The history of Jews in the United States is one of racial change that provides useful insights on race in America. Prevailing classifications have sometimes assigned Jews to the white race and at other times have created an off-white racial designation for them. Those changes in racial assignment have shaped the ways American Jews of different eras have constructed their ethnoracial identities. Brodkin illustrates these changes through an analysis of her own family's multi-generational experience. She shows how Jews experience a kind of double vision that comes from racial middleness: on the one hand, marginality with regard to whiteness; on the other, whiteness and belonging with regard to blackness.
Class and gender are key elements of race-making in American history. Brodkin suggests that this country's racial assignment of individuals and groupsconstitutes an institutionalized system of occupational and residential segregation, is a key element in misguided public policy, and serves as a pernicious foundational principle in the construction of nationhood. Alternatives available to non-white and alien "others" have been either to whiten or to be consigned to an inferior underclass unworthy of full citizenship. The American ethnoracial map-who is assigned to each of these poles-is continually changing, although the binary of black and white is not. As a result, the structure within which Americans form their ethnoracial, gender, and class identities is distressingly stable. Brodkin questions the means by which Americans construct their political identities and what is required to weaken the hold of this governing myth.
This amazing journey through Tibetan Buddhism and Judaism leads Kamenetz to a renewed appreciation of his living Jewish roots.
The most authoritative guide on cantillation.
Joshua Jacobson?s masterpiece?the comprehensive 1000-page guide to cantillation?is now available in this e-book edition. It is an ideal instructional guide for adult and young-adult students of Torah, for b?nai mitzvah students, and for cantors, rabbis, and Jewish educators of all denominations.
Like the original edition, it includes an explanation of the tradition and a description of the practice of chanting, with all its regional variations and grammatical rules. There is detailed instruction, with musical notation, on chanting of Torah, and shorter instructions for chanting the haftarah, the megillot, and readings for the High Holy Days.
Joshua Jacobson, professor of music and conductor of the acclaimed Boston-based Zamir Chorale, has been Torah chanting since he was 10 years old. That life-long experience, combined with an unquenchable desire to reconnect the art of cantillation with the most convincing and accurate treatment of the ancient text possible, led him to create this indispensable teaching tool. Using Jacobson?s highly acclaimed approach, the ancient words come alive in a new, deeply emotional and most accurate way.
Jews-to-be often find the steps to Judaism foreign, complex, and mysterious. From learning an ancient language, to entering the mikvah (ritual bath), to choosing a Hebrew name, to circumcision, to appearing before a bet din (Jewish court), becoming a Jew is anything but quick and easy. In this engaging and accessible guide, Reuben and Hanin offer practical wisdom for every step of conversion, including:
telling family and friends selecting a denominationchoosing a rabbiunderstanding Jewish ritualscelebrating Jewish holidaysputting aside childhood holidayskeeping ties to the pastadvice on weddings, raising kids, and more
Throughout, the authors focus on developing a healthy spiritual life, while helping readers understand what it means to be Jewish, absorb Jewish teachings, and live a Jewish life.
Rediscovering the Beauty of Sabbath Rest
Our bodies and souls were created to rest—regularly—and when they do, we experience heightened productivity, improved health, and more meaningful relationships.
In these pages you’ll find wonderful stories of the senator’s spiritual journey, as well as special Sabbath experiences with political colleagues such as Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, John McCain, Colin Powell, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and others. Senator Joe Lieberman shows how his observance of the Sabbath has not only enriched his personal and spiritual life but enhanced his career and enabled him to serve his country to his greatest capacity.
Written in a compelling, accessible style, this book answers the most common questions about Jewish people and culture, drawn from the steady stream of queries Michael L. Brown's ministry receives every month.
As a Messianic believer, Brown provides clear answers to questions like "Are there Jewish denominations?" and "Do the Jewish people expect a literal Messiah?" The book also addresses Christians' questions about their own relationship to the Old Testament law, such as "Should Christians observe the Sabbath on Saturday?" and "Are Gentile Christians spiritual Jews?"
