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Building a Jewish Library

CONTENTS

Bible and Torah Commentary
Children's Books
Contemporary Jewish Life
Cookbooks for the Jewish Home
Family Life and Parent's Guides
Fiction and Literature
Hebrew Language
History and Archeology
Holocaust
Israel and Zionism
Jewish Holidays
Jewish Thought
Kashrut
Prayer Books and Guides
Reference
Spirituality
Talmud and Rabbinic Literature
Women's Voices and Ritual

Contemporary Jewish Life

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Abrams, Elliot. Faith or Fear. How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America. Free Press. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 0684825112.

In order to insure Jewish survival Abrams suggests Jews return to the Jewish religion through communal participation and long standing belief in the covenental relationship with God.

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Ariel, David. What Do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Dimensions of Judaism. Schocken Press. 1996. AISN/ISBN: 0805210598.

Ariel, president of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, here offers a lucid and accessible study of the central beliefs of Judaism. With grand and sure strokes, the author paints the history of the "sacred myths" of Judaism--God, Torah, human destiny, chosenness, prayer, theodicy, mitzvot and messiah--using the colorful texts of biblical writers, rabbinic scholars and contemporary Jewish leaders. For example, in his remarks on messiah, Ariel moves from the biblical expectation of two messiahs to the fervor of contemporary messianic movements like the Lubavitch Hasidim. In a concluding letter to his children, Ariel argues that the great value of Judaism is its attempt to discover God's image in ourselves. In sum, this is a powerful introduction to the rich history and lively character of Judaism.

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Artson, Bradley Shavit, Adam Siegel (eds.). It's a Mitzvah!: Step-by-Step to Jewish Living. Behrman House Publishing. 1995. AISN/ISBN: 0874415853.

Jewish rituals and values come alive in this engaging guide to Jewish practice. Each of the eighteen chapters represents a mitzvah, explains its significance and then lists concrete ways of putting the mitzvah into practice. The accompanying leader's guide includes family activity pages.

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Blau, Joseph L.. Modern Varieties of Judaism. Columbia University Press. 1972. AISN/ISBN: 0231086687.

In the sphere of religion Dr. Blau describes the adjustments that Judaism has made in the past two centuries—adjustments that allow both change and continuity within an age-old tradition. He deals in order of their emergence with the religion's major branches (Reform, Neo-Orthodox, and Conservative) and appraises the Zionist movement.

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Blech, Benjamin. Understanding Judaism : The Basics of Deed and Creed. Jason Aronson. 1992. AISN/ISBN: 0876682913.

Every Jew (observant or not) should read this, Starting from the Ten Commandements and the Thirteen Principles of Faith Rabbi Blech gives a very clear and inspiring overview of Jewish "theology" and view of life. A must read for people who want to know more about Judaism. Very enjoyable.

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Blech, Benjamin and Richard M. Joel. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism. MacMillan Distribution. 1999. AISN/ISBN: 0028631919.

This work, written in a warm, conversational style by Rabbi Benjamin Blech, is a fun and easy-to-understand primer to every aspect of this ancient faith. Understanding Judaism, its roots, its beliefs, and its traditions is crucial to understanding its people and its leaders. And, in light of current world events, this understanding is more important now than ever before.

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Blitz, Shmuel. Bedtime Stories of Jewish Values. Mesorah Publications. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 1578191955.

This book has a number of short stories, each with a moral taken from Jewish virtues. There are several here that apply: honesty, loyalty, judging others and forgiveness.

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Boteach, Shmuel. An Intelligent Person's Guide to Judaism. Duckworth. 2000. AISN/ISBN: 071562864X.

What does it mean that we are spiritual beings? Can humans bring harmony to their dual spiritual and material nature and achieve success? After the astonishing success of Kosher Sex, Shmuley Boteach tackles this important issue in another freshly argues book that will stir up debate. Arguing that Judaism possesses a core of wisdom that appeals to Jews and non-Jews alike, Shmuley Boteach rejects Judaism seeking piety in abstractions, in rationalizing injustice and suffering, in explaining the Holocaust away as a punishment for assimilation. He pleads for recognition of the fact that, unlike Christianity, Judaism is not about death or suffering, but primarily about seeking optimism and spirituality. Judaism is a religion with a profound earthward orientation and is uniquely suited to modern-day men and women who desire professional success without starving their souls. In a modern world riddled with angst, this book will have an amazingly positive impact on how our relation to society should be understood.

