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Traditions: Complete Book of Prayers, Rituals, and Blessings for Every Jewish Home Hardcover – August 19, 1998
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Traditions: The Complete Book of Prayers, Rituals, and Blessings for Every Jewish Home, by Sara Shendelman and Dr. Avram Davis, is one of the most useful books a Jewish family could own. It's also an indispensable guidebook for gentiles who want to familiarize themselves with Jewish traditions. Traditions gives clear, concise descriptions of every major Jewish holiday, with dazzling color photographs of historical artifacts, recipes for holiday foods, and Hebrew calendars through 2010. The book is organized in three parts: first is "The Holiday Cycle," including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah; second is a collection called "Home Blessings," including everything you need to know about Shabbat, as well as some suggestions for creating new domestic rituals and celebrations; third is "The Life Cycle," which includes information about Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, as well as the way to write an ethical will. Each section details traditional Orthodox practices and translates them into terms that non-Orthodox people can understand. If you have room for just two books about Jewish religion in your library, make sure you've got a good Torah, then order Traditions. --Michael Joseph Gross
From Publishers Weekly
Davis (The Way of the Flame: An Introduction to Jewish Meditation) and Shendelman, one of the best-known Jewish Renewal rabbis in Berkeley, Calif., have translated Jewish spiritual practices for non-Orthodox individuals, families and communities. This book is a collection of ancient, traditional and modern Jewish blessings positioned on the rise between two strong currents of interests: an enthusiasm among both Jews and non-Jews for exposure to the wealth of Judaism; and the universal quest for invigorating daily life with a beautiful, simple spirituality. Traditions is a reference that provides practical information from recipes for Passover to making your own sukkah, a temporary hut-like building usually made with a roof of tree branches and built between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. One section deals with new rituals and celebrations such as a blessing conceived by women praying to heal a misunderstanding with an alienated adult child. The book is illustrated with modern and archival photography of historical artifacts and religious symbols that help bring the sacred into lives in a direct, profound and intimate way. Its accessible examination of Jewish sacred practices will appeal to a broad audience of Jews and non-Jews alike.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
The blessings are in phonetic Hebrew and English translation. Be aware, they are not written Hebrew lettering so I need a different book for that. Fortunately, my library does include several of those.
A very useful book. I'd buy it again, especially for newly-weds. Or for those whose old book is beaten almost beyond use.
The book fits me just right and should most looking for a refreshing lesson.
On the positive side, this book does offer a richly textured trip through the Jewish year, and paints a vivid portrait of each event in that cycle that blends contemporary custom with ancient tradition. The information about some prayers and holidays is better than the information that I found about Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur. If you are unfamiliar with Jewish culture, this book is a good introduction and overview to the outward signs of that culture, but it does not go too deeply into the inward meaning of the traditions that it describes.