With the stated purpose of restoring ethics to its central role in Judaism, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin offers hundreds of examples from the Torah, the Talmud, rabbinic commentaries, and contemporary stories to illustrate how ethical teachings can affect our daily behavior. The subjects dealt with are ones we all encounter. They include judging other people fairly; knowing when forgiveness is obligatory, optional, or forbidden; balancing humility and self-esteem; avoiding speech that shames others; restraining our impulses of envy, hatred, and revenge; valuing truth but knowing when lying is permitted; understanding why God is the ultimate basis of morality; and appreciating the great benefits of Torah study. Telushkin has arranged the book in the traditional style of Jewish codes, with topical chapters and numbered paragraphs. Statements of law are almost invariably followed by anecdotes illustrating how these principles have been, or can be, practiced in daily life. The book can be read straight through to provide a solid grounding in Jewish values, consulted as a reference when facing ethical dilemmas, or studied in a group.
Vast in scope, this volume distills more than three thousand years of Jewish laws and suggestions on how to improve one’s character and become more honest, decent, and just. It is a landmark work of scholarship that is sure to influence the lives of Jews for generations to come, rich with questions to ponder and discuss, but primarily a book to live by.
From the Hardcover edition.
By learning to understand the Sefirot--the ten spiritual properties that flow from the cosmic source into our heart--we can connect to the universe and profoundly transform our experience of daily life. For example, Hessed, or "loving-kindness," represents the desire to be generous, while Gevurah is the desire to focus intently or withhold. These properties must be balanced in order for harmony and well-being to occur. Rabbi Laibl Wolf shows how to maintain that balance and enjoy a healthy and productive life by using simple meditation and creative visualization techniques to grasp the spiritual nature of our life.
Practical Kabbalah draws upon ancient wisdom but offers a modern interpretation and easy-to-understand techniques for delving deeper into our selves and our world and for reaping the bounteous gifts that were always meant for us.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Saying "I do" is one of the happiest moments in a couple's life together--but planning that trip to the altar can be a stressful ordeal. The minute an engagement is announced two full clans want to celebrate the union their way! When one of those families is Jewish (50 percent of whom now marry outside their faith) and the other is Christian, the religious details can increase the pressure on the bride- and groom-to-be. Celebrating Interfaith Marriages provides all of the expert advice on how to combine elements of the two faiths so everyone can rejoice with the bride and groom on their wedding day.
Devon Lerner draws from her twenty years of officiating interfaith weddings as she discusses the significance of vows and traditions unique to both faiths and suggests how to incorporate them into a service that is balanced and beautiful. She provides Christian and Jewish services readers can mix and match, as well as custom-bled ceremonies contributed by couples who have worked with her over the years. There's a chapter on how to avoid crashes on issues like location, when the ceremony takes place, and whether the bride and groom should see each other before meeting at the altar. A full section of readings, both biblical and secular, are here too, as well as anecdotes that will reassure and amuse. No interfaith couple will want to be without this essential handbook when they plan their special day.
In this insightful and completely updated tome, esteemed rabbi and bestselling author Joseph Telushkin helps answer the question of what it means to be a Jew, in the largest sense. Widely recognized as one of the most respected and indispensable reference books on Jewish life, culture, tradition, and religion, Jewish Literacy covers every essential aspect of the Jewish people and Judaism. In 352 short and engaging chapters, Rabbi Telushkin discusses everything from the Jewish Bible and Talmud to Jewish notions of ethics to antisemitism and the Holocaust; from the history of Jews around the world to Zionism and the politics of a Jewish state; from the significance of religious traditions and holidays to how they are practiced in daily life. Whether you want to know more about Judaism in general or have specific questions you'd like answered, Jewish Literacy is sure to contain the information you need.
Rabbi Telushkin's expert knowledge of Judaism makes the updated and revised edition of Jewish Literacy an invaluable reference. A comprehensive yet thoroughly accessible resource for anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of Judaism, Jewish Literacy is a must for every Jewish home.
What do the great Jewish writings of the last 3,500 years tell us about these and all other vital questions about our lives? Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has devoted his life to the search for answers within the teachings of Judaism. In Jewish Wisdom, Rabbi Telushkin, the author of the highly acclaimed Jewish Literacy, weaves together a tapestry of stories from the Bible and Talmud, and the insights of Jewish commentators and writers from Maimonides, Rashi, and Hillel to Einstein, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Elie Wiesel. A richer source of crucial life lessons would be hard to imagine.