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Brener, Anita. Mourning and Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path Through Grief to Healing. Jewish Lights. 1993. AISN/ISBN: 1879045230.

The book integrates the Jewish tradition and the knowledge of modern professional resources. It incorporates the rituals, their meaning and relevant biblical passages. In addition, there are exercises for the mourners during each stage of the grieving process.

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Cardozo, Nathan Lopes. Judaism on Trial: An Unconventional Discussion about Jews, Judaism. Urim Publications. 2000. AISN/ISBN: 9657108284.

This book attempts to bring clarity to timeless questions relating to the very purpose of our existence while openly confronting such contemporary concerns as the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox divide. It argues that science and anti-religious philosophy are not responsible for the decline of Judaism;rather, it is those who teach Jewish law and custom as a dogmatic creed that make Judaism appear irrelevant to the needs and problems of modern man. He argues that Judaism must reflect deep compassion to recapture the flowing fountain of a glorious tradition.

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Dershowitz, Alan. Vanishing American Jew. Touchstone. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 0684848988.

This provocative book argues that American Jews are in danger of extinction because of intermarriage and assimilation. Dershowitz calls for a change in the way we see ourselves and a drastic revision of the institution of Jewish education.

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Diamant, Anita. Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn as a Jew. Schocken. 1999. AISN/ISBN: 0805210881.

Diamant relates that the Jewish practices of mourning the dead and comforting the mourners can bring meaning out of chaos. Diamant explains why the Kaddish prayer remains such a powerful religious, cultural, and communal part of Jewish life, and she places this prayer in its liturgical and historical context. Diamant focuses on how Jews deal with the reality of death, from the sickroom until the end of the funeral, and she explains the mitzvah of honoring the body. She describes the customs of the seven-day period of mourning and the first-year period of mourning, unveiling the tombstone, and visiting the grave. Diamant also discusses the difficult issues of mourning for non-Jewish loved ones, neonatal loss, and suicide. An appendix deals with writing a will. This comprehensive guide answers many of the questions that contemporary Jews may have in a time of grief.

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Diament, Anita. The New Jewish Baby Book: Names, Ceremonies and Customs, A Guide for Today's Families. Jewish Lights. 1993. AISN/ISBN: 1580232515.

A tapestry of ritual, practice, history and Jewish law forms a contemporary guide for today's young families. One will find the customs and ceremonies for welcoming a new child into the world and the Jewish community, as well as a complete directory of names.

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Diament, Anita and Howard Cooper. Living a Jewish Life: A Guide for Starting, Learning, Celebrating, and Parenting. HarperCollins Publisher. 1996. AISN/ISBN: 0062734431.

An introduction to liberal Judaism, or more precisely, the broad range of religious practices of non-Orthodox North American Jews.

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Donin, Hayim Halevy. To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life. Basic Books. 1991. AISN/ISBN: 0465086322.

This authoritative guide from the traditional perspective includes laws and customs as they apply to daily life and special life cycle events in the contemporary world. The book includes Sabbath, dietary laws, family life, and prayer, as well as valuable background information.

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Dosick, Wayne. Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition and Practice. Harper San Francisco. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 0060621796.

Originally a Reform rabbi who then joined the Conservative movement, and who appreciates Orthodox traditions, the author presents a unique introduction to Jewish belief and practice. A nice feature is that it discusses the similarities and differences between the movements.

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Einstein, Stephen J. and Lydia Kukoff. Every Person's Guide to Judaism. UAHC Press. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 0807404349.

A guide to Judaism that recognizes that study is only the first step to learning and living as a Jew.

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Eisen, Arnold M.. Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community. University of Chicago Press. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 0226195295.

Eisen looks at the story of modern Judaism, tracing it back to the Emancipation and the Enlightenment as watershed events in Jewish history. Jewish practice and ritual in modern days are viewed in relation to the changes that have emerged subsequently.

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Eisen, Arnold M.. Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Continuity in America. Indiana University Press. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 0253213819.

In the framework of the Torah, Eisen addresses new relationships between Jews and their religious traditions. In each of five chapters he addresses a major theme related to his vision of renewal.

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Friesel, Evyatar. Atlas of Modern Jewish History. Oxford University Press. 1990. AISN/ISBN: 0195053931.

Contains demographics of the American Jewish population, including employment categories, intermarriage rates, maps, etc.

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Geffen, Rela (ed.). Celebration and Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism. Jewish Publication Society. 1993. AISN/ISBN: 0827605102.

