Celebration & Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism

By Rela M. Geffen | Go to book overview

MELVIN L. AND SHOSHANA R. SILBERMAN


From Bar/Bat Mitzvah Through the Teen Years
Challenges to Parent and Community

Adolescence is a modern phenomenon. In earlier times, one went from being a dependent child to an adult without a prolonged period of transition. Today, young people find themselves for a stretch of five years or more, as lyrics from A Chorus Line put it, "too young to take over, too old to ignore." While they are waiting, they in effect remake their personalities, shedding childlike characteristics and trying more adult ones on for size. It is an awkward time for children and parents alike as they all try to figure out how to get along without compromising personal goals. If we look to the Jewish tradition, in both its teachings and practices, we find a wealth of resources to guide us in shaping a family as well as a communal response to the challenge that adolescence poses.


The Nature of Adolescence

When children enter adolescence, their parents are usually in for a big surprise. Even youngsters who were considerate, accepting, and obedient a short time before

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Celebration & Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • Be Fruitful and Multiply - Issues Relating to Birth in Judaism 12
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 31
  • Parents as Partners with God - Parenting Young Children 32
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 52
  • From Bar/Bat Mitzvah Through the Teen Years - Challenges to Parent and Community 53
  • Notes 70
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 70
  • Choosing Judaism - Issues Relating to Conversion 71
  • Notes 88
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 88
  • Marriage - Judaism's "Other" Covenantal Relationship 90
  • Notes 122
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 130
  • Midlife - From Understanding to Wisdom 132
  • Notes 147
  • The Altar Weeps" - Divorce in Jewish Law 151
  • Introduction 151
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 166
  • Bikkur Ḥolim - Sickness in Jewish Law 167
  • Notes 196
  • The Crown of Glory - Aging in the Jewish Tradition 202
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 223
  • Death and Mourning - A Time for Weeping, A Time for Healing 226
  • Conclusion 249
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 249
  • Glossary 252
  • Contributors 258
  • Index 261
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