By Jonathan D Sarna
Why be Jewish?
Jonathan D. Sarna, acclaimed student of yank Judaism, believes that Why be Jewish?” is the inaccurate query. Judaism, he believes, isn't lots a why” as a waya lifestyle, a fashion of marking time, a fashion of in relation to the surroundings, to people, to kin, and to God. Judaism is skilled via doingdoing issues Jewish, doing issues for fellow Jews in desire, doing issues as a Jew to enhance the nation of the area. The extra Judaism one does, the extra one involves savor what Judaism is.
Using the Jewish calendar as his place to begin, Sarna displays at the significant issues of Jewish existence as expressed in a whole 12 months of holidaysfrom Passover within the spring to Purim 11 months later. Passover, for example, yields a dialogue of freedom; Shavuot, a dialogue of Torah; Yom Kippur, the function of the person in the Jewish group; Chanukah, problems with assimilation and anti-assimilation.
An crucial short introductionor reintroductionto the most important practices of Jewish lifestyles in addition to the numerous complexities of the yank Jewish event, this ebook can be crucial studying for American Jews and the appropriate present for the vacation season.
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Extra info for A Time to Every Purpose: Letters to a Young Jew
There are other foods, like the braided bread known as hallah, that we eat on the Sabbath. Then there are foods, like chicken soup (also known as Jewish penicillin), that our sages considered good for our health and that passed into our regular diet. qxd 20 | 6/17/08 10:48 AM Page 20 a time to every purpose kugel, actually are characteristic only of particular regions where Jews lived; they are as strange to my Moroccan Jewish friends as their foods are to me. But other foods, like the slow-cooking stew that Eastern European Jews call cholent and Sephardic Jews call famin, turn up in different varieties around the Jewish world.
People lived six or seven to a room. By the time of the uprising, most Jews had already died of starvation and disease or been transported to death camps. But the more than 50,000 who remained courageously battled the Nazis when they came to liquidate the ghetto. Using primitive weapons and fighting from underground bunkers, they held off the Nazis for weeks. Most eventually perished, but the courage that they displayed inspires us still. My eyes moisten now when I think of the last words of the prayer that Sabba always recited: And from the depths of their afﬂiction, the martyrs lifted their voices in a song of faith in the coming of the Messiah, when justice and brotherhood will reign .
The closing hymn at the end of many contemporary haggadahs—the Aramaic song ead Gadya—concludes with God slaying the angel of death. The end of the classical haggadah, before the later songs were added, closes on a similar note (forgive the bad poetry of the English translation; the original Hebrew is better): We’ve made another Seder just as we were told. We followed all the rules laid down in days of old. As we were worthy to order it here, So may we do it again next year! qxd 6/17/08 10:48 AM Page 15 freedom | 15 Take quickly Your vine shoots and replant them strong Back in Zion’s vineyard, where they will sing your song.