In ten essays, six experts from all branches of Judaism discuss Jewish law and explore its contemporary application. Chapters deal with both the halachic basis and the current spectrum of American practice.

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Glazer, Nathan and Daniel J. Boorstin (eds.). American Judaism. University of Chicago Press. 1989. AISN/ISBN: 0226298434.

First published in 1957, Nathan Glazer's classic, historical study of Judaism in America has been described by the New York Times Book Review as "a remarkable story . . . told briefly and clearly by an objective historical mind, yet with a fine combination of sociological insight and religious sensitivity." Glazer's new introduction describes the drift away from the popular equation of American Judaism with liberalism during the last two decades and considers the threat of divisiveness within American Judaism. Glazer also discusses tensions between American Judaism and Israel as a result of a revivified Orthodoxy and the disillusionment with liberalism. "American Judaism has been arguably the best known and most used introduction to the study of the Jewish religion in the United States. . . . It is an inordinately clear-sighted work that can be read with much profit to this day."

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Gordis, Daniel. Does the World Need the Jews?: Rethinking Chosenness and the American Jewish Community. Scribner. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 0684803895.

This volume contains rationales for choosing Judaism that will appeal to Jews across the ideological spectrum. The author believes that by assimilating so thoroughly into American culture, Jews are losing their distinctiveness. He suggests Jews should "stand out," not "blend in."

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Hertzberg, Arthur (ed.). Judaism: The Key Spiritual Writings of the Jewish Tradition. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone. 1991. AISN/ISBN: 0671743767.

The first edition of this work appeared as part of a six-volume set of commentary and biblical text "explaining the spirit and values of the great religions of modern man." Now, 30 years later, using the same style and format, Hertzberg reexamines Judaism's moral and ethical values as they relate to today's major issues. Through a unique blend of ancient and modern scholarly commentaries, the role of Judaism is explored and interpreted in its relation to Jewish identity, equality of the sexes, rites of passage, the Holocaust, homosexuality, vegetarianism, medical procedures, politics, and more. Regardless of the era and world tensions, one theme from the original edition has prevailed--unity. Judaism, Hertzberg suggests, is best described as a confident religion whose disciples strive to return to traditional practices in a modern world. Interesting and thought provoking.

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Hertzberg, Arthur and Aron Hirt-Manheimer. Jews: The Essence and Character of a People. Harper San Francisco. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 0060638346.

This volume discusses why Jews will survive. The authors believe it is because they are "chosen" in the sense of being different and outsiders.

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Isaacs, Ronald H. and Kerry M. Olitzky. The Third How-to Handbook for Jewish Living. Ktav Publishing House. 2002. AISN/ISBN: 0881257133.

As we live Jewish lives, we are guided by a certain rhythm of daily prayers, weekly Torah readings, holidays and special occasions. As Jews go about their daily lives, they encounter challenges that are often not anticipated and not as rhythmic. This handbook intends to help readers with these new challenges.

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Jablon, Shmuel. Jewish Answers. Writers Club Press. 2000. AISN/ISBN: 0595122310.

This book is divided into two sections. The first gives real life Jewish answers to questions submitted from throughout the Jewish world. No topic, no question is off limits! The second section contains articles related to the Jewish holidays and religious Zionism.

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Jacobs, Louis. The Jewish Religion: A Companion. Oxford Univ Press. 1995. AISN/ISBN: 0198264631.

This compendium, arranged in dictionary format, allows students to learn about one of the world's oldest religions. Jacobs deals with topics ranging from personalities in the Bible to Jewish thinkers of the present day; he includes customs, traditions, and Jewish ideas on topics as diverse as adoption and astrology. The author also considers Jewish attitudes towards ecology, insanity, and even worrying. The text is readable and interesting; there is no need to have any grounding in Hebrew language or terminology. High school students asked to examine historical issues associated with Judaism or to understand Judaic allusions in literature will find this work invaluable.

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Kaplan, Mordecai, Emanuel S. Goldsmith, and Mel Scult (eds.). Dynamic Judaism: The Essential Writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan. Fordham Univ Press. 1991. AISN/ISBN: 0823213102.

The late Mordecai M. Kaplan was the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, the fourth branch of contemporary American Judaism. Reconstructionism eschews belief in a supernatural deity but stresses the ethnicity, folkways, and cultural aspects of the Jewish faith. This intelligently organized anthology contains excerpts from Kaplan's basic writings which elucidate his theology, teachings, and suggestions for the continuance and survival of the Jewish religion. An excellent introduction to Reconstructionism for general readers and should be in most Judaica collections.

