The Jewish Life Cycle: Rites of Passage from Biblical to Modern Times (Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies Series) / Edition 1

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Overview

"In this review of Jewish culture and history, Ivan Marcus examines how and why various rites and customs celebrating stages in the life cycle have evolved through the ages and persisted to this day. For each phase of life - from childhood and adolescence to adulthood and the advanced years - the book traces the origin and development of specific rites associated with the events of birth, circumcision, and schooling; bar and bat mitzvah and confirmation; engagement, betrothal, and marriage; and aging, dying, and remembering. Customs in Jewish tradition are discussed, such as the presence of godparents at a circumcision, the use of a four-poled canopy at a wedding, and the placing of small stones on tombstones. Detailed descriptions walk the reader through such ceremonies as early modern and contemporary circumcision, weddings, and funerals." Marcus's survey is the first comprehensive study of the rites of the Jewish life cycle since Hayyim Schauss's The Lifetime of the Jew was published in 1950, written for Jewish readers. Marcus's book addresses a broader audience and is designed to appeal to scholars and interested readers.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Birth, "bris," schooling 30
2 Bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, confirmation 82
3 Engagement, betrothal, marriage 124
4 Aging, dying, remembering 193
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