Inspiring, practical information and advice to enrich a Jewish spiritual life with traditional rituals and practices. Each chapter explores a different ritual or practice in depth and explains the why, what, and how to do it. Contents: Tefillin; Tallit and Tallit Katan; Kashrut; Shabbat; Daily Prayer; Talmud Torah; Blessings throughout the Day; Covering the Head; Upon Rising and Going to Bed; Mikvah.
"Goldberg's breadth of knowledge is particularly impressive. Here is a scholar who has read everything, and has produced a rich, first-rate book that is both comprehensive and accessible, making Jewish customs meaningful even to non-specialists. A scholarly achievement that is also a great bar-mitzvah gift, with tremendous value for anyone in Jewish Studies including rabbis and members of synagogue study groups."—Jack Kugelmass, Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor and Director, Jewish Studies Program at Arizona State University "Sweeping in its reach and richly informative in its details. Jewish Passages offers a treasury of wonderfully interesting information. This is a work that will not be lost. " Samuel C. Heilman, author of When a Jew Dies
What happens at a synagogue service? What are the rules for keeping kosher? How do I light the Hanukah candles? What is in the Hebrew Bible? What do the Jewish holidays signify? What should I be teaching my children about being Jewish? A landmark reference, here is an indispensable one-volume guide to the religious traditions, everyday practices, philosophical beliefs, and historical foundations of Judaism -- everything you need to know about being Jewish. In Essential Judaism, George Robinson has created the accessible compendium that he sought when he rediscovered his Jewish roots as an adult. Robinson illuminates the Jewish life cycle at every stage, and lays out many fascinating aspects of Judaism -- the Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, the evolution of Hasidism, and much more -- while keeping a firm focus on the different paths to living a good Jewish life in today's world.
Increasing numbers of Jews are returning to their religious roots in a search for meaning, eager to explore a heritage that is deeply embedded in history and at the same time rapidly changing. But what is Judaism today? And what does it mean -- culturally, spiritually, and ritually -- to be Jewish in the twenty-first century? In Being Jewish, Ari L. Goldman offers eloquent, thoughtful answers to these questions through an absorbing exploration of modern Judaism. A bestselling author and widely respected chronicler of Jewish life, Goldman vividly contrasts the historical meaning of Judaism's heritage with the astonishing and multiform character of the religion today. The result will be a revelation for those already involved with Judaism, and a fascinating introduction for those whose interests are newly minted or rekindled. Taking the reader through the process of discovery -- or rediscovery -- Being Jewish is divided into three sections, each focusing on one of the cycles of human life. Beginning with the traditions associated with the life cycle -- birth, marriage, death -- Goldman moves on to describe the rituals that mark the course of the Jewish year, starting with Rosh Hashanah. Finally, he reflects on the character of the Jewish day, exploring the role of prayer, dietary laws, and ethical behavior. All of these moments, from a minute to a lifetime, take on vibrant meaning in his thoughtful picture. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Being Jewish is Goldman's discussion of the extraordinary variations in how Jews live their Judaism today. He finds a wide variety of practices, between Judaism's branches and within them. For example, a family on Long Island keeps a unique version of kosher: they have three sets of dishes and utensils -- one for meat, one for milk, and one for nonkosher Chinese takeout. While traditional Judaism frowns on such quirky modes of observance, Goldman elevates them. Jews today, he concludes, are "reaching for the holy" in unexpected and innovative ways. These dramatically different ideas about how a Jewish life may be lived suggest how difficult it can be for today's reader to find an objective account of Judaism. And it is precisely Goldman's reporter's eye that sets this book apart. Informed by tradition without embracing any one ideology, this award-winning journalist's probing book moves across the boundaries of modern Judaism to demonstrate how it is lived. While other efforts to tackle these themes are written from the perspective of a particular religious tradition, Being Jewish is the work of a sophisticated observer who describes rather than proscribes. By weaving a complex and compelling commentary on Judaism, this inspiring volume encourages us to find our own place within the tradition and leads us into a deeper understanding not just of the details of the religion but, ultimately, of what it means to be Jewish.
Thousands of readers so enjoyed steve's Jewish Culture & Customs that we put together a sequel to take you on yet another irresistible tour through the rich and meaningful traditions of Judaism. You'll learn about Jewish history, mikvehs, kibbutzim, Jewish music and humor, and a wide variety of fascinating subjects that will transport you into the vibrant and often bittersweet world of the Jewish community.
In an encyclopedic reference for anyone who wants information about all things Jewish, Eisenberg distills an immense amount of material from classic and contemporary sources into a single volume.
"As a rabbi and a convert, I appreciate this book deeply for its sensitivity to the complex feelings of those who are exploring paths to becoming Jewish, and for the deep love of Judaism it conveys. I will give it to every interfaith couple, and recommend that they give it to their parents. It is wonderful! " --Rachel Cowan, co-author of Mixed Blessings In the same knowledgeable, reassuring, and respectful style that has made her one of the most admired writers of guides to Jewish practices and rituals, Anita Diamant provides advice and information that can transform the act of conversion into an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. Married to a convert herself, Diamant anticipates all the questions, doubts, and concerns, provides a comprehensive explanation of the rules and rituals of conversion, and offers practical guidance toward creating a Jewish identity. Here you will learn how to choose a rabbi, a synagogue, a denomination, a Hebrew name; how to handle the difficulty of putting aside Christmas; what happens at the mikvah (the ritual bath) or at a hatafat dam brit (circumcision ritual for those already circumcised); how to find your footing in a new spiritual family that is not always well prepared to receive you; and how not to lose your bonds to your family of origin. Sensitive, sympathetic, and insightful, Choosing a Jewish Life provides everything necessary to make conversion a joyful and spiritually meaningful experience.
