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Here, in one compact volume, is an illuminating survey of Jewish folkways on five continents. Filled with fascinating facts and keen insights, The Jewish Cultural Tapestry is a richly woven fabric that vividly captures the diversity of Jewish life.
All traditional Jews are bound together by the common thread of the Torah and the Talmud, notes author Steven Lowenstein, but this thread takes on a different coloration in different parts of the world as Jewish tradition and local non-Jewish customs intertwine. Lowenstein describes these widely varying regional Jewish cultures with needlepoint accuracy, highlighting the often surprising similarities between Jewish and non-Jewish local traditions, and revealing why Jewish customs vary as much as they do from region to region.
From Europe to India, Israel to America, The Jewish Cultural Tapestry offers an engaging overview of the customs and folkways of a people united by tradition, yet scattered to the far corners of the earth.
|Folk Traditions: What Are They and Why Do They Vary Geographically?||1|
|Regional Cultures: From Jerusalem to Spain, Poland, and Morocco: The Influence of Jewish Migrations||11|
|Jewish Languages: Similarities and Differences||49|
|Names: What They Mean and How They Developed||69|
|Religious Practice: How the Written Tradition Unites and the Oral Tradition Divides||85|
|Cuisine: Gefilte Fish and Cholent Meet Malawach and Couscous||119|
|Costume: Not Just a Long Black Coat||149|
|Music: The Religious and the Secular||175|
|Appearance and Ancestry: "Funny, You Don't Look Jewish"||197|
|Modernity and the Tradition: What Has Modernity Done to Jewish Folk Cultures?||229|
|Suggestions for Further Reading||247|