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Rabbi Joseph Telushkin combed the Bible, the Talmud, and the whole spectrum of Judaism's sacred writings to give us a manual on how to lead a decent, kind, and honest life in a morally complicated world.

"An absolutely superb book: the most practical, most comprehensive guide to Jewish values I know." —Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Telushkin speaks to the major ethical issues of our time, issues that have, of course, been around since the beginning. He offers one or two pages a day of pithy, wise, and easily accessible teachings designed to be put into immediate practice. The range of the book is as broad as life itself:

• The first trait to seek in a spouse (Day 17)
• When, if ever, lying is permitted (Days 71-73)
• Why acting cheerfully is a requirement, not a choice (Day 39)
• What children don't owe their parents (Day 128)
• Whether Jews should donate their organs (Day 290)
• An effective but expensive technique for curbing your anger (Day 156)
• How to raise truthful children (Day 298)
• What purchases are always forbidden (Day 3)

In addition, Telushkin raises issues with ethical implications that may surprise you, such as the need to tip those whom you don't see (Day 109), the right thing to do when you hear an ambulance siren (Day 1), and why wasting time is a sin (Day 15). Whether he is telling us what Jewish tradition has to say about insider trading or about the relationship between employers and employees, he provides fresh inspiration and clear guidance for every day of our lives.
When, if ever, should lying be permitted? If you've damaged a person's reputation unfairly, can the damage be undone?Is a person who sells weapons responsible for how those weapons are used?if the fetus is not a life, what is it? How, as an adult, can one carry out the command to honor one's parents when they make unreasonable demands?What are the nine biblical challenges a good person must meet?

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.

The beloved bestseller that offers a practical, inspiring new roadmap for raising self-reliant, ethical, and compassionate children.

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.
Newly revised and updated, the definitive guide to planning a Jewish wedding, written by bestselling novelist Anita Diamant—author of The Red Tent and The Boston Girl—and one of the most respected writers of guides to contemporary Jewish life.

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.
The definitive guide to Judaism’s end-of-life rituals, revised and updated for Jews of all backgrounds and beliefs
 
From caring for the dying to honoring the dead, Anita Diamant explains the Jewish practices that make mourning a loved one an opportunity to experience the full range of emotions—grief, anger, fear, guilt, relief—and take comfort in the idea that the memory of the deceased is bound up in our lives and actions.
 
In Saying Kaddish you will find suggestions for conducting a funeral and for observing the shiva week, the shloshim month, the year of Kaddish, the annual yahrzeit, and the Yizkor service. There are also chapters on coping with particular losses—such as the death of a child and suicide—and on children as mourners, mourning non-Jewish loved ones, and the bereavement that accompanies miscarriage.
 
Diamant also offers advice on how to apply traditional views of the sacredness of life to hospice and palliative care. Reflecting the ways that ancient rituals and customs have been adapted in light of contemporary wisdom and needs, she includes updated sections on taharah (preparation of the body for burial) and on using ritual immersion in a mikveh to mark the stages of bereavement. And, celebrating a Judaism that has become inclusive and welcoming. Diamant highlights rituals, prayers, and customs that will be meaningful to Jews-by-choice, Jews of color, and LGBTQ Jews. Concluding chapters discuss Jewish perspectives on writing a will, creating healthcare directives, making final arrangements, and composing an ethical will.
The Unorthodox Haggadah is a way to enjoy the strange and wonderful world of religion, while skipping the boring parts.  Ritual is at the core of every culture, but people are no longer into dogma. This book offers the ritual with a hilarious, irreverent twist. It is genuinely funny, fun to flip through, and a riot to use at the seder. Make sure everyone around your table has a copy for the next Passover.