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Kelman, Stuart, Jane Handler and Kim Hetherington. Give Me Your Hand: Traditional and Practical Guidance on Visiting the Sick. EKS Publishers. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 0939144263.

This short and very practical booklet covers the obligation of;bikur cholim;(visiting the sick) in Jewish law, etiquette for performing this obligation, appropriate prayers, and "Do's and Don't's for Visitors."

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Kertzer, Morris N.. What Is a Jew?. Collier Books. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 068484298X.

Kertzer, who died in 1984, wrote the first edition of this book in 1953. He revised it three times, most recently in 1978. Now his nephew, also a rabbi and professor at the Hebrew Union College, has revised the book again. Originally intended to "guide non-Jews to a better understanding of their fellow Jewish Americans" as well as to "enable Jews themselves to rediscover forgotten roots of tradition and belief," the book still serves this purpose admirably, addressing all of the traditional questions: What in general do Jews believe? What are Orthodox Jews? What is Torah? Also addressed are newer concerns: What is the Jewish attitude toward feminism? According to Judaism, do animals have rights? Why do Jews persist in remembering the Holocaust? About half the material in this revised edition is new; the entire book is written from a calmly instructional, nonevangelical viewpoint and in an engaging style that will appeal to young people and old, Jews and non-Jews. Highly recommended for all public and school libraries.

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Klein, Isaac. A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice. Jewish Theological Seminary. 1979. AISN/ISBN: 0873340043.

Based upon previous law codes, including the Mishneh Torah, Shulkhan Arukh, and later responsa by Conservative and Orthodox authorities. It is more than a list of do's and don'ts: Each chapter discusses the philosophy, history and the reasons why these laws and customs came to be. This guide covers daily prayer, tallit and tzitzit, tefillin, weddings, births, adoption, divorce, b'nai miztvah, death and mourning, the High Holy Days, the Jewish festivals and fast days, Shabbat, keeping kosher, the laws of family purity, abortion and other topics.

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Kolatch, Alfred J.. The Jewish Book of Why. Jonathan David Publishers. 1981. AISN/ISBN: 0824602560.

This book is for Jews and Gentiles alike, offering an encyclopedic compendium of concise, cogent explanations of Jewish rituals and practices. Kolatch, a rabbi, treats every facet of Jewish religious observance, including births, weddings and funerals, sabbath and synagogue, holidays from Passover to Purim and the intricacies of the Jewish calendar. He teases apart the variations that distinguish different Jewish communities and denominations, and carefully notes whether a practice derives from the Torah, the Talmudic law or custom. Kolatch's catechistic format fields queries about the grand imponderables ("Why is marriage such an important institution in Jewish life?") and the most exquisite niceties ("Why do some people remove their tefilin after concluding the Amida, and then immediately put on a second pair for the balance of the service?"). In answering such questions, he sticks to Jewish law and history; on the particularly vexed issue of Kosher dietary rules, he rejects speculation about nutritional or sanitary benefits and insists that their rationale lies in the Divine injunction of "holiness" and the Jews' destiny as a people apart. While there are alternatives to some of the explanations offered here, Kolatch writes in an erudite but straightforward style, providing an intelligent, loving introduction to Jewish tradition and culture.

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Kolatch, Alfred J.. The Second Jewish Book of Why. Jonathan David Publishers. 1995. AISN/ISBN: 0824603052.

This popular sequel to the author's best-selling Jewish Book of Why answers many more questions about Jewish practice and belief.

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Laitner, Helen. The Everything Jewish Wedding Book: The Complete Guide to Planning the Ceremony and Celebration from. Adams Publishing Co. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 1558508015.

The title describes the contents remarkably well. It is a user-friendly guide with historical background and the "whys" and "how-to's" everyone involved wants to know. It includes the traditional approach to weddings as well as a chapter on unconventional weddings. Sidebars throughout add interesting stories.

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Lamm, Maurice. Jewish Way in Death and Mourning. Jonathan David. 1983. AISN/ISBN: 0824601262.

This is the book the rabbis, layleaders and mourners turn to as the definitive word on the subject. Lamm provides the necessary information for the mourner, family, friends and community involved with death and the mourning process.

