Judaism
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Overcoming Life's Disappointments
Overcoming Life's Disappointments
Hardcover      ISBN: 1400040574

From Harold S. Kushner, the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People, "a book that shows us how to be our best selves even when things don't turn out as we had hoped--that is, how we can overcome life's disappointments.
Kushner turns to the experience of Moses to find the requisite lessons of strength and faith. Moses towers over all others in the Old Testament: he is the man on the mountaintop to whom God speaks with unparalleled intimacy, and he leads his people out of bondage. But he is also deeply human, someone whose soaring triumphs are offset by frustration and longing: his people ignore his teachings, he is denied entrance to the Promised Land, his family suffers. But he overcomes.
From the life of Moses, Kushner gleans principles that can help us deal with the problems we encounter. Through the example of Moses' remarkable resilience, we learn how to weather the disillusionment of dreams unfulfilled, the pain of a lost job or promotion, a child's failures, divorce or abandonment, and illness. We learn how to meet all disappointments with faith in ourselves and the future, and how to respond to heartbreak with understanding rather than bitterness and despair.
This is a book of spiritual wisdom--as practical as it is inspiring.

The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
The Gifts of the Jews
How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0385482485

The author of the runaway bestseller "How the Irish Saved Civilization" has done it again. In "The Gifts of the Jews" Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.


"The Gifts of the Jews" reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.


Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, "The Gifts of the Jews" is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as "How the Irish Saved Civilization."

Renewing the Covenant: A Kabbalistic Guide to Jewish Spirituality
Renewing the Covenant
A Kabbalistic Guide to Jewish Spirituality
Paperback      ISBN: 0892817135

A guide to how meditations and principles from the Kabbalah can be used to profoundly renew spiritual practice.
- Reveals transformational meditations and visualization exercises based on the profoundest truths concealed in the Kabbalah.
The covenant that bound God to the Patriarchs in a special relationship of obligation and empowerment was renewed by God with Israel at Sinai and Moab. Each of these three Jewish covenants can be associated with a particular spiritual practice: the Patriarchal Covenant with Father Isaac's practice of meditation; The Sinai Covenant of Holiness with the observance of the Sabbath required in its Ten Commandments, and the Moab Covenant of Love, comprising the entire Mosaic Torah, with the practice of prayer instituted there. In Renewing the Covenant, Leonora Leet shows how this ladder of increasingly demanding and potent covenantal practices can enable one to ascend to ever higher levels of mystical Judaism.
At this threshold of a new millennium, increasing numbers of people are seeking a more direct connection with the Divine. To aid such a process, Renewing the Covenant provides new paths for entering the treasurehouse of Jewish spirituality and achieving higher consciousness, paths that can deepen the devotions of both nonobservant and traditionally observant Jews. This process of covenant renewal begins with effective kabbalistic techniques of meditation combining mantra with visualization, proceeds through the return to a reconstructed Sinai Sabbath, and arrives at the culminating practice of ritual prayer whose performance can fulfill the kabbalistic purpose of creation. When undertaken in the steps laid out by Dr. Leet, this process can help many to discover forms of spiritual practice precisely tailored for the modern world, as well as a new appreciation for the rich spiritual heritage of Judaism.

God's Gold: A Quest for the Lost Temple Treasures of Jerusalem
God's Gold
A Quest for the Lost Temple Treasures of Jerusalem
Hardcover      ISBN: 0060854006

God's Gold explores the fate of the greatest biblical treasure in history, the central icons of the Jewish faith looted from the Temple of Jerusalem. The golden candelabrum, silver trumpets, and the bejeweled Table of the Divine Presence were plundered by the Roman emperor Vespasian and his son Titus in AD 70. These biblical treasures are cast adrift in Mediterranean lands and exposed to 550 years of turbulent history and the rule of four different civilizations; only an intriguing trail of clues betrays their ever-changing destiny.

