Mysticism and prophecy both attempt to pull back a veil that hides from us the significance of our daily actions. There is meaning in what we do, the mystic and prophet believe. There is a code embedded in the choices we make: to understand that code is to experience God in revolutionary ways.
In Crimes of Faith, Anah Jochebed looks to undermine how we view God and the dogma that has infiltrated our thinking about religion; the author’s purpose is to “sort through all hypocrisies using the world as a guide, establish their virtues and their vices as evident, invoking truth, and indeed annihilating all from within.” Our current interpretations of the divine are faulty, the author warns, and this book offers its own mystical visions as a form of correction.
Jochebed’s biblical knowledge is prodigious, and the author is comfortable writing on both the Old and New Testaments in this seemingly random arrangement of essays, poems and illustrations. There is a certain dreamlike quality to some of the prose, but unfortunately it’s mixed with odd syntax and grammatical problems, making it difficult to understand exactly what the author is talking about; for example, this baffling excerpt: “Freedom is the essential of indifference, religion as it is, is the opposing factor of freedom, posing infidelity; an unfaithfulness, thus, the idea is the struggle against the Almighty Himself, a hatred in His very own creating according to the beliefs of ones [sic] insight…”
These dense passages confuse more than illuminate. Moreover, the book lacks any kind of roadmap outlining the work’s trajectory. Without it, the volume is simply a compendium of assorted elements without a connecting thread, and the mystical and prophetic messages prove to be too ethereal for full comprehension.
In sum, Crimes of Faith hints at interesting ideas about the nature of the divine, but the book is in need of more editorial work before it can make a powerful impact on readers.