Get A Time to Every Purpose: Letters to a Young Jew PDF

By Jonathan D Sarna

ISBN-10: 0465002463

ISBN-13: 9780465002467

ISBN-10: 0786731664

ISBN-13: 9780786731664

At the flip of the twenty-first century, the valuable query confronting Jewish leaders in the USA is easy:

Why be Jewish?

Jonathan D. Sarna, acclaimed pupil of yankee Judaism, believes that “Why be Jewish?” is the incorrect query. Judaism, he believes, isn't lots a “why” as a way—a lifestyle, a fashion of marking time, a fashion of when it comes to the surroundings, to people, to relatives, and to God. Judaism is skilled via doing—doing issues Jewish, doing issues for fellow Jews in desire, doing issues as a Jew to enhance the country of the area. The extra Judaism one does, the extra one involves enjoy what Judaism is.

Using the Jewish calendar as his place to begin, Sarna displays at the significant topics of Jewish existence as expressed in an entire yr of holidays—from 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 introduction—or reintroduction—to the foremost practices of Jewish lifestyles in addition to the numerous complexities of the yankee Jewish event, this ebook can be crucial examining for American Jews and the right present for the vacation season.

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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.

Mrs. Levy lost two children in Europe,” Sabba once explained, when I pointed to a neighbor who always looked teary-eyed whenever she saw us in the street. qxd 6/17/08 10:48 AM Page 31 remembering the holocaust | 31 lost practically his entire family in Europe, yet loved playing with young Jewish children like us. Each Jewish child, he declared, represented one more victory over Hitler. You might not realize it, but yours will be the very last generation of Jews able to say that you actually knew survivors of the Holocaust.

Latin American nations admitted some Jews but then barred their doors. Cuba actually revoked the entry permits of many Jews. Almost a thousand Jews sailed to Cuba on the passenger ship St. qxd 34 | 6/17/08 10:48 AM Page 34 a time to every purpose believing that they would find refuge there, but found themselves barred; nor would America or any Caribbean country admit them. Eventually, the boat sailed back to Europe, where most of its passengers perished. Had the State of Israel existed at that time, perhaps this whole story would have ended differently.

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A Time to Every Purpose: Letters to a Young Jew by Jonathan D Sarna


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