The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons

Overview

Finalist, 2006 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD in the Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice category

Throughout the ages, Jews have connected legends to particular days of the Hebrew calendar. Abraham’s birth, the death of Rachel, and the creation of light are all tales that are linked to a specific day and season. The Jewish Book of Days invites readers to experience the connection between sacred story and nature’s rhythms, through readings designed for each and every day of the ...

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Overview

Finalist, 2006 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD in the Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice category

Throughout the ages, Jews have connected legends to particular days of the Hebrew calendar. Abraham’s birth, the death of Rachel, and the creation of light are all tales that are linked to a specific day and season. The Jewish Book of Days invites readers to experience the connection between sacred story and nature’s rhythms, through readings designed for each and every day of the year. These daily readings offer an opportunity to live in tune with the wisdom of the past while learning new truths about the times we live in today. Using the tree as its central metaphor, The Jewish Book of Days is divided into eight chapters of approximately forty-five days each. These sections represent the tree's stages of growth—seed, root, shoot, sap, bud, leaf, flower, and fruit—and also echo the natural cadences of each season. Each entry has three components: a biblical quote for the day; a midrash on the biblical quote or a Jewish tradition related to that day; and commentary relating the text to the cycles of the year. The author includes an introduction that analyzes the different months and seasons of the Hebrew calendar and explains the textual sources used throughout. Appendixes provide additional material for leap years, equinoxes, and solstices. A section on seasonal meditations offers a new way to approach the divine every day.

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Editorial Reviews

Long Island Jewish Week

"A poetic, soulful, and organic view of the cycle of the Jewish year, bringing together Jewish texts and environmental themes . . . Rabbi Hammer's original juxtaposition of ideas engages, enchants, and inspires in ways that stimulate others to be thoughtful, appreciative, and creative."—Long Island Jewish Week
Melinda Ribner

"What a beautiful way to learn Torah. Jill Hammer has offered us a gift and a wonderful resource of 'midrashim' and teachings to support and guide us on our soul journey day by day."—Melinda Ribner, author of Kabbalah Month by Month
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

"The first command to the first Jew, Abraham, was "Lech l'cha"—Walk forth into your self. Jill Hammer's book gives us the markers for that walking, seeing each day of the Jewish year as one more step into the journey. Abraham—and Sarah too—would be delighted."—Rabbi Arthur Waskow, author of Seasons of Our Joy and co-author of A Time for Every Purpose under Heaven
Rabbi Gershon Winkler

"The Jewish Book of Days is rich learning for Jews, both educated and not, and highly informative and inspirational as well for those unfamiliar with the Jewish faith."—Rabbi Gershon Winkler, author of Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism
Long Island Jewish Week

"A poetic, soulful, and organic view of the cycle of the Jewish year, bringing together Jewish texts and environmental themes . . . Rabbi Hammer's original juxtaposition of ideas engages, enchants, and inspires in ways that stimulate others to be thoughtful, appreciative, and creative."—Long Island Jewish Week

Publishers Weekly
Every page reveals something new and fascinating in this innovative Jewish calendar that utilizes nature and the universe to mark each day by the holiday, person, characteristic or occurrence that best defines it. Instead of dividing the calendar by months, Hammer guides us through each of eight segments by focusing on seasonal developments and their correlation to the human spirit and experience, interweaving the values of Judaism with the importance of remaining faithful to the natural world. Each day's entry includes a biblical quote, a midrash and an observation highlighting the connection between the text and the months, seasons and cycles of the year. Nearly every Jewish theme is touched upon, providing readers with an excellent overview of Jewish history, life and lore. Hammer expounds nicely upon the day's theme by quoting ancient and medieval Torah luminaries as well as modern-day scholars, but at times, her biblical quotes merely repeat much of what she has already expressed, and the space might have been better used for quoting sources that shed new light. The calendar begins with a well-researched analysis of the myriad elements and divisions of nature, ends with a thorough explanation of solstices and equinoxes, and contains a treasure chest of Jewish gems within. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780827608313
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,162,715
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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