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Moreh Derekh: The Rabbi's Manual of the Rabbinical Assembly (English, Hebrew and Hebrew Edition) Hardcover – May 1, 1998
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Text: English, Hebrew (translation)
Original Language: Hebrew
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Rituals found in rabbi's manuals are important because they transform incidents in the life of an individual into a communal event, and they offer the oppotunity to transform events from the mundane to the sacred, in an authentic Jewish manner.
This manual includes instructions and rituals for all the standard rabbinic practices, including births, brit milah [ritual circumcisions], simhat bat [the ceremonial equivalent of a brit for a daughter], pidyon ha-ben [redemption of the first born], weddings, divorces, prayers for those who are ill, and funerals. New works include prayers for retirement, going to college for the first time, and for wedding anniversaries.
There are special sections which deal with infertility, miscarriages, and even for those who have undergone an abortion. This is especially important, as although Judaism discourages abortion, it allows it under certain circumstances, and the resulting emotional turmoil can be devastating. For many women, having Jewish rituals for these traumatic events can be an important part of the healing process.
Many more sections are included, including blessings for adoption, the deathbed confessional, and more. All in all, this is a fascinating synthesis of traditional halakhic Judaism along with a brave spirit of egalitarian innovation.