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A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice
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"'Shwer Tzu zine a yid,' our parent's generation used to say: it's hard to be a Jew. But we Jews living today are so lucky," writes Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. "Being Jewish is safer now than at any other time in history."
But that still doesn't mean it is easy. "Our challenge today," he continues is to be Jewish in a way that fills our lives with meaning. We want to be Jewish with awareness, 'to do Jewish' in a way that satisfies our souls. We want our Yiddishkeit to enrich the world in which we live."
Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, who became famous as one of the coauthors of The Jewish Catalgue in the 1970s, takes a more handbook type of tone in his A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice. This was published in hardcover by Schocken Books in 2002, but is soon to be released in paperback by Jewish Lights ($19.99).
The book resembles many, other introduction-to-Judaism books in covering personal behavior, holidays, and so forth. But his goal is similar to Schachter-Shalomi's.
"Rituals should not be observed because we are 'supposed to' observe them, but rather because they help us achieve the real goal: awareness," he writes. "A spiritual practice of Judaism strives for awareness of the moment, every moment, helping us to live life to the fullest."
"Doing Jewish with awareness" certainly includes intellectual awareness as well as sensual or spiritual awareness.(Leon Cohen The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle)
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Whether you are long-time committed Jew who is looking for "something more"--a way of finding more meaning in the Jewish life you are living--or someone who is looking for a way into a deeper Jewish life that is both authentic and personal, this book is for you. (It is also a great book for people simply looking to learn about the wide range of Jewish practice--throughout the day, the year, and the lifetime--including both traditional and contemporary perspectives.) I know of no other book quite like it. I am so glad I bought it!
The author takes us through the day from dawn to dusk,through the three paths of Judaism,Torah study,prayer and the path of loving kindness.giving us the traditional laws and customs for each of these and also the method by which to enhance these practices.He does the same for the holidays and also the Jewish life cycle.
Just as Strassfeld's editorship of the Jewish Catalogues,met the needs of the Jewish people of the seventiles."A Book of Life
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a passionate writer who cares about living his faith communicates the possibility to others in a way that can alter their religious practices and influences their lives.Published 5 months ago by Ruth W. Messinger
I keep going back to this book and reading some portions again. Good book!Published 6 months ago by Fledgling
Excellent book on Judaism! Price was fair and delivery was very quick! As I read more about my religion, I learn that we have a very rich background!Published on September 3, 2013 by Paul W. Annetts
GREAT book for someone who has a good knowledge base already and is ready to make it part of their daily practice.Published on January 17, 2013 by jackm11