is also our prayer bot!

      March 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Yosemite Sam

      There is talk of it him being the Manassas mauler as well.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Chief justice Earl Warren

      Who was on the grassy knoll?

      March 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Area 51

      Area 51?

      March 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      Your tin foil hat is too thick Tom, Tom. Not laughing with you, laughing at you, you also sam.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah, you're outed.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • sam

      So cute, I could just pinch his little cheeks and kick him down a flight of stairs!

      March 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ha, sam.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      Rant on it is your dime.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Punctuation saves lives, sheep-dip.

      "Let's eat, Grandma!"

      "Let's eat Grandma!"

      Figure that out, captain just-herbie-sayin-more stupid-sh!t.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  11. Ungodly Discipline

    I have decided to convert from atheism to Solipsism. The ceremony is going to be a blast, I will be having all my friends and family over and un-validating their existence. Then it will just be a free-for-all. I will also be getting a tattoo of my own face on my a.s.s.

    March 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      It's all about you anyway. I wonder if your parents felt the same way ... oh, well, the we wouldn't be having any debate (LOL).

      March 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      OMG you are so funny HS! Too bad you don't exist.

      March 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That's the best that you can come up with. Pathetic. It's the same thing that if we didn't learn Jesus' truth about compassion, loving your neighbors, helping each other out ... etc. your atheistic chaos would have ruled supreme and humans would have gone the way of the dinosaurs, or should I say behemoths.

      March 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      Oh, I can come up with much than that HS. But is you, and not worth the effort.

      March 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      HS, those posts are not from me. Our troller friend has turned into a stalker now too.

      March 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  12. Hopa!

    I once was an atheist, then I got smart.

    March 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • momoya

      I was a christian for far too long; then I got wisdom.

      March 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Hopa!

      I once spent all my time on cnn blogs, then i lost my virginity.

      March 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I was once a lion tamer. Now I type with my mouth.

      March 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • AGuest9

      No, you are deluded. Enjoy the existential kool-aid.

      March 6, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • hippypoet

      you are a sheep... go flock back to your shepard you poor excuse for a human being!

      March 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      It's Groundhog Day!

      March 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • bringoutyourdead

      demon responds in mortal fear of prayer

      March 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • PIP

      "click click click" Foer enters the CNN Belief Blog site to see what his fans have to say.

      "What?...the only thing here is from some total nut job that keeps posting the same crap everyday. Great..."

      March 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      March 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      Studies mentioned have been proved false for some time now and useless. Study God for wholesome results.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      March 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just captain, you are such a muttonhead.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things

      It's been proven you are a liar.

      March 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      prayer changes things

      March 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Proven to be useless, just like you captain justaliar.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      March 6, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • just sayin

      There is more life changing Truth in prayer than in all the words on all these blogs

      March 6, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There's more value in a pile of dog dirt than in anything you type.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • AGuest9

      Nothing proven. Ask those people in Illinois.

      March 6, 2012 at 9:04 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.