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Lamm, Maurice. Consolation: The Spiritual Journey Beyond Grief. Jewish Publication Society of America. 2004. AISN/ISBN: 0827607644.

Rife with allusions to Talmudic commentators, philosophers, psychologists and literary giants, Rabbi Lamm's opus on mourning speaks to an educated audience. Those who are already familiar with Lamm's teachings and style may find it easier reading than those seeking instant consolation. The depth and demeanor of these pages require a level of concentration that renders them almost inappropriate for the recent mourner. Instead, just as many people purchase travel guides before visiting a new place, this book should be considered a guide to the inevitable journey through bereavement. Like a living will or power of attorney document, readers will want to have familiarized themselves with the book before they actually need the information it contains. Lamm addresses the Jewish laws and traditions of death as well as the very human feelings, frustrations and concerns associated with ultimate loss. His theme ultimately remains optimistic: despair "teaches us about our inner strength"; encourages us to ask "le'mah" (for what) rather than "lamah" (why) and culminates reassuringly in the words of the Psalmist, "They that sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy." Unfortunately, readers may miss many of Lamm's fine, lustrous pearls of parable, story and anecdote, since they are deeply embedded in a loquacious and sometimes repetitive work.

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Nadler, Leonard and Zeace Nadler. Living Judaism Around the World: A Brief History of the Peaks and Valleys of Jewish Experience. Pentland Press Inc. 1999. AISN/ISBN: 1571970657.

Includes information on Jewish Communities in 23 different countries.

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Neusner, Jacob. The Way of Torah: An Introduction to Judaism (The Religious Life in History Series). Wadsworth Publishing Company. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 0534515681.

Not universally accepted, non-Orthodox point of view.

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Neusner, Jacob (ed.). Understanding American Judaism. Volume Two: Sectors of American Judaism: Reform, Orthodoxy, Conserva. Ktav Press. 1982. AISN/ISBN: 9992865105.

Not universally accepted, non-Orthodox point of view.

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Nuland, Sherwin B. and Jack Riemer (eds.). Jewish Insights on Death and Mourning. Syracuse University Press. 2002. AISN/ISBN: 0815607334.

Jewish Insights On Death And Mourning is a superb collection of writings exploring how Jewish insights on death and mourning rituals can teach the living and comfort the bereaved. Rabbi Jack Riemer weaves together the experiences and the insights of poets and rabbis, men and women, young and old. People who share in common only that they have lived with loss and that they have turned to the Jewish tradition for strength and guidance and found it there. This book answers questions and questions answers with a timely chorus of voices on a perennially timely issue. Addressed to both the mind and the heart, the book is a collection providing both guidance and solace from the Jewish tradition, not just for mourners, but for all who want to live wisely and well.

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Olitzky, Kerry M.. Grief in Our Seasons: A Mourner's Kaddish Companion. Jewish Lights Publishing. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 1879045559.

From Jewish tradition: Strength for the first year of mourning. Jewish tradition encourages us to study as a way of honoring the memory of those we love who are no longer among us. The study of sacred texts helps us to forge a link in the chain of tradition, shalshelet hakabalah, that reaches into the past and forges a connection with the future. This wise and inspiring book provides a carefully ordered selection of sacred Jewish literature for mourners to read each day, to help hold the memory of their loved ones in their hearts. It offers a comforting, step-by-step link to the Jewish tradition of Kaddish (the memorial prayer recited for the year following the death), and a means to secure the memory of the person mourned, for an eternity. A place-marker flap, outlining the steps of each daily sequence, is an additional aid to mourners as Grief in Our Seasons guides them through the year of Kaddish--to healing, comfort, and remembrance through Jewish tradition.

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Olitzky, Kerry M. and Ronald H. Isaacs. How-to Handbook for Jewish Living. KTAV Publishing House, Inc. 1994. AISN/ISBN: 0881252905.

The authors present a clear and succinct guide to common Jewish religious and social practice, from the fundamentals of prayer to how to dance the hora. Each entry gives the source of the custom or practice (usually a passage from the Hebrew Bible or Talmud), basic steps, key words and phrases, and suggestions for further reading.

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Olitzky, Kerry M. and Ronald H. Isaacs. The Second How-To Handbook for Jewish Living. Ktav Publishing House. 1996. AISN/ISBN: 0881255394.

Want to know how to shake a lulav? Which way to put candles into a hanukkiah and in which order to light them? This book includes source information, basic steps, key words and suggestions for further reading on a wide variety of Jewish practices and rituals.