The Temple treasure is a priceless hoard, but it has yet greater significance as the ultimate symbol of man's communication with God. The gold's recovery is central to Israel's broken dreams of messianic redemption by building a new House of God on the Temple Mount and its hopes for a return to an age of biblical sacrifice.

Using untapped historical texts and new archaeological sources, Sean Kingsley unravels the incredible history of this treasure; its character; and religious, political, and financial meaning across the ages. Unexpected discoveries send him on a physical journey to expose the treasure's destiny. From the Vatican to the Vandal palace of Carthage, Constantinople's hippodrome, and the wilderness of Judea, his remarkable quest reveals facts more astonishing than fiction.

Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn as a Jew
Saying Kaddish
How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn as a Jew
Paperback      ISBN: 0805210881
The definitive guide to Judaism's end-of-life rituals, revised and updated for Jews of all backgrounds and beliefs

From caring for the dying to honoring the dead, Anita Diamant explains the Jewish practices that make mourning a loved one an opportunity to experience the full range of emotions--grief, anger, fear, guilt, relief--and take comfort in the idea that the memory of the deceased is bound up in our lives and actions.

In Saying Kaddish you will find suggestions for conducting a funeral and for observing the shiva week, the shloshim month, the year of Kaddish, the annual yahrzeit, and the Yizkor service. There are also chapters on coping with particular losses--such as the death of a child and suicide--and on children as mourners, mourning non-Jewish loved ones, and the bereavement that accompanies miscarriage.

Diamant also offers advice on how to apply traditional views of the sacredness of life to hospice and palliative care. Reflecting the ways that ancient rituals and customs have been adapted in light of contemporary wisdom and needs, she includes updated sections on taharah (preparation of the body for burial) and on using ritual immersion in a mikveh to mark the stages of bereavement. And, celebrating a Judaism that has become inclusive and welcoming. Diamant highlights rituals, prayers, and customs that will be meaningful to Jews-by-choice, Jews of color, and LGBTQ Jews. Concluding chapters discuss Jewish perspectives on writing a will, creating healthcare directives, making final arrangements, and composing an ethical will.
Fragile Branches: Travels Through the Jewish Diaspora
Fragile Branches
Travels Through the Jewish Diaspora
Hardcover      ISBN: 1573221651

In a remote mountain village in Portugal, an entire Jewish community avoided persecution by keeping their faith and rituals secret, generation after generation, for over 500 years. In Fragile Branches, James Ross explains that while isolated Jewish communities like this one are part of the tree of Jewish life, they have retained and reshaped rituals and traditions that have been lost elsewhere. These fragile branches of the Jewish culture, cut off from mainstream Judaism, exist on every continent and in nearly every country of the world, from the Amazon rainforest to the hills of northeastern India, to the central highlands of Uganda. As modern Jews struggle to revive or reconstruct their traditions, these communities, six of which Ross visits and introduces to us here, can serve as reminders of the diversity and richness of Jewish life.

Putting God on the Guest List, Third Edition: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah
Putting God on the Guest List, Third Edition
How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah
Paperback      ISBN: 1580232221

PMA Best Religion Book of the Year
The inspiring guide to spiritual celebration used in hundreds of congregations--Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist--revised and expanded

"Parents and their children acutely feel the social pressures that surround bar and bat mitzvah. But they want to feel the spiritual promise of the event, the pull of the divine, and the knowledge that they are participating in an event that has meaning both in the ancient past and in the very immediate present. They want to know that the steep incline before them is their family's own version of Sinai, the summit where, in every generation, Jews meet God, individually and as a people. They want to know that bar and bat mitzvah can be a path to that summit. And they want to know how to get there. . . . This book can be their guide."
--from "Why This Book Was Born"

Helps people find core spiritual values in American Jewry's most misunderstood ceremony--bar and bat mitzvah. In a joining of explanation, instruction and inspiration, Rabbi Salkin helps both parent and child truly be there when the moment of Sinai is recreated in their lives.

Rabbi Salkin asks and answers questions that make parents and children more comfortable