When 20-year-old student J. S. Margot took a tutoring job in 1987, little did she know it would open up an entire world. In the family’s Orthodox Jewish household she would encounter endless rules – ‘never come on a Friday, never shake hands with a man’ – and quirks she had not seen before: tiny tubes on the doorposts, separate fridges for meat and dairy products. Her initial response was puzzlement and occasionally anger, but as she taught the children and fiercely debated with the family, she also began to learn from them. Full of funny misunderstandings and unexpected connections, Mazel Tov is a heartwarming, provocative and disarmingly honest memoir of clashing cultures and unusual friendships – and of how, where adults build walls, sometimes only children can dissolve them.
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