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Prager, Dennis and Joseph Telushkin. The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism. Simon & Schuster. 1986. AISN/ISBN: 0671622617.

If you have ever wondered what being born Jewish should mean to you; if you want to find out more about the nature of Judaism, or explain it to a friend; if you are thinking about how Judaism can connect with the rest of your life -- this is the first book you should own. It poses, and thoughtfully addresses, questions like these: Can one doubt God's existence and still be a good Jew? Why do we need organized religion? Why shouldn't I intermarry? What is the reason for dietary laws? How do I start practicing Judaism? The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism was written for the educated, skeptical, searching Jew, and for the non-Jew who wants to understand the meaning of Judaism. It has become a classic and very widely read introduction to the oldest living religion. Concisely and engagingly, authors Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin present Judaism as the rational, moral alternative for contemporary man.

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Raphael, Simcha. Jewish Views of the Afterlife. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. 2009. AISN/ISBN: 0742562212.

This expanded second edition of the classic text on life after death in Judaism includes new material on practical applications of Jewish views of the afterlife, such as funeral, burial, and shiva, as well as an updated look at how views on death and dying have shifted in recent years. Synthesizing traditional Jewish sources with contemporary psychological thought, near-death experiences, and consciousness research, Jewish Views of the Afterlife offers a contemporary statement on ways of understanding the afterlife journey of the soul from a spiritual point of view. Both historical and contemporary, this book provides a rich resource for scholars and lay people, for teachers and students, and makes an important Jewish contribution to the growing contemporary psychology of death and dying.

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Reimer, Jack and Nathaniel Stampfer (eds.). So That Your Values Live On: Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them. Jewish Lights. 1996. AISN/ISBN: 1879045346.

Ethical wills try to sum up what people have learned in life, and what they want most for and from their loved ones. This work is a "how-to" and provides sample living wills from others.

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Roffman, Joel A. and Gordon A. Fuller. Coping with Adversity: Judaism's Response to Illness and Other Life Struggles. Brown Books. 2008. AISN/ISBN: 1934812226.

"Coping with Adversity is filled with profound wisdom. It's the kind of book I want to read again and again and tell all my friends and relatives about. It s not just another book. It is a book that can be transformative." "Finally, a road map for a journey we all face: real life stories, medical knowledge, and Jewish traditions that give us the wisdom to move forward. Thanks to Dr. Roffman and Rabbi Fuller, we can learn how to truly embrace life, no matter what." "Those seeking comfort and inspiration need look no further. Dr. Roffman and Rabbi Fuller have written an engaging book with practical advice based on the timeless teachings of Judaism and its Bible. The combination of medical expertise and rabbinic wisdom make this book relevant, unique and enjoyable."

Jewish teaching is essentially universal, and in taking time to read the sections (in Coping with Adversity) that follow the case studies he (the author) describes an awesome strategy to help not only the patient but also family and friends.

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Rosenthal, G.. Many Faces of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform. Behrman House Publishing. 1979. AISN/ISBN: 0874413117.

Contains a descriptive comparison of Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. It is intended as a low-end high-school text and although still good, it is beginning to show its age.

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Schachter-Shalomi, Zalman and Ronald S. Miller. From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older. Warner Books. 1996. AISN/ISBN: 0446517763.

The leader of the Renewal movement, Schachter offers a positive view of aging, facing mortality, repairing relationships and developing a regenerative spirit to transmit wisdom.

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Shendelman, Sara and Avram Davis. Traditions: The Complete Book of Prayers, Rituals, and Blessings for Every Jewish Home. Hyperion. 1998. AISN/ISBN: 0786863811.

Davis 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.

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Siegel, Danny. Good People. The Town House Press. 1995. AISN/ISBN: 0940653400.

A book of stories about ordinary people who are performing exceptionally compassionate deeds. In doing so, they not only repair the world and bring it closer to perfection, but also provide readers with accessible, modern role models.

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Steinberg, Milton. Basic Judaism. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1986. AISN/ISBN: 0156106981.

Concise and elegant, this is a book about the Jewish religion--not about the Jewish culture or Zionism, but about those beliefs, ideals, and practices that make up the historic Jewish faith. Including both the modernist and the traditionalist view in his exploration, Rabbi Steinberg discusses the Torah, what Judaism says about God and the relationship, and what exists in the Kingdom of God. He also talks about the laws that define Judaism, the practices and rituals that sustain it, and the synagogue and the rabbinate that support it. For all students of Judaism - be they practicing Jews, uncommitted Jews, or curious non-Jews--Rabbi Steinberg offers a brilliant chance to understand what the Jewish faith is, why it has elicited such intense devotion, and why it remains such a mighty force in the lives of its believers and, beyond them, the world.