Accompanying this extraordinary compilation is Teluslikins compelling commentary, which reveals how these texts continue to instruct and challenge Jewsand all people concerned with leading ethical livestoday As he discusses these texts, Rabbi Telushkin addresses issues of fundamental interest to modern readers: how to live with honesty and integrity in an often dishonest world; how to care for the sick and dying; how to teach children to respect both themselves
and others, how to understand and confront such great tragedies as antisemitism. and the Holocaust; what God wants from humankind. Within Jewish Wisdom's ninety chapters the reader will find extended sections illuminating Jewish perspectives on sex, romance, and marriage, what kind of belief in God a Jew can have after the Holocaust, how to use language ethically, the conflicting views of the Bible and Talmud on the death penalty, and much, much more.
Jewish Wisdom adds a new dimension to the many widely read contemporary books that retell the stones and reveal the essence of classic religious and secular literature. Possibly the most far-ranging volume of stories and quotations from Jewish texts, Jewish Wisdom will itself become a classic, a book that not only has the capacity to transform how you view the world, but one that well might change how you choose to live your life.
–Professor Ari L. Goldman, Columbia University, and author of The Search for God at Harvard
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the best-known commandment in the Bible. Yet we rarely hear anyone talk about how to apply these words in daily life. In this landmark work, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, one of the premier scholars and thinkers of our time, gives both Jews and non-Jews an extraordinary summation of what Jewish tradition teaches about putting these words into practice.
Writing with great clarity and simplicity as well as with deep wisdom, Telushkin covers topics such as love and kindness, hospitality, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, charity, relations between Jews and non-Jews, compassion for animals, tolerance, self-defense, and end-of-life issues. This second volume of the first major code of Jewish ethics written in the English language is breathtaking in its scope and will undoubtedly influence readers for generations to come. It offers hundreds of practical examples from the Torah, the Talmud, the Midrash, and both ancient and modern rabbinic commentaries–as well as contemporary anecdotes–all teaching us how to care for one another each and every day.
A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 2: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself is a consummate work of scholarship. Like its acclaimed predecessor, which received the National Jewish Book Award, it is rich with ideas to contemplate and discuss, while being primarily a book to live by. Nothing could be more important in these strife-torn times than learning how to love our neighbors as ourselves. The message of this book is as vital and timely now as it has been since time immemorial.
From the Hardcover edition.
The New Rabbi
The center of this compelling chronicle is Har Zion Temple on Philadelphia’s Main Line, which for the last seventy-five years has been one of the largest and most influential congregations in America. For thirty years Rabbi Gerald Wolpe has been its spiritual leader, a brilliant sermonizer of wide renown--but now he has announced his retirement. It is the start of a remarkable nationwide search process largely unknown to the lay world--and of much more. For at this dramatic moment Wolpe agrees to give extraordinary access to Fried, inviting him--and the reader--into the intense personal and professional life of the clergy and the complex behind-the-scenes life of a major Conservative congregation.
These riveting pages bring us a unique view of Judaism in practice: from Har Zion’s strong-willed leaders and influential families to the young bar and bat mitzvahs just beginning their Jewish lives; from the three-days-a-year synagogue goers to the hard core of devout attendees. We are touched by their times of joy and times of grief, intrigued by congregational politics, moved by the search for faith. We witness the conflicts between generations about issues of belief, observance, and the pressures of secular life. We meet Wolpe’s vigorous-minded ailing wife and his sons, one of whom has become a celebrity rabbi in Los Angeles. And we follow the author’s own moving search for meaning as he reconnects with the religion of his youth.
We also have a front-row seat at the usually clandestine process of choosing a new rabbi, as what was expected to be a simple one-year search for Rabbi Wolpe’s successor extends to two years and then three. Dozens of résumés are rejected, a parade of prospects come to interview, the chosen successor changes his mind at the last minute, and a confrontation erupts between the synagogue and the New York–based Conservative rabbis’ “union” that governs the process. As the time comes for Wolpe to depart, a venerated house of worship is being torn apart. And thrust onto the pulpit is Wolpe’s young assistant, Rabbi Jacob Herber, in his first job out of rabbinical school, facing the nearly impossible situation of taking over despite being technically ineligible for the position--and finding himself on trial with the congregation and at odds with his mentor.
