I read "Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Shahak around 2004/05. The most shocking thing for me was the examples he gives of "violating the sabbath" and such things, where they approach the religious obligations in the spirit of "cheating 'God'". The really weird mindset inculcated into the religious Jews, he points out, makes them try to use deception and manipulation to seem to follow the letter of the law, while destroying its spirit.
I remember when I was in Jerusalem, an orthodox Jew approached me just after the Sabbath ended - in front of the Wailing Wall, no less! - and asked me whether I'm a Jew; when I said no, he asked me for a lighter so that he could smoke, because orthodox Jews aren't even allowed to carry a lighter on Sabbath. Talk about weaseling and deceiving your God! I witnessed quite a few instances of this "Goy shabbat" thing, not to mention programming systems in advance to avoid having to switch on stuff on Sabbath and so on. Thinking about it, this is really insane! It's like saying "oh, God doesn't want me to have sex outside marriage, so let's come up with a way to get an instant marriage for one night and an instant divorce the next morning".
I wonder what it does to a person's brain to be told your entire life not only that you are speshful and part of a superior race, but also that your God accepts and even likes the most blatant, idiotic weaseling out of his laws and coming up with all sorts of "clever" deceptions!!