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Strassfeld, Michael, Sharon Strassfeld (eds.), Richard Siegel. The First Jewish Catalog: A Do-It- Yourself Kit. Jewish Publication Society. 1989. AISN/ISBN: 0827600429.

Symbols of the Home, Kashrut, Candles, Kippah, Tallit, Tefillin, the Shofar, Jewish travel, the Jewish year cycle, Weddings, Tumah and taharah, Death and burial, scribal arts, gematria, music, film, the Jewish press, creating a Jewish library, and relationships between man, women, and the community.

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Strassfeld, Sharon and Michael Strassfeld (eds.). The Second Jewish Catalog: Sources and Resources. Jewish Publication Society. 1976. AISN/ISBN: 0827600844.

Covers the life cycle in more depth, aspects of study, synagogue and prayer, and the arts. The Jewish Yellow Pages are out of date, obviously.

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Strassfeld, Sharon and Michael Strassfeld (eds.). The Third Jewish Catalog: Creating Community: With a Cumulative Index to All 3 Catalogs. Jewish Publication Society. 1980. AISN/ISBN: 0827601832.

Covers justice, community, genealogy, dispersion, exile, surroundings, and Israel. It also talks about how to be a mentsh.

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Syme, Daniel B.. Jewish Mourning. UAHC Press. 1989. AISN/ISBN: 0807403326.

Non-Orthodox, but offers both traditional and liberal Jewish attitudes toward death-related issues.

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Telushkin, Joseph. Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its His. William Morrow & Co. 1991. AISN/ISBN: 0688085067.

This volume covers trends and concepts of Jewish history, religion and culture, ethics, great personalities and life cycle events. It is an anthology of Jewish scholarship in concise, readable segments.

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Waskow, Arthur. Down-To-Earth Judaism: Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life. William Morrow & Co. 1997. AISN/ISBN: 0688151272.

As the subtitle indicates, Waskow divides his book into the categories of food, money, sex, and the rest of life--rest as in resting, reposing, and reflecting. Waskow examines new ways to understand Judaism and apply its spiritual meaning to daily life. He emphasizes the equality of men and women and the need to include all Jews in meaningful worship. Under the category of food, he discusses such problems as keeping kosher (not only how, but why it should be done), fasting, and reciting the blessings on the Sabbath and festivals. In regard to money, Waskow examines such topics as the ethical and moral implications of various careers, the relationship between employers and employees, borrowing and lending, and giving to charity. The section on sex deals with adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, procreation, marriage, and divorce. This spiritual guide to Judaism contains a wealth of wisdom and advice for Jews struggling to keep the faith in these secular times.

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Weiss, Abner. Death and Bereavement: A Halakhic Guide. Mesorah Publications, Limited. 2001. AISN/ISBN: 1578195446.

Of all the books on the Jewish outlook on death and bereavement, probably none is as complete as this one. It offers the comforting, caressing hand of faith and spiritual strength, but there is much, much more.

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Wouk, Herman. This Is My God: The Jewish Way of Life. Dell; Little Brown & Co. 1992. AISN/ISBN: 0316955140.

This is an excellent book on what Judaism means with regard to marriage, history, Israel, prayer, observance, Torah, Talmud, kashrut and study. He writes in a clear, concise style concerning the daily life of an observant Jew as well as the history that went into it. What makes this book exceptional is that Herman Wouk's perspective is becoming a rare voice in Orthodoxy. Orthodox Judaism is increasingly moving to the right partly as a reaction to the intermarriage and assimilation of the liberal movements within Judaism, partly as a sign of formerly non-observant Jews becoming observant and finding distaste in their old lives. Wouk's perspective was probably a standard voice in 1950s Judaism, but it is one that is not heard often enough in today's Judaism that finds itself pulled between the stark limiting observance of the Haredi and the "whatever-you-think-is-right-is-right" lassez faire of the Reform (including the Renewalists and Reconstructionists). It is easy to condemn. It takes effort to reach out without rancor or snap judgement as Wouk does in this book. This is what makes Wouk's book valuable to people who already know the material.





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