Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Guide to Jewish Practice, Vol. 1: Everyday Living Hardcover – September 15, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Teutsch discusses at considerable length such issues as business ethics, the sin of slander ("lashon ha-ra"), the importance of charity and good deeds, spirituality and prayer, and many others. His approaches to these crucial topics are comprehensive, thoughtful, and infused by the spirit of Reconstructionism, which gives Jewish tradition "a vote but not a veto."
In fact, one of the most interesting segments of the book comes toward the end, when Teutsch attempts to explain just how, in practice, modern Jews are supposed to give the Jewish past its vote. He says directly that many present efforts to do that are doing it wrong and are essentially coming to a desired conclusion without grasping with the tradition as one must do.
Evidently in an effort to encourage dialogue and to give representation to diverse views, Teutsch asked dozens of contemporary thinkers to write comments on his main text. These comments appear below the text, attributed to the author in each case. In my view, this technique does not work. The reader can be bewildered by a cacophony of voices rather than educated by a dialogue. Often, a commenter repeats the thought of a previous commenter. It would have been better if Teutsch had used four or five commenters rather than 50 or so. Especially at the beginning, in discussions of Jewish prayer and spirituality, the reader loses track of the key thoughts.
I'm drawn to the format of the book, which models the tradition of Jewish dialog and commentary by presenting comments and glosses from many Jewish thinkers throughout the work. This book isn't intended to replace the process of Jewish text study and meaningful engagement with tradition that should be an important part of any local community's Reconstructionist approach to decision-making; rather, it offers those who are interested in meaningful, contemporary expressions of Jewish life an important resource for identifying core questions, values, and teachings that are essential elements of each area of Jewish practice the book addresses.
This is a resource book, the first volume of what I hope will be several. Rabbis, Jewish educators and others with an interest in serious liberal Jewish approaches to practice will find it helpful.
A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Spirituality
reviewer: Lorraine Hertz, 1175 So. Cleveland, St. Paul, MN 55116
A Guide to Jewish Practice is a very important book because it provides
practical advice which is based on Jewish law. There are many highlights in
this important book. On page 28 a practical suggestion was made that
persons can develop an attitude of thankfulness by making a list every day
of things for which they are thankful.
One suggestion is that statistics could have been provided to back the
statement that" Jews are among the most affluent and mobile Americans" (p.
165). Another significant discussion in the book refers to the fact that at
the present time one does not need to maximize the birthrate and for this
reason contraception is acceptable.
The chapter, "Obligations to Individuals", is very helpful, especially the
discussion about deeds of kindness. A follow-up chapter, Curing" provides
insights on the importance of healing in body and spirit in Jewish life.
This book would be an important addition to the library in every Jewish