Rich in anecdote and scenes of wonderful immediacy, this is a riveting book about the search for personal faith, about the tension between secular concerns and ancient tradition in affluent America, and about what Wolpe himself has called “the retail business of religion.” Stephen Fried brings all these elements to vivid life with the passion and energy of a superbly gifted storyteller.
In an original and engaging format, the authors provide contemporary applications of the principles embedded within the ancient texts, presenting over 90 concise, self-contained proverbs from the Babylonian Talmud with a new "user-friendly" translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic text.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the trenches of a typical day, every parent encounters a child afflicted with ingratitude and entitlement. In a world where material abundance abounds, parents want so badly to raise self-disciplined, appreciative, and resourceful children who are not spoiled by the plentitude around them. But how to accomplish this feat? The answer has eluded the best-intentioned mothers and fathers who overprotect, overindulge, and overschedule their children's lives.
Dr. Mogel helps parents learn how to turn their children's worst traits into their greatest attributes. Starting with stories of everyday parenting problems and examining them through the lens of the Torah, the Talmud, and important Jewish teachings, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee shows parents how to teach children to honor their parents and to respect others, escape the danger of overvaluing children's need for self-expression so that their kids don't become "little attorneys," accept that their children are both ordinary and unique, and treasure the power and holiness of the present moment.
It is Mogel's singular achievement that she makes these teachings relevant for any era and any household of any faith. A unique parenting book, designed for use both in the home and in parenting classes, with an on-line teaching guide to help facilitate its use, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee is both inspiring and effective in the day-to-day challenge of raising self-reliant children.
The most relevant citations of Scripture, rabbinic sources, and the works of Philo and Josephus are supplied to complement Edersheim's masterful assessment of the writings of Jesus' day. This makes bland references come alive, in many cases shedding invaluable light on difficult passages or capturing the deep devotion. Edersheim brings to the task of understanding the world of Jesus and his disciples.
The scenes portrayed by Edersheim's hand come alive in the more than 50 carefully selected illustrations, maps, photos, and drawings. Enhanced both aesthetically and practically, this edition of "Sketches of Jewish Social Life" has no rival.
Edersheim's notes remain indispensable for unlocking the mysteries of the ancient world. Always sensitive to the priority of God's Word, Edersheim takes the reader back to the Bible time and again to show the authority behind his writing. Readers know they will receive reliable primary and secondary resources in these helpful notes.
There used to be only two approaches to the bar or bat mitzvah party -- a low-key event that reflects the solemnity of this sacred rite of passage or a big bash that has no connection to the religious service. For many, it was an impossible dilemma. Will a big bash trivialize and overshadow the bar or bat mitzvah experience? Will too much spirituality suck the life out of an otherwise fabulous party?
MitzvahChic is the first book that proves that if you want a truly amazing experience, you can and must have it all! Blending meaningful Jewish elements with high-style contemporary party planning, this inspiring and useful guide will show you how to have the ultimate bar or bat mitzvah -- a profoundly moving service followed by an unforgettable party. The MitzvahChic approach also shows how to honor your child in a big way, rather than reducing him or her to an overused pop culture theme or a single cliché: He's into baseball! She loves horses!
This must-have guide gives advice on the major decisions, the basics of the service, and the party details that really matter. It also features:
A complete guide to the Torah, including dates and summaries of the portions and supplementary materials
Eight complete, themed parties, including party favors, decorations, and photographs of sample tables
A time line to help plan the bar or bat mitzvah up to two years ahead
Instructions for being MitzvahChic on a budget
Advice on how to include non-Jewish friends and family members in the ceremony
A practical guide to all things mitzvah from the Torah to the tablecloth, MitzvahChic will help create a beautiful, powerful, resonant, and unforgettable rite of passage.
This complete, easy-to-use guide explains everything you need to know to plan your own Jewish wedding in today’s ever-changing world where the very definition of what constitutes a Jewish wedding is up for discussion.
With enthusiasm and flair, Anita Diamant provides choices for every stage of a wedding—including celebrations before and after the ceremony itself—providing both traditional and contemporary options. She explains the Jewish tradition of love and marriage with references drawn from Biblical, Talmudic, and mystical texts and stories. She guides you step by step through planning the ceremony and the party that follows—from finding a rabbi and wording the invitation to organizing a processional and hiring a caterer. Samples of wedding invitations and ketubot (marriage contracts) are provided for inspiration and guidance, as well as poems that can be incorporated into the wedding ceremony or party and a variety of translations of traditional texts.
