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A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice (The Moreshet series) Hardcover – August 1, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0873340045 ISBN-10: 0873340043 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: The Moreshet series
  • Hardcover: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Theological Seminary of Amer; 1St Edition edition (August 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873340043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873340045
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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I keep this around as a reference because it is packed full of good stuff.
Daniel
For the beginner or for someone looking for a much easier book of this nature I recommend Rabbi Kotlach's "Jewish Home Advisor".
dougrhon
Klein gives differing interpretations from major sources as well as past & present common practices--including superstitions.
Neal J. Pollock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By dougrhon on May 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, by the late Rabbi Isaac Klein, of blessed memory, is the only fairly comprehensive guide to Jewish religious practice issued by the Conservative movement. As such, it is an indispensable reference to the practicing Jew. Readers will find that their is, in fact, very little difference between the modern Orthodox Halachah and that set forth by the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly. The difference is, of course, in the theological approach.
Rabbi Klein's book,which has been updated and supplemented a number of times to reflect changes since its publication in 1979, is a good source for the torah, talmudic and traditional approaches to all areas of Jewish practice. The book includes one of the most comprehensive approaches to the Kosher laws I have ever seen. It also covers synagogue practice in great detail, differentiating between laws (halachah) and customs which have taken on the effect of laws. (minhag) I myself pick up the book for review whenever necessary, for example, reviewing the section on brit milah (the circumcision) after my son's birth. This is not a book for beginners who have no familiarity with Jewish practice. It is a good stepping stone for the beginner who would like to have more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Jewish practice. I learned more in this book than in six years of Hebrew School. For the beginner or for someone looking for a much easier book of this nature I recommend Rabbi Kotlach's "Jewish Home Advisor". For someone looking for a more comprehensive work and not ready to tackle the Shulchan Aroch, this is a wonderful resource.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
No matter what one's level of observance, every Jew should have a book of Jewish law and practice in their home. Having such a guide is essential for all Conservative and Orthodox Jews. Even though Reform Judaism teaches that halakha (Jewish law) is not binding, it also teaches that it is incumbent upon Reform Jews to make themselves very familiar with the laws, customs and traditions, in order to make an informed choice. Most Orthodox guides to Jewish law are written in Hebrew; the complete guides in English are usually multi-volume sets that would cost many hundreds of dollars to complete. Fortunately, most people have no need of such complete guides to law. Published by the Conservative movement, "A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice" is the answer for most American Jews. It is based firmly upon previous works, including the Mishneh Torah, Shulkhan Arukh, and later rulings by Conservative and Orthodox authorities. It is more than a list of do's and don'ts: Each chapter discusses the philosophy, history and the reasons why these laws and customs came to be. This guide covers daily prayer, tallit & tzitzit, tefillin, weddings, births, adoption, divorce, bar and bat miztvahs, death and mourning, the High Holy Days, the Jewish festivals and fast days, Shabbat, keeping kosher, the laws of family purity, the role of women in Judaism, abortion and other topics. A great job, and highly readable. [Note that some of the sections on keeping kosher have ultra-detailed sections, which many people might just want to skip.]
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Dressler on November 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely useful reference, which should be on every Jew's bookshelf. It is a remarkably comprehensive guide for its size, and is written in a clear and concise manner.
My one criticism is it has a relatively poor index. This book is not meant to be read straight through, and it can be very frustrating to spend half an hour searching the book for the answer to a specific question.
Despite this annoyance, I have found no better book on this topic.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amy Newman Smith on February 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been delving into my Jewishness for the past six years, and have read a lot of books about Jewish holidays, ritual observance, and life cycle events. I had come to the point where a lot of books I picked up were repetitive. I just wasn't getting anything new out of them. This book was recommended to my by a rabbi and has definitely taken my learning to a new level. As a teacher of several Introduction to Judaism classes, this is also a GREAT reference for answering new questions posed by my students. Two notes: This is dense, and is not suited to a cover-to-cover reading. It's a reference. Second, Klein uses Hebrew extensively. I would not recommend it to someone who does not read Hebrew. You don't need to be fluent, but an ability to read and a vocabulary of 250 words or more would be a base requirement, I would say.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This well-written work succinctly provides a plethora of Jewish religious practices, addressing differences among: American/Israeli, Ashkenazi/Sephardi, & (at least to a degree) Conservative-Masorti/Orthodox Jews. It includes an Appendix/Supplement by R. Joel Roth explaining the practices for modification of Conservative Jewish normative laws (e.g. the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards) and providing updates to the main text since its publication. The text follows the tradition of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah & Joseph Caro's Shulkhan Arukh in its contents & the Rama [R. Moses Isserles, 1510-72] in its presentation--p. xxv: "Isserles added the practices that obtained in the Eastern Europe of his era, & I have added the practices that obtain in the present-day Conservative synagogue." Klein gives differing interpretations from major sources as well as past & present common practices--including superstitions.

I read it cover-to-cover & enjoyed it thoroughly. However, it does not address spiritual practices [see Buxbaum's "Jewish Spiritual Practices" ASIN: 0876688326], & has the normative extroverted bias, e.g. saying public prayer is "conducive to greater solemnity & exaltation." Mystics would heartily disagree IMHO. It also has some unusual spellings--e.g. Qaddish vs. Kaddish. There is a marking error on the top right of pp. 41-52: "Daily Prayer" should be "Blessings for Various Occasions." But, these are all minor annoyances considering the overall loveliness/value of the book. The only major criticism is that many words/phrases are given in Hebrew without good/consistent transliteration, & no glossary is provided.

Klein provides some valuable observations worth mentioning: p.
Read more ›
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