Explains such life-cycle events as birth, marriage, midlife, sickness, religious conversion, and mourning as viewed, experienced, and treated from a Jewish perspective.
In this original and sweeping review of Jewish culture and history, Ivan Marcus examines how and why various rites and customs celebrating stages in the life cycle have evolved through the ages and persisted to this day. For each phase of life--from childhood and adolescence to adulthood and the advanced years�the book traces the origin and development of specific rites associated with the events of birth, circumcision, and schooling; bar and bat mitzvah and confirmation; engagement, betrothal, and marriage; and aging, dying, and remembering. Customs in Jewish tradition, such as the presence of godparents at a circumcision, the use of a four-poled canopy at a wedding, and the placing of small stones on tombstones, are discussed. In each chapter, detailed descriptions walk the reader through such ceremonies as early modern and contemporary circumcision, weddings, and funerals. In a comparative framework, Marcus illustrates how Jewish culture has negotiated with the majority cultures of the ancient Near East, Greco-Roman antiquity, medieval European Christianity, and Mediterranean Islam, as well as with modern secular and religious movements and social trends, to renew itself through ritual innovation. In his extensive research on the Jewish life cycle, Marcus draws from documents on various customs and ritual practices, offering reassessments of original sources and scholarly literature. Marcus�s survey is the first comprehensive study of the rites of the Jewish life cycle since Hayyim Schauss's The Lifetime of the Jew was published in 1950, written for Jewish readers. Marcus�s book addresses a broader audience and is designed to appeal to scholars and interested readers.
This volume describes the major "rites of passage" of the Jewish life cycle. From birth, through circumcision, to marriage, divorce, sickness, death and mourning, Daniel Sperber presents detailed descriptions of the major customs attending these events. These customs are examined in light of their original sources, their integration and evolution in varying Jewish communities, and the popular explanations given for their practice, both historically and today. This book draws on the whole spectrum of rabbinic literature, comparing its stories and explanations with folk beliefs of other cultures throughout the world. Sperber makes use of a wide range of resources--medieval and modern, legal, folkloristic, anthropological and literary-in his discussion of customs, proving that Jewish communities were never isolated from their environment. He also examines in depth the earliest origins of many of our well-known and commonly practiced Jewish customs. This book makes use of iconographic material found in illustrated books written by non-Jews describing Jewish practice. These illustrations are analyzed in detail, constituting yet another rich source for the understanding of the evolution of Jewish customs. Customs, by their nature, are often taken for granted. In this book, Daniel Sperber offers an expert, detailed, and lively analysis of some of the most and least commonly practiced customs in Jewish tradition.
Collects a wide range of writings, from autobiographical sketches and legal codes to folk literature and liturgical poetry, to provide a sweeping view of medieval and early modern Jewish ritual and religious practice that considers many lesser-known aspects of Jewish culture. Reprint.
Two rabbis explore the historical meaning and contemporary use of ten Jewish rituals, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, studying torah, prayers, and blessings. Original.
"When we awaken to our own light, it becomes possible to develop real wisdom about our life. As wisdom allows us to see clearly, our hearts break open with compassion for the struggles of our own lives and the lives of all beings. Awakened with wisdom and compassion, we are impelled to live our lives with kindness, and we are led to do whatever we can to repair the brokenness of our world." -From the Introduction
This publication outlines the material preserved in the ancient Jewish cemeteries in the Land of Israel and provides a comprehensive and instructive study of Jewish funerary customs, practices, and rituals relating to death, burial and mourning, as well as addressing the meaning of Jewish funerary art and tradition.
In this book Haggai Mazuz offers an account of the halakhic character of the Jewish community of Medina in the seventh century CE. Making use of a unique methodology of comparison between Islamic and Jewish sources, Mazuz convincingly argues that the Jews of Medina were Talmudic-Rabbinic Jews in almost every respect. Their sages believed in using homiletic interpretation of the Scriptures, as did the sages of the Talmud. On many halakhic issues, their observations were identical to those of the Talmudic sages. In addition, they held Rabbinic beliefs, sayings and motifs derived from the Midrashic literature. --from back cover
Meditation empowers us to transcend our material mind-set and touch the Infinite and Eternal. “True meditation transforms the way we see reality.... It touches the place inside us where a spark of the Eternal dwells. Meditation unites us with our true Self.” —from the Introduction The life of meditation is much more than the act of sitting for half an hour or forty-five minutes and looking inward. It is a whole way of life. Through meditation we learn to live in a heightened awareness and walk at all times in the presence of God. Rabbi Yoel Glick brings wisdom from personal experience and Eastern traditions to illuminate and vitalize familiar Jewish rituals, vocabulary and imagery. He provides specific guidelines and practical techniques grounded in Judaism for each stage of the life of meditation, outlining the inner processes we encounter and the questions we face: How does meditation help us connect with the Collective Jewish Soul?What happens in our mind, body and soul when we meditate? How do we resist the pull of a material mind-set and live in expanded consciousness? What does it feel like to reach union with our spiritual source? • How do we remain aware of God’s living presence in our everyday life?
In Living Judaism, Rabbi Wayne Dosick, Ph.D., author the acclaimed Golden Rules, Dancing with God, and When Life Hurts, offers an engaging and definitive overview of Jewish philosophy and theology, rituals and customs. Combining quality scholarship and sacred spiritual instruction, Living Judaism is a thought-provoking reference and guide for those already steeped in Jewish life, and a comprehensive introduction for those exploring the richness and grandeur of Judaism.
The noted spiritual teacher and author of God Was in This Place and Invisible Lines of Connection offers an incisive introduction to the ten gates of Jewish mysticism that explains how it relates to everyday life. Reprint.