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Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today's Families
     

Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today's Families

3.8 8
by Anita Diamant, Howard Cooper
 

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Jewish tradition is a gift and a challenge. Living a Jewish Life is your guide to the cultural and spiritual treasures of Judaism, explained in ways that address the choices posed by modern life. From hanging a mezuzah to celebrating a wedding, from lighting Sabbath candles to choosing a synagogue that's right for you and your family, you will find "why-to's

Overview

Jewish tradition is a gift and a challenge. Living a Jewish Life is your guide to the cultural and spiritual treasures of Judaism, explained in ways that address the choices posed by modern life. From hanging a mezuzah to celebrating a wedding, from lighting Sabbath candles to choosing a synagogue that's right for you and your family, you will find "why-to's" and "how-to's" in these pages, which are tuned to both the realities of the modern world and the timeless, grounding rhythms of Jewish tradition.

Spanning the spectrum of liberal Jewish thought — Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform, unaffiliated, new age and secular — this book provides a sensitive and practical introduction to making Judaism a meaningful part of your life.

Filled with anecdotes, lore, memorable quotations, history, prayers and ceremonies, Living a Jewish Life celebrates the diversity, joy and fulfillment of Jewish life today. This book is filled with your Jewish choices.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062734433
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.93(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Home

The Jewish home has been called a mikdash ma'at, a little sanctuary. It is an evocative image. From the moment you walk through the doorway of a sanctuary, you know you are entering a place that defies the idea that space is always neutral.

A sanctuary looks different from other places. It is defined and ornamented by ritual objects, books, and art. A sanctuary feels different from the workplace and the marketplace. In a sanctuary, the mundane criteria for success and failure fall away. What matters is not what you do but who you are.

A sanctuary is a place of safety and asylum. It is where the dispossessed go for shelter, where the hungry go for food, where the weary find rest. Sanctuaries are filled with voices, sometimes singing in unison, sometimes raised in disagreement. And sometimes, a sanctuary is as still as a garden.

Today, when many American families feature two wage-earners and a constant juggling of roles, needs, and schedules, making a home into a sanctuary seems more difficult than ever — and more important. The tools for making a home into a mikdash ma'at are the mitzvot described in the following pages.

"A Little Sanctuary" elaborates the Jewish vision of the peaceful home as a place of hospitality and beauty. "Shabbat — The Sabbath" is an introduction both to Judaism's core insight and to creating a personal and family day of rest. "Good Deeds" explains the Jewish view of charity and social justice, and how they can be incorporated into daily life. "The People of the Library"is divided into two sections: the first defines and explains some of the major Jewish texts, such as the Bible, Torah, Talmud, and Midrash; the second contains suggestions for building a home library. "What Jews Eat" explains the Jewish dietary laws and their contemporary relevance and practice. Finally, "Travelling Jewish" discusses the portability of the insights and practices of the Jewish home.

No sanctuary is perpetually filled with all the beauty or meaning it might contain. No home is ever fully or finally a sanctuary. But the ongoing process of making Jewish choices is what makes a home into a mikdash ma'at, a little sanctuary, an island of peace, a safe harbor, a beautiful Jewish place.



Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, when people live together as one.

Psalm 133                 


Living a Jewish Life: Customs and Values for Today's Families. Copyright © by Anita Diamant. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Anita Diamant is a prize-winning journalist whose previous books include The New Jewish Wedding and The New Jewish Baby Book.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
June 27, 1951
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
M.A. in English, SUNY, Binghamton, NY, 1975; B.A. in Comparative Literature, Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO, 1973.
Website:
http://www.anitadiamant.com

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Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs, and Values for Today's Families 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Bernadyn More than 1 year ago
This book is a great but certainly for 'heavy hitters'. Although the author conveys principles fluidly, she details instructional practices with a dry delivery. For someone interested in a serious study for initially returning to traditional Jewish observance, I would recommend this book. For readers that are interested in more of an overview, and a light read, this is not a great selection.
bookchewingbunny More than 1 year ago
Great read good insight and information
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recomend
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