Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays: Passover, Shavuot, The Omer, Tisha B'Av

Overview

2009 National Jewish Book Award Winner, Jewish Family Literature

JPS’s holiday books take us through the joys, spirit, and meaning of the seasons. As we move from season to season, Paul Steinberg shares with us a rich collection of readings from many of the Jewish greats—Maimonides, Rashi, Nehama Leibowitz, Irving Greenberg, Shlomo Carlebach, Marge Piercy, Elie Wiesel, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Arthur Green, and others—and he guides us in discovering for ourselves ...

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Overview

2009 National Jewish Book Award Winner, Jewish Family Literature

JPS’s holiday books take us through the joys, spirit, and meaning of the seasons. As we move from season to season, Paul Steinberg shares with us a rich collection of readings from many of the Jewish greats—Maimonides, Rashi, Nehama Leibowitz, Irving Greenberg, Shlomo Carlebach, Marge Piercy, Elie Wiesel, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Arthur Green, and others—and he guides us in discovering for ourselves the many treasures within each text. Some of the readings teach us about the history of each holiday, as well as its theological, ethical, agricultural, and seasonal importance and interpretation; others give us inspiration and much food for thought. These stories, essays, poems, anecdotes, and rituals help us discover how deeply Jewish traditions are rooted in nature’s yearly cycle, and how beautifully season and spirit are woven together throughout the Jewish year.

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Editorial Reviews

National Jewish Post and Opinion
“This is the kind of book where a reviewer says ‘every family should own one.’ All three volumes will make excellent contributions to the celebrations of our Jewish holidays.”—Sybil Kaplan, National Jewish Post and Opinion
Midwest Book Review
“Paul Steinberg explains customs in simple terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds, including gentiles and Jews alike.”—Midwest Book Review
Off The Shelf
“Reading Celebrating the Jewish Year is a great way to prepare for the holidays; it would also make an excellent text for a classroom or discussion groups. Those interested in the Jewish holidays will want to add it to their collection.”—Off The Shelf
Hadassah Magazine
“The last installment in Paul Steinberg’s ‘Celebrating’ series is, like the others, a rich resource for understanding the Jewish holidays and laws.”—Hadassah Magazine
Jewish Book World

“Helpful and informative as well as pleasurable reading, the book’s mixture of styles ranges from popular, reasoned, conceptual, to more scholarly.”—Jewish Book World
National Jewish Post and Opinion - Sybil Kaplan
“This is the kind of book where a reviewer says ‘every family should own one.’ All three volumes will make excellent contributions to the celebrations of our Jewish holidays.”—Sybil Kaplan, National Jewish Post and Opinion
Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
Covering the Jewish holidays of Passover, the Omer, Shavuout and Tisha b'Av, this volume follows a similar layout for each holiday. Although, holiday might be the wrong description for two of these four events: the Omer and Tisha b'Av. The Omer is a 49-day period between Passover and Shavuout, while Tisha b'Av is a day of remembrance but not a holiday in terms of work restrictions. Each of the four parts, one for each holiday or event, begins with holiday-specific discussions, followed by section on pathways through the sources, interpretations of sacred texts, significance of the holiday or season, and alternative meditations. Essays in the collection from other sources appear in their original form, leading to variations in spelling and language between pieces. The book itself begins with an exploration of foundational Jewish beliefs and how the holidays influence these. Informative and knowledgeable, this book is approachable by those with little to no Jewish background, yet contains interpretations and meditations useful to learned scholars. History, mysticism, and explanations abound, as do sources for ideas and concepts used throughout the work. A lengthy glossary provides definitions of terms used throughout the volume. The table of contents is clearly labeled with article titles and, where applicable, the names of the authors. The index of names, concepts, books, organizations, and more make this a valuable reference book. This book is geared for adults, and possibly advanced young adults seeking to learn more about Judaism. It is not relevant to general or secular study classes. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780827608504
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication date: 1/12/2009
  • Series: Celebrating the Jewish Year Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,067,758
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Steinberg is a rabbi and the director of Jewish studies and Hebrew at the Levine Academy in Dallas, Texas. He holds master's degrees in both education and rabbinic studies and was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. He is the author of The Study Guide to Jewish Ethics (JPS, 2003), articles on Hebrew Bible and Jewish education, and a monthly column on the spirit of Jewish holidays and family in the Texas Jewish Post.

Janet Greenstein Potter is the editor of several JPS publications, including the National Jewish Book Award Finalist Wise and Not So Wise, Praise Her Works, Zayda Was a Cowboy, Sarah's Journey, and The Kids' Catalog of Animals and the Earth, a book about the environment and the Jewish tradition.

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