Scholars tend to call them "rites of passage." Most people prefer to speak of them as life-cycle events or milestones. Jews like to speak of simchas; when there is something (a birth, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or a wedding) to celebrate. These are key moments for individuals and for the families and communities of which they are a part.
This volume offers new insights into rituals as old as the Hebrew Bible and as recent as the twenty-first century, in contexts as familiar as the American Midwest and as exotic as Karaism. It examines and frequently affirms some of the rituals that have traditionally been associated with these events, while inviting readers to cast a critical eye on the ways in which these customs have developed in recent years.
The authors, who include congregational leaders as well as scholars, also affirm the need to expand or enhance existing ceremonies to include groups whose needs have not traditionally been addressed. They show how rites of passage may be viewed as both conservative and dynamic connecting us with generations past as well as with our contemporaries.
Leonard J. Greenspoon holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University, where he also is a professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and of theology. Prior to his tenure at Creighton, Greenspoon was a professor of religion at Clemson University. As well as editing the Studies in Jewish Civilization series, Greenspoon has coedited another four volumes and written four monographs. A prolific author, he has written over two hundred and fifty journal articles, book chapters, and major encyclopedia entries. He has made public and scholarly presentations throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Israel and many European countries. His major research interests center on Bible translations (especially Jewish versions) and religion in popular culture.
Table of Contents
Editor's Introduction ix
"What Makes a Bat Mitzvah Blossom": Pre-Bat Mitzvah Rituals for Daughters and Mothers Penina Adelman 1
More Bar Than Mitzvah: Anxieties over Bar Mitzvah Receptions in Postwar America Rachel Kranson 9
Becoming Orthodox Women: Rites of Passage in the Orthodox Community Leslie Ginsparg Klein 25
Talking about the Jewish Wedding Ritual: Issues of Gender, Power, and Social Control Irit Koren 33
The Making of a Rabbi: Semichah Ordination from Moses to Grosses Jonathan Gross 57
Perspectives on Evaluating New Jewish Rituals Vanessa Ochs 63
Memory, Questions and Definitions: Images of Old and New Rites of Passage Ori Z. Soltes 71
A Need for New Rituals? American Judaism and the Holocaust Oliver Leaman 127
Karaism: An Alternate Form of Jewish Celebration Daniel J. Lasker 141
Without a Minyan: Creating a Jewish Life in a Small Midwestern Town Daniel Mandell Barbara Smith-Mandell Jerrold Hirsch 155
Raising the Bar, Maximizing the Mitzvah: Jewish Rites of Passage for Children with Autism Steven Puzarne 187
The former Purdue Power Plant (HPN) with its iconic smoke stack and the attached Engineering
Administration Building (ENAD) at the very heart of campus played important roles for most of the twentieth century. To many Purdue students and alumni, the ...
A Story for AllAmericans: Vietnam, Victims, and Veterans (formerly titled, Touched by theDragon) details wartime
accounts of average servicemen and women – some heroic,some frightening, some amusing, some nearly unbelievable. The work is a historical compendium of fascinating and compelling ...
This book is a guide to the latest research using the C-SPAN Archives. In this
book, nine authors present original work using the video archives to study presidential debates, public opinion and Congress, analysis of the Violence Against Women Act ...
Rojas's Celestina (1499) is perhaps the second greatest work of Spanish literature, right after Don
Quixote , and Delicado sought to surpass it with La Lozana andaluza (1530), an important precedent of the picaresque novel. Both works were written during ...
This nonfiction picture book is a children's version of NASA astronaut Jerry L. Ross's autobiography,
Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, designed for ages 7-12. Told in friendly first-person narration, it represents how Ross ...
This book constitutes an attempt to theorize the process of the emergence, in eighteenth-century New
Spain, of a position of intellectual subjectivity differentiated from that established by the regime of Spanish imperial authority. The principal concern has been to trace ...
This volume presents papers delivered at the 24th Annual Klutznick-Harris Symposium, held at Creighton University
in October 2011. The contributors look at all aspects of the intimate relationship between Jews and clothing, through case studies from ancient, medieval, recent, and ...
In 1937 Edith had received a doctorate in psychology from the University of Vienna, and
high recommendations from her famous teachers. Her career prospects looked bright indeed. But a year later, she was a refugee from Hitler's war on Jews. ...