Symbols of Judaism

Symbols of Judaism

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by Marc-Alain Ouaknin
     
 

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This book introduces the reader to the fundamental aspects of Judaism by exploring the ritual and cultural symbols of the religion. Rabbi Marc-Alan Ouaknin offers insightful commentary, and basic questions are answered clearly and concisely. Why is the yarmulke worn? What is the significance of the tallith? Why is the mezuzah, a rolled up parchment, affixed to the

Overview

This book introduces the reader to the fundamental aspects of Judaism by exploring the ritual and cultural symbols of the religion. Rabbi Marc-Alan Ouaknin offers insightful commentary, and basic questions are answered clearly and concisely. Why is the yarmulke worn? What is the significance of the tallith? Why is the mezuzah, a rolled up parchment, affixed to the right side of the front door in Jewish homes? Why are the scrolls of the Law written by hand? Each chapter of the book details the various religious holidays and feasts according to the Jewish calendar, starting with the New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a gorgeous book that has already been a bestseller in France, Rabbi Ouaknin provides thoughtful and accessible commentary on aspects of the practice of the Jewish faith ranging from the customs and rituals of Yom Kippur to the history and meanings of Jewish sacred texts and sacred objects. In a series of 30 reflections, each accompanied by a lavish full-page photograph of the symbol under consideration, Ouaknin reveals the religious use of everyday sacred objects like the tallith, or prayer shawl, and the tefillin, in which are contained "tiny parchments inscribed with texts from the Torah." Other commentaries in the book focus on sacred space (the synagogue) and sacred time (the Sabbath). Finally, Ouaknin's relfections on the interrelationship of Judaism and society are found in commentaries on Jewish religious and social customs like the mikvah, or ritual bath, and the brit milah, or circumcision. This beautiful book will appeal to both Jews and non-Jews. (Oct.)
Booknews
Full-page color photos and explanatory text describe the history, use, and meaning of 30 Jewish symbols. Rabbi Ouaknin conveys the philosophical and religious inspiration for various activities and beliefs in a feeling way, one that commands interest and respect. Included are artifacts such as the Holy Ark and Sabbath candlesticks, holy sites including synagogues and the tombs at the Mount of Olives, holidays such as Yom Kippur and Pesach, customs such as the Bar Mitzvah and the Mikveh, and clothing customs such as hats and beards. No index or references. Translated from the French. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. 9.25x12<"> Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760742358
Publisher:
Sterling Publishing
Publication date:
06/05/2003
Pages:
128

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has helped make our study of the Old Testament come alive. The author's insight into the traditions, festivals and symbols of Judaism make them relevant to the contemporary Christian and Jew alike. Concise and colorful, with wonderful photographs and illustrations, I recommend this book as a gift to your pastor, Sunday school teacher or your Jewish friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son go this book as part of a Bar Mitzvah gift. This book touches on every aspect of Jewish living. Great for 'Jews by Choice' or those who are rediscovering their judaism all over again.