“There is no such thing as a generic Jewish wedding,” writes Anita Diamant, “no matter what the rabbi tells you, no matter what the caterer tells you, no matter what your mother tells you.” Complete, authoritative, and indispensable, The Jewish Wedding Now provides personalized options—some new, some old—to create a wedding that combines spiritual meaning and joyous celebration and reflects your individual values and beliefs.
We wanted the children to feel and understand that the holidays were important for them and each holiday had meaning and value for them and should be celebrated by them for its own sake, not just because they wanted to please their parents and grandparents.
Over time we wrote up these discussions and added information for each holiday for our family use. At the urging of many family members and friends who have since seen and liked this material, we would now like to share it and make it available, with this book, for others to use.
In the book, emphasis is placed on purpose, meaning, value, joy and inspiration for each holiday and our daily lives.
We feel confident that the reader will find this material as valuable and useful as we have for helping to celebrate and getting the most out of the Jewish Holidays.
In Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, leading experts introduce the history of this scholarship as well as the most recent insights and debates that currently animate the field in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. From mystical outpourings in ancient Palestine to the Kabbalah Centre, and from attitudes towards gender to mystical contributions to Jewish messianic movements, this volume explores the various expressions of Jewish mysticism from antiquity to the present day in an engaging style appropriate for students and non-specialists alike.
A history of the Jewish people from bris to burial, from “muscle Jews” to nose jobs.
Melvin Konner, a renowned doctor and anthropologist, takes the measure of the “Jewish body,” considering sex, circumcision, menstruation, and even those most elusive and controversial of microscopic markers–Jewish genes. But this is not only a book that examines the human body through the prism of Jewish culture. Konner looks as well at the views of Jewish physiology held by non-Jews, and the way those views seeped into Jewish thought. He describes in detail the origins of the first nose job, and he writes about the Nazi ideology that categorized Jews as a public health menace on par with rats or germs.
A work of grand historical and philosophical sweep, The Jewish Body discusses the subtle relationship between the Jewish conception of the physical body and the Jewish conception of a bodiless God. It is a book about the relationship between a land–Israel–and the bodily sense not merely of individuals but of a people. As Konner describes, a renewed focus on the value of physical strength helped generate the creation of a Jewish homeland, and continued in the wake of it.
With deep insight and great originality, Konner gives us nothing less than an anatomical history of the Jewish people.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As any modern Jewish parent knows, balancing family traditions and the realities of contemporary culture can be incredibly challenging.
Answering questions both old and new, Jewish and secular, internationally syndicated parenting columnist and award-winning Jewish educator and mother of four, Sharon Duke Estroff illuminates the ways that Jewish tradition can be used to form a lasting, emotional safety net for modern families. Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah? is an instant classic.
--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.
From the Hardcover edition.
Growing up in a tight-knit Christian family, Alison Pick went to church regularly. But as a teenager, she discovered a remarkable family secret: her paternal grandparents fled from the Czech Republic at the start of WWII because they were Jewish. Tragically, other family members who hesitated to emigrate were sent to Auschwitz.
Haunted by the Holocaust, Alison's grandparents established themselves in their new lives as Christians. Not even Alison's father knew of his parents' past until he visited the Jewish cemetery in Prague as an adult. This atmosphere of shame and secrecy haunted Alison's journey into adulthood.
Drowning in a sense of emptiness, she eventually came to realize that her true path forward lay in reclaiming her history and identity as a Jew, and she began attending conversion classes. But the process was far from easy as old wounds were opened, and all of her relationships were tested.
Recalling the agony of growing up an obsessive-compulsive religious fanatic, Traig fearlessly confesses the most peculiar behavior like tirelessly scrubbing her hands for a full half hour before dinner, feeding her stuffed animals before herself, and washing everything she owned because she thought it was contaminated by pork fumes. Jennifer's childhood mania was the result of her then undiagnosed OCD joining forces with her Hebrew studies-what psychiatrists call scrupulosity.
