A JPS Desk Reference By Ronald L. Eisenberg (806 Pages)Publisher: Jewish Publication Society, 2004
How much do you really know about Judaism? After reading The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions, you may be in for a surprise! Did you know that:
Dividing the Bible into chapters and verses was a Christian innovation
Although a recital of the Ten Commandments was once part of the daily service at the Temple in Jerusalem, Jews elsewhere were forbidden to recite them
The Kaddish, which now closes every Jewish service, as well as sections within the service, was originally not even part of the synagogue ritual.
Ronald Eisenberg has distilled an immense amount of material from classic and contemporary sources into a single volume, which provides thousands of insights into the origins, history, and current interpretations of a wealth of Jewish traditions and customs.
Divided into four sections--Synagogue and Prayers, Sabbaths and Festivals, Life-Cycle Events, and Miscellaneous (a large section that includes such diverse topics as Jewish literature, food, and plants and animals)--this latest title in the JPS Desk Reference Series is an encyclopedic reference for anyone who wants easily accessible, accurate information about all things Jewish.
Eisenberg writes for a wide, diversified audience, and is respectful of the range of practices and beliefs within today's American Jewish community--from Orthodox to liberal. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions is certain to be a meaningful addition to institutional and personal libraries. It is also an excellent gift for b'nai mitzvah, and other lifecycle events and holidays.