The Jewish people are blessed with holidays. For thousands of years, Jews all over the world have observed festivals that commemorate historical events, celebrate nature and the harvest, and inspire spiritual renewal. Rich with spiritual, cultural, and social commentary, The Jewish Year serves as a comprehensive guide to all these observances, both traditional celebrations as w...
The Jewish people are blessed with holidays. For thousands of years, Jews all over the world have observed festivals that commemorate historical events, celebrate nature and the harvest, and inspire spiritual renewal. Rich with spiritual, cultural, and social commentary, The Jewish Year serves as a comprehensive guide to all these observances, both traditional celebrations as well as holidays that have been created in the twentieth century. Included are: the Sabbath, the weekly day of rest; Rosh Chodesh, the monthly festival of the new moon; and yearly holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Chanukah, Purim, and Lag B’Omer. Background information, the basic hallmarks of observance, and an explanation of the customs associated with each holiday are accompanied by more than thirty-five literary excerpts, including folktales retold by the author, and contemporary fiction by such prominent writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer and Elie Wiesel. Illustrated with color reproductions of ritual objects, illuminated manuscripts, paintings, folk art, and sculpture, The Jewish Year will become an essential addition to the Jewish family library.
Grade 9 Up-This beautifully constructed guide through the Jewish year takes readers far beyond mere observance to a true appreciation of the significance of the holidays as "the thread that binds together and unites all Jewish people." Combining history, tradition, literature, and art, Rush has created a multifaceted work that informs, entertains, and even challenges. Drawing on a rich array of sources, the author explains each holiday within a context that is at once seasonal, historical, and religious. Her background in storytelling enriches the text, as do abundant references to the Hebrew origin and numerological interpretation of common terms. Each explanation is enhanced by a diverse collection of written literature, including folklore, original tales, and midrash. The literary selections determine the tone of the book, for these works reflect the spiritual and cultural wealth of Judaism, giving a voice to the Jewish people that rings clear in all its complexity and humor. Exquisite, full-color reproductions augment the text, and include images of Jewish ritual objects, illuminated manuscripts, paintings, and folk art. They reinforce the idea that the Jewish people are bound by a common heritage that crosses national, cultural, and even historical lines. Although there is no index or glossary, the fine organization, detailed text, and thorough contents page more than compensate. A handsome book that will enrich any Judaica collection.
Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles