The monthly magazine of opinion. That morning, like every other, Wouk engaged in a ritual performed by no other American Jewish literary figure of his time: He bound phylacteries, tefillin, to himself and devoutly uttered the morning prayers that his ancestors had said for millennia, a reflection of the Jewish Orthodoxy that was his watchword. Wouk then left his hotel and explored the city, ultimately coming upon a small Jewish museum. Rightly understood, the moment was a metaphor for his own religious journey. As a young man, Wouk had imbibed Judaism from his rabbinic grandfather, but his observance had waned in young adulthood. It returned, strikingly, when he joined the Navy and prepared to fight against the greatest enemy his people had ever known.
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His father toiled for many years to raise the family out of poverty before opening a successful laundry service. After a brief period as a young adult during which he lived a secular life, he returned to religious practice. S Naval Reserve in and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II , an experience he later characterized as educational: "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans.
He participated in eight invasions and won a number of battle stars. Wouk sent a copy of the opening chapters to philosophy professor Irwin Edman , under whom he studied at Columbia,  who quoted a few pages verbatim to a New York editor. The novel was published in and became a Book of the Month Club main selection. At one point she remarked that if they did not like this one, he had better take up another line of work a line he would give to the character of the editor Jeannie Fry in his novel Youngblood Hawke , Three years later Warner Bros.
He described the latter, which included a devastating depiction of the Holocaust , as "the main tale I have to tell. Although they were made several years apart, both were directed by Dan Curtis and both starred Robert Mitchum as Captain Victor "Pug" Henry, the main character. The novels are historical fiction.
Wouk often referred to his journals to check dates and facts in his writing, and he was hesitant to let the originals out of his personal possession.
A solution was negotiated: a scanning service bureau was selected to scan the entire set of volumes into digital formats.
The two quickly fell in love and after his ship went back to sea, Betty, who was born a Protestant and was raised in Grangeville, Idaho , began her study of Judaism and converted on her twenty-fifth birthday. They were married on December 10, He drowned in a swimming pool accident in Mexico shortly before his fifth birthday.
Their second and third children were Iolanthe Woulff born as Nathaniel Wouk, a Princeton University graduate and an author   and Joseph born , a Columbia graduate, an attorney, a film producer, and a writer who served in the Israeli Navy. His wife, who served for decades as his literary agent , died in that city on March 17, In his time, he was the greatest of the radio comedians.
They just disappear. And that was the kind of thing I did up until the time that I met Sarah and we married. And I would say my literary career and my mature life both began with her.
This is My God: A Guidebook to Judaism
Probably my first formal introduction to Judaism. I read this in seventh grade. Bought for cents from the withdrawn section at the library. A favorite quote: Religious people tend to encounter, among those who are not, a cemented certainty that belief in God is a crutch for the weak and the fearful. It would be just as silly to assert that disbelief in God is a crutch for the immoral and the ill-read
This Was Herman Wouk’s God