While preparing for her bat mitzvah, she was introduced to an entire set of arcane laws and quickly made it her mission to follow them perfectly. Her parents nipped her religious obsession in the bud early on, but as her teen years went by, her natural tendency toward the extreme led her down different paths of adolescent agony and mortification.
Years later, Jennifer remembers these scenes with candor and humor. In the bestselling tradition of Running with Scissors and A Girl Named Zippy, Jennifer Traig tells an unforgettable story of youthful obsession.
For the formerly nonobservant Jew who has decided to live an observant life, the most daunting task can be dealing with less-observant loved ones. How can you explain to them what you now feel and believe? How can you continue to be part of the lives of your parents, your siblings and their families, and your in-laws, given how differently you now live your life? In this book, Azriela Jaffe—the observant daughter of less-observant parents—answers these and other pressing questions.
Jaffe discusses how to eat kosher and observe the Sabbath and Jewish holidays in the home of a non-observant relative, and how to host nonobservant relatives in your own home; how to explain the laws of modesty and courtship practices; how to attend family life-cycle events—or explain why you sometimes can’t; and how to help your relatives understand the decision to put secular education temporarily aside to attend yeshivah and further your knowledge of Jewish law, rituals, and customs.
Eminently insightful, helpful, and readable, What Do You Mean, You Can’t Eat in My Home? will be an invaluable tool in the lives of an ever-increasing number of Jewish families.
From the Hardcover edition.
What are our duties to others, to society, and to humanity? How do we live a meaningful life in an age of global uncertainty and instability? In To Heal a Fractured World, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers answers to these questions by looking at the ethics of responsibility. In his signature plainspoken, accessible style, Rabbi Sacks shares with us traditional interpretations of the Bible, Jewish law, and theology, as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures, to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior. “We are here to make a difference,” he writes, “a day at a time, an act at a time, for as long as it takes to make the world a place of justice and compassion.” He argues that in today’s religious and political climate, it is more important than ever to return to the essential understanding that “it is by our deeds that we express our faith and make it real in the lives of others and the world.”
To Heal a Fractured World—inspirational and instructive, timely and timeless—will resonate with people of all faiths.
From the Hardcover edition.
This book explores the extraordinary hold that Hebrew has had on Jews and Christians, who have invested it with a symbolic power far beyond that of any other language in history. Preserved by the Jews across two millennia, Hebrew endured long after it ceased to be a mother tongue, resulting in one of the most intense textual cultures ever known. It was a bridge to Greek and Arab science. It unlocked the biblical sources for Jerome and the Reformation. Kabbalists and humanists sought philosophical truth in it, and Colonial Americans used it to shape their own Israelite political identity. Today, it is the first language of millions of Israelis.
The Story of Hebrew takes readers from the opening verses of Genesis—which seemingly describe the creation of Hebrew itself—to the reincarnation of Hebrew as the everyday language of the Jewish state. Lewis Glinert explains the uses and meanings of Hebrew in ancient Israel and its role as a medium for wisdom and prayer. He describes the early rabbis' preservation of Hebrew following the Babylonian exile, the challenges posed by Arabic, and the prolific use of Hebrew in Diaspora art, spirituality, and science. Glinert looks at the conflicted relationship Christians had with Hebrew from the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation, the language's fatal rivalry with Yiddish, the dreamers and schemers that made modern Hebrew a reality, and how a lost pre-Holocaust textual ethos is being renewed today by Orthodox Jews.
A major work of scholarship, The Story of Hebrew is an unforgettable account of what one language has meant to those possessing it.
A Haggadah long enough to cover everything, yet short enough to conquer boredom.
A Haggadah that's easy to follow, even for those who have never led or attended a Seder before.
A Haggadah that encourages everyone to participate, without any confusion as to who says what.
A Haggadah that celebrates freedom.
A Haggadah that highlights traditional Jewish values alongside modern American ideals.
A Haggadah that explains everything!
Updated: Now with Hebrew characters and right-to-left printing!
Please note: this e-book version is for those participants who prefer to read on their Android smartphones or tablets. Paperback copies and other digital formats are also available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.
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.
This translation, published originally in 1936 by JPS, is a landmark in Jewish publishing. It made this Hebrew text finally available to English readers, and it gave us insights into the groundbreaking work that Kaplan did in orienting American Jews to the deep connection between ethical living and religious belief. It is no wonder that this book has become the centerpiece of the modern-day Mussar Movement, which inspires so many on their spiritual path.
