To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life

To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life

To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life

To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life

Synopsis

Here in one handsome volume are all the laws and customs as they apply to contemporary Jewish life. In simple and powerful language Donin presents the laws and observances for the daily life and for the major and minor holidays, as well as the guiding principles and practices for all the special occasions of life. Perfectly suited for use as a practical reference, Rabbi Donin's classic text also includes chapters on the underlying creed of Judaism, on ethics, the Torah and the Commandments, and other topics that make it an indispensable summary and rationale of the Jewish Law for our time.

Excerpt

Perhaps more than any generation in memory, ours is one consciously searching for meaning. Pressed by questions from the younger among us, our concerns turn increasingly to a search for human values, away from the race for yet greater affluence and toward finding greater purpose for our lives.

In a sense, many in this generation have come to the same conclusion as did King Solomon in the remarkably exciting Biblical book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) which concerns itself most directly with a search for a meaning to life. Many today have also come to the conclusion that so many of the things to which they have been exposed, the material values they have hitherto confronted, the pleasure principle that has in effect determined their values in life -- "this too is a vanity . . . an empty wind. . . . " Like Kohelet, the contemporary generation has been discovering for itself that happiness is not secured solely by physical comfort or economic well-being. The latter surely enables one to be more comfortable in his misery; it provides one with more ways by which to salve a spiritual emptiness or to anesthetize an emotional pain. But it is of little value in curing. In the long run, it is the discovery of meaning that is the key to personal fulfillment; it is the discovery of purpose that gives a man or woman a reason to want to live. In feeling useful and needed, man finds his happiness.

The modern Jew who has come to view with justified disdain the . . .

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