Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to the Jewish Holidays

Overview

Circling the Jewish calendar from Rosh Hashanah to Tisha B’Av, this lively, accessible guide provides rituals, recipes, songs, prayers, and suggestions for new approaches to holiday observance. Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow explores the meaning of each holiday in relation to the history of the Jewish people and individual spirituality, examines how the place of each holiday in the cycle of the moon and the changing seasons affects the mood of the day, and suggests ritual and spiritual ...

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Overview

Circling the Jewish calendar from Rosh Hashanah to Tisha B’Av, this lively, accessible guide provides rituals, recipes, songs, prayers, and suggestions for new approaches to holiday observance. Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow explores the meaning of each holiday in relation to the history of the Jewish people and individual spirituality, examines how the place of each holiday in the cycle of the moon and the changing seasons affects the mood of the day, and suggests ritual and spiritual ways to prepare for each festival.

In his extensive afterword to this new edition of Seasons of Our Joy, Rabbi Waskow addresses the many changes Judaism has undergone in the last thirty years, as feminist Judaism, neo-Chassidic mysticism, eco-Judaism, and Jewish meditation have newly colored our understanding of the festivals.

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Editorial Reviews

Rabbi Gordon Tucker

Seasons of Our Joy brings reverent renewal to ancient practices. And it presents new understanding and approaches that we are invited to sanctify. This book will heighten your awareness of the eternal religious power of the Jewish calendar.”—Rabbi Gordon Tucker, former dean, Jewish Theological Seminary

 

Judith Plasko

“A wonderful blend of information and innovation that will help readers find both traditional and new meaning in the Jewish holidays.”—Judith Plaskow, author of Standing Again at Sinai

 

Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

“Arthur Waskow’s fresh, imaginative vision brings the familiar Jewish holidays to life with new meaning.”—Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

 

Rabbi David Saperstein

“Arthur Waskow’s unique voice, at once eloquent, musical, creative, and passionate, rings throughout Seasons of Our Joy, weaving together strands of Jewish life: the meaning of our ceremonies and celebrations; the spirituality of the individual; the essential fragility and wonder of the world entrusted to us; the mystical chains that bind together the generations; and, permeating all of that, Waskow’s powerful Jewish vision of peace and justice.”—Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780827609303
  • Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 601,754
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author


Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow is an author and political activist associated with the Jewish Renewal movement. He is the founder and director of the Shalom Center and the author of numerous books, including Godwrestling and Down-to-Earth Judaism: Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life.
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

How to Read this Book xi

A Word on Hebrew xvi

Preface: Seasons of the Sun, Seasons of the Moon xvii

Chapter 1 Heading Up the Year-Rosh Hashanah 1

Chapter 2 Face to Face-Yom Kippur 27

Chapter 3 Harvest Moon-Fulfillment at Sukkot 47

Chapter 4 Seed for Winter-Sh'mini Atzeret 67

Chapter 5 Dancing with Torah-Simchat Torah 77

Chapter 6 Dark of the Sun, Dark of the Moon-Hanukkah 87

Chapter 7 The Tree that Sustains All Life-Tu B'Shvat 105

Chapter 8 Spring Fever-Purim 115

Chapter 9 Giving Birth to Freedom-Pesach 133

Chapter 10 Trek through Anxiety and Hope-Counting the Omer 165

Chapter 11 Peak Experience-Shavuot 185

Chapter 12 Burnt Offering-Tisha B'Av 207

Afterword and Foreword 219

From Generation to Generation 223

Appendix I The Second Day of Festivals 226

Appendix II The Moon 228

Appendix III Glossary 231

Appendix IV Go and Study 234

The Festivals and the Future 237

Afterword Again 244

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2001

    Outstanding and in depth review of the holidays

    This book was required reading for the conversion class I took. It is beautifully written, comprehensive, and full of the details of each holiday season without being overbearing. I highly recommend it to anyone Jew or Non-Jew seeking to understand the Jewish holidays and festivals better. Even though I first used it more than 10 years ago, I continue to refer to it to this day.

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