Rabbi Ira Stone, consummate teacher and stirring speaker, is a major force in the resurgence of the Mussar Movement. In his introduction, he presents Luzzatto and Mesillat Yesharim in their historical context, and gives us new insights into Kaplan's emerging theology. Stone also explains the principles of reading that he uses in his commentary and teaching to make this medieval text so inspiring to readers today.
This volume contains the original Kaplan translation, as well as those sections of the text that Kaplan omitted, along with Stone's new commentary. The original Hebrew text is in the back of the book.
The Jewish Mother knows what she wants-and what you should want too. Here, readers will learn how to make her methods their own, and give and get love and happiness in great amounts. Jill Zarin, the breakout star of Bravo's hit series The Real Housewives of New York, teams up with her sister, Lisa Wexler, award-winning host of the daily radio program The Lisa Wexler Show, and her mother, the estimable Gloria Kamen, who made a splash on Jill's series last year. With real-life stories from the mother/daughter trio illustrating their wise and witty tips on dating, marriage, money, and more, Secrets of a Jewish Mother is all the advice readers didn't know they needed but will never forget.
In the tradition of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, New York Times bestselling author Sara Davidson met every Friday with 89-year-old Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the iconic founder of the Jewish Renewal movment, to discuss what he calls The December Project. "When you can feel in your cells that you're coming to the end of your tour of duty," he said, "what is the spiritual work of this time, and how do we prepare for the mystery?"
Davidson, who has a seeker's heart and a skeptic's mind, jumped at the chance to spend time with him. She'd long feared that death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that "something continues." He said he didn't want to convince her of anything. "What I want is to loosen your mind." Through their talks, he wanted to help people "not freak out about dying," and enable them to have a more heightened and grateful life.
For two years, they met every week, and this is Davidson's memoir of what they learned and how they changed. Interspersed with their talks are sketches from Reb Zalman's extraordinary life. He barely escaped the Nazis, became an Orthodox rabbi in the US, was married four times and had eleven children, one from a sperm donation to a lesbian rabbi, and formed friendships with leaders of other faiths, such as Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama. Breaking with the Orthodox, he founded the Jewish Renewal Movement to encourage people to have a direct experience of God.
During their time together, Davidson was nearly killed by a suicide bomb, and Reb Zalman struggled with a steep decline in health. Together they created strategies to deal with pain and memory loss, and found tools to cultivate simplicity, fearlessness, and joy—at any age. Davidson includes twelve exercises so that readers may experience what she did—a sea change in facing what we all must face: mortality.
Let's begin by drinking the blood of a virgin lamb off the tip of a flaming golden scimitar. In the event that you've de-virginized your lamb or misplaced your scimitar, use wine.
Now, we toast the Israelites for rolling out of Egypt in time and generally being clever. Here are a few things they've invented since 1901: Jeans, lipstick, Hollywood, the fax machine, psychoanalysis, and the weekend. Thanks for getting us out of Egypt before shit got too real. Drink the second cup of wine while leaning to the left.
“…light up your seder.”
"A cool, creative affront to Jewish grandmothers."
“Redefine Bitter Herbs…slightly insane.”
"It’s the Passover you never knew you always wanted...While there are many (many!) different Haggadah versions out there, this one is hands down our favorite (sorry Maxwell house). Genuinely funny, which puts it head and shoulders above 99.9% of the treacly crap people foist on unsuspecting seder guests to try to fool them into thinking they’re actually enjoying themselves.”
Read each year at the Seder table, the Haggadah recounts the miraculous tale of the liberation of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, with a celebration of prayer, ritual, and song. Wiesel and Podwal guide you through the Haggadah and share their understanding and faith in a special illustrated edition that will be treasured for years to come. Accompanying the traditional Haggadah text (which appears here in an accessible new translation) are Elie Wiesel's poetic interpretations, reminiscences, and instructive retellings of ancient legends. The Nobel laureate interweaves past and present as the symbolism of the Seder is explored. Wiesel's commentaries may be read aloud in their entirety or selected passages may be read each year to illuminate the timeless message of this beloved book of redemption.