Sample text:

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.”
-Huffington Post

"A cool, creative affront to Jewish grandmothers."
-MediaBistro

“Redefine Bitter Herbs…slightly insane.”
-Tablet Magazine

"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.” 
-Heeb Magazine­
 
“Jewish thinkers don’t talk all that much about love. All too often we leave that to Christian theologians. But in this excellent volume, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin puts the commandment to love at the center of Jewish theology and experience. This is a book that will change the way you think about–and practice–Judaism.”
–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.
“Magic culture is certainly fascinating. But what is it? What, in fact, are magic writings, magic artifacts?” Originally published in Hebrew in 2010, Jewish Magic Before the Rise of Kabbalah is a comprehensive study of early Jewish magic focusing on three major topics: Jewish magic inventiveness, the conflict with the culture it reflects, and the scientific study of both. The first part of the book analyzes the essence of magic in general and Jewish magic in particular. The book begins with theories addressing the relationship of magic and religion in fields like comparative study of religion, sociology of religion, history, and cultural anthropology, and considers the implications of the paradigm shift in the interdisciplinary understanding of magic for the study of Jewish magic. The second part of the book focuses on Jewish magic culture in late antiquity and in the early Islamic period. This section highlights the artifacts left behind by the magic practitioners—amulets, bowls, precious stones, and human skulls—as well as manuals that include hundreds of recipes. Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah also reports on the culture that is reflected in the magic evidence from the perspective of external non-magic contemporary Jewish sources. Issues of magic and religion, magical mysticism, and magic and social power are dealt with in length in this thorough investigation. Scholars interested in early Jewish history and comparative religions will find great value in this text.
Filled with practical advice as well as history, Blu Greenberg's book is a comprehensive guide to the joys and complexities of running a modern Jewish home.

How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household is a modern, comprehensive guide covering virtually every aspect of Jewish home life. It provides practical advice on how to manage a Jewish home in the traditional way and offers fascinating accounts of the history behind the tradition. In a warm, personal style, Blu Greenberg shows that, contrary to popular belief, the home, and not the synagogue, is the most important institution in Jewish life.

Divided into three large sections—"The Jewish Way," "Special Stages of Life," and "Celebration and Remembering"—this book educates the uninitiated and reminds the already observant Jew of how Judaism approaches daily life. Topics include prayer, dress, holidays, food preparation, marriage, birth, death, parenthood, and many others.

This description of the modern-yet-traditional Jewish household will earn special regard among the many American Jews who are re-exploring their ties to Jewish tradition. Such Jews will find this book a flexible guide that provides a knowledge of the requirements of traditional Judaism without advocating immediate and complete compliance.

How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household will also appeal to observant Jews, providing them with helpful tips on how to manage their homes and special insights into the most minute details and procedures in a traditional household.

Herself a traditional Jew, Blu Greenberg is nevertheless quite sympathetic to feminist views on the role of women in Jewish observance. How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household therefore speaks intimately to women who are struggling to reconcile their identities as modern women with their commitments to traditional Judaism.
Mesillat Yesharim is a classic of Jewish ethical literature. Written by one of the leading kabbalists of the late Middle Ages, it is also a window into the kabbalist's understanding of the connection between ethics and mystical vision. Luzzatto, one of the great Hebrew stylists of his time, is acknowledged by some as the first writer of modern Hebrew; thus Mesillat Yesharim is also important for its place in Hebrew literature.
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.
From award-winning journalist Stephen Fried comes a vividly intimate portrait of American Judaism today in which faith, family, and community are explored through the dramatic life of a landmark congregation as it seeks to replace its legendary retiring rabbi--and reinvent itself for the next generation.

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 religious studies, theory and method research has long been embroiled in a polarized debate over scientific versus theological perspectives. Ronald L. Grimes shows that this debate has stagnated, due in part to a manner of theorizing too far removed from the study of actual religious practices. A worthwhile theory, according to Grimes, must be practice-oriented, and practices are most effectively studied by field research methods. The Craft of Ritual Studies melds together a systematic theory and method capable of underwriting the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary study of ritual. Grimes exposes the limitations that disable many theories of ritual--for example, defining ritual as essentially religious, assuming that ritual's only function is to generate group solidarity, or treating ritual as a mirror of the status quo. He provides a guide for fieldwork on complex ritual events, particularly those characterized by social conflict or cultural creativity. The volume includes a case study, focusing on a single complex event: the Santa Fe Fiesta, a New Mexico celebration marked by protracted ethnic conflict and ongoing dramatic creativity. Grimes develops such themes as the relation of ritual to media, theater, and film, the dynamics of ritual creativity, the negotiation of ritual criticism, and the impact of ritual on cultural and physical environments. This important book, the capstone work of Grimes's three decades of leadership in the field of ritual studies, is accompanied by a set of online videos, as well as appendices illustrating key aspects of ritual studies.
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