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The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL's Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1580231527
ISBN-10: 1580231527
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers who want to create significance out of ordinary as well as remarkable moments will find an invaluable resource in this guidebook from CLAL the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. There's a ritual to mark almost every possible occasion, from the mundane (making a list of things to do) to the sublime (falling in love). Organizing a room becomes a symbolic act of repair, of bringing order to a chaotic world. Quitting smoking, running a marathon, honoring a teacher, sending a child to college, mourning a pet these experiences that until now have not been addressed by Jewish tradition receive a new sanctity as they serve as potential "tools for awakening and self-transformation." The contributing rabbis and scholars from every denomination of Judaism also try to renew rituals that may have become routine, like lighting Sabbath candles or cleaning the house for Passover. "What we get from each moment ultimately depends on the attention (kavanah) we give to those moments," writes rabbi and editor Kula, CLAL's president. More than 100 occasions are classified into 11 sections: everyday life; parents and children; relationships; special moments; healing; life and death; learning; leadership and communal life; Israel; tzedakah; and holy days. Each event includes a meditation, a ritual, blessings and teachings drawn from biblical or rabbinic texts. This traditional Jewish framework should appeal to Jewish readers; non-Jewish readers may also enjoy the inclusive and thought-provoking approach, which does not require giving up or adopting new religious beliefs.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A totally original and deeply needed book... Takes you by the hand and shows you how to make every important moment of your life holy."
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy and The Book of Jewish Values

"Provides a refreshing and innovative path into Jewish life and ritual. Its format is easily accessible and will inspire both new learners and those who are more knowledgeable about Judaism."
Rabbi Lori Forman, director of the Jewish Resource Center, UJA–Federation of New York; coauthor of Sacred Intentions: Daily Inspiration to Strengthen the Spirit, Based on Jewish Wisdom

"Clal's important work provides sensitive and innovative ways to help us find greater Jewish meaning in many moments in our life."
Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, editor of The Women's Haftarah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Haftarah Portions, the 5 Megillot & Special Shabbatot

“An extraordinary guide for elevating the everyday activities of our lives into spiritual moments! An essential volume for the Jewish home.”
Dr. Ron Wolfson, vice president of the University of Judaism; author of Hanukkah: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration and The Art of Jewish Living series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580231527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580231527
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.1 x 22.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered what your birthday would be like without a cake, candles, gifts, or a birthday song? These are examples of rituals that we associate with the anniversary of our birth. Think about how many events in our lives we have ritualized. Thanks to Hallmark, most of these events include a greeting card.
In Judaism, we mark life's milestones with ritual. We bring babies into the fold with a naming ceremony. We are called up to the Torah for an aliyah on our wedding anniversary. We visit the graves of our loved ones before holidays. We crave ritual, and we seek new and different ritual acts for different occasions - imagine if we only recited the shehechiyanu for every milestone in our lives, how would we make
that event stand apart?
CLAL - the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (full disclosure: I served an internship at CLAL in 2001) has been adding occasions to the list of ritualized events for several years, and now these sacred practices have been compiled into book form. While the book contains many of the acts that are already in the Jewish canon of ritual (e.g. fasting on Yom Kippur, Counting the Omer, and Studying Torah on Shavuot), the contributors, who are all CLAL faculty, put a new spin on these events. So, while we might have found putting up a sukkah to be a very ritualized act, chock-full of religious symbolism, this book offers a way to bring out the significance of taking our sukkah down at the end of the holiday.
Indeed, many of you have sent your children off to college or on a summer trip to Israel, and perhaps you would have liked to mark the occasion with a blessing or meditation. This book transforms these actions into sacred acts.
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Format: Paperback
This book is really great for anyone interested in discovering new ways to celebrate not only the regular holidays, but also the sacred that can be found in everyday life. The way it is organized, readers can use the blessings just as written, or with the helpful background information, readers can create their own religious practices. A definite must for anyone interested in connecting to their Jewish inherited tradition both intellectualy and spiritually.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy all the information that this book gives an old Jewish lady like myself. I had forgotten so many things from my childhood, and I keep finding them in this wonderful book.
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