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The Jewish Book of Why (Compass) [Paperback]

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Item Number 160732  
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Item Description...
Overview
Explains the reasons for Jewish customs concerning marriage, mourning, diet, prayer, worship, and the celebration of religious holidays.

Publishers Description
Why do Jews eat gefilte fish?Why is a glass broken at the end of a Jewish wedding ceremony?Why must the chapter of curses in the Torah be read quickly in a low voice?Why are shrimp and lobster not kosher?Why do Jews fast on Yom Kippur?Why are some Matzot square while others are round?

If you've ever asked or been asked any of these questions, The Jewish Book of Why has all the answers. In this complete, concise, fascinating, and thoroughly informative guide to Jewish life and tradition, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch clearly explains both the significance and the origin of nearly every symbol, custom, and practice known to Jewish culture-from Afikomon to Yarmulkes, and from Passover to Purim. Kolatch also dispels many of the prevalent misconceptions and misunderstandings that surround Jewish observance and provides a full and unfettered look at the biblical, historical, and sometimes superstitious reasons and rituals that helped develop Jewish law and custom and make Judaism not just a religion, but a way of life. L'chaim

Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.99" Width: 5.41" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2003
Publisher   Penguin (Non-Classics)
Age  18
ISBN  0142196193  
EAN  9780142196199  
UPC  051488013006  


Availability  0 units.


Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > General   [1821  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Jewish   [272  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General   [3019  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Jewish Life   [673  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Jewish Book of Why  Mar 4, 2008
I am currently very interested in learning everything that I can learn about the Jewish Faith. This particular book was absolutely wonderful!!! It explained everything in perfect detail. I learned so much! I couldn't put the book down. Once I started really getting into the book, I found the Jewish Faith to be very interesting. I can guarantee anyone that buys this book will enjoy it. Gina
 
Great Gift  Jan 26, 2006
Give a copy of this book to every kid whose Bar or Bat-Mitzvah you attend. It's a terrific reference for all those nagging little questions. A true classic and a great companion to your monetary gift. I'd also suggest it as a good gift for any non-Jew who'd just like to understand their Jewish friends a little better.
 
Sensible, Readable & Informative  Dec 3, 2005
This book's question-and-answer format makes for easy reading, and should be of equal interest to both Jews and non-Jews alike. Want to know about Jewish marriage, divorce and family life? How about holidays, rituals, differences between orthodox and reform branches, or after affects of the Nazi holocaust? The answers are found here in this slightly dated book, one that was soon followed by a sequel (the Second Book of Jewish Why). This is an informative and nicely readable reference - one can only hope that authors from other religions and traditions will write books with a similar format.
 
Basic answers   Sep 27, 2005
The book provides basic answers to the thousands of questions on Jewish relgious matters.
Its explanations are most often clear and insightful.
 
Good to have but leaves out important questions  Aug 8, 2004
I really like these books and the way they are written. The question and answer format make it easy to use it as a "reference" and also allows one to read a few pages at a time.

The question and answer format is also wonderful because alot of what Judiasm is about is questions. "Question Everything" must have been the eleventh commandment.

What is missing are important topics. I wrote to the author in 1996 and he was kind enough to repy to my question. I wrote:

"I enjoy reading your book . . . However, there is a major omission that I need to ask about. Why is the subject of War (and violence) not covered?

Your biography says you were/are active as a military chaplain. I imagine that your role as chaplain and advisor to chaplains would put you in a great position to speak to the question of war and Jewish Law.

Perhaps your wrote about this in another book? If so, could you direct me to that source or perhaps some other Jewish writer has expanded on the subject."

A week later I got this reply from Mr. Kolatch; "I wish I knew how to answer your letter of February 7th. The best I can say is that the subject of war did not fit the theme of The Jewish Book of Why. No, I haven't written anything on the subject, nor is there a book I can recommend."

So you can see, this very important subject was left out, even though Mr. Kolatch was surrounded by military people for most of his career. What a lost opportunity. How sad for us all. His revsions in 2000, didn't answer my questions either.

I hope Mr. Kolatch will write about this concern in his next book. AS I said in my letter to him: "What learning about violence is there to pass on to my 5 sons?"

 

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