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Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life
     

Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life

by Edward Feinstein, Rabbi Edward Feinstein
 

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In Judaism we're allowed to ask questions. We are invited to ask them. But for young people, it often feels as if no one is willing to take tough questions about religion, ourselves, and the world seriously.

Tough Questions Jews Ask turns that all around. With honesty, humor, and respect, Rabbi Edward Feinstein tackles topics as diverse as:
Why

Overview

In Judaism we're allowed to ask questions. We are invited to ask them. But for young people, it often feels as if no one is willing to take tough questions about religion, ourselves, and the world seriously.

Tough Questions Jews Ask turns that all around. With honesty, humor, and respect, Rabbi Edward Feinstein tackles topics as diverse as:
Why does God let terrible things happen?
What is God anyway?
If I pray for something, will I get it?
What's the meaning of life? Is that a dumb question?
Why does religion need so many rules?
Why be Jewish?

With insight and wisdom-and without pretending to have all the answers-Rabbi Feinstein encourages young people to make sense of the Jewish tradition by wrestling with what we don't understand.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Teenagers and questions go hand in hand, except perhaps when it comes to religion. Feinstein encourages young people to verbalize their doubts about God, faith and Jewish life, stating that he believes "God loves good questions." Structured as questions posed by different students in a classroom, the 18 chapters include discussions about God; Shabbat; intermarriage; prayer; bar mitzvah; Israel; Christianity; anti-Semitism; Jewish denominations; the meaning of life; good and evil; the concept of an afterlife; and the Messiah. While the format may be a bit contrived, it effectively expresses the questions young people have. Feinstein phrases his questions and answers in terms kids can readily understand: "Is Any of That Stuff in the Bible True?" or "No Cheeseburgers? No Going to the Mall on Saturday? Why Does Religion Need So Many Rules?" The rules, he suggests, are one way of requiring a commitment, like going to the gym on a continual basis: "If I really wanted results, I needed to be serious." He equates being religious with being aware of life's amazing gifts. "The opposite of being religious," he writes, "is being bored." Feeling close to God involves doing godly actions, he stresses. Theology comes alive through Feinstein's cogent analogies and non-dogmatic, down-to-earth style. This book should appeal to students and adults of all denominations who are wrestling with the age-old challenges of faith. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"I wish I had this book when I was young. I'm grateful that the b’nei mitzvah and their parents in my congregation have it now. Rabbi Feinstein responds to the tough questions thoughtful Jewish teenagers ask with wisdom, humor, gentleness and insight. "
Rabbi Laura Geller, senior rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, California

“In this remarkable book Rabbi Feinstein asks all the tough questions, and gives them thoughtful, important and often surprising answers. I will keep it by my desk; every Jewish parent seeking answers should do the same.”
Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, California; author,
Teaching Your Children About God

“A masterpiece in Jewish education by a master educator. A gift for teenagers and adults alike. ”
Rabbi Donniel Hartman, co-director, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem

“Takes us through those 'keep-you-up-at-night’ questions—and does so with wit and depth. This is the best theology book for young people that I have read in a long time. It will be must-reading for confirmation classes and Hebrew high school. What a treasure! ”
Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin, author, Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah and For Kids—Putting God on Your Guest List: How to Claim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580231398
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
02/01/2003
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Rabbi Edward Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He is an instructor in the Ziegler Rabbinical School of American Jewish University and the Wexner Heritage Program. He is the author of Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life (Jewish Lights) and Capturing the Moon; and the editor of Jews and Judaism in the 21st Century: Human Responsibilities, the Presence of God, and the Future of the Covenant (Jewish Lights). He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor; Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

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