The Pater: My father, My judaism, My childlessness by Elliot Jager
From Bible stories to Hasidic folktales to contemporary media, the discourse on infertility is becoming an increasingly widespread topic for open discussion. However, it largely remains within the context of womanhood. In THE PATER, writer and journalist Elliot Jager tackles what has until now been an almost taboo subject: what it feels like to be a childless Jewish man. After a 30-year estrangement from his Hasidic father, a halting reconciliation is overshadowed by the elderly man s desire that Jager father a male child. The Pater, as Jager dubs the Holocaust-survivor father who abandoned him as a small child, now implores his son to visit the graves of holy men to seek Divine intervention that will surely end his childlessness. As Jager grapples with his relationship with the Pater and with the stigmas that Jewish tradition maintains towards the childless, he talks to other men single and married, gay and straight and shares their intense experiences for the first time. Part memoir, part reportage, part self-help guide, THE PATER lifts the discussion out of the familiar rhetoric by sensitively chronicling how Jewish men process being the last in line of their family. Brave, sentimental, and uncompromisingly honest, THE PATER is a revealing personal and spiritual journey about earthly and Divine fathers and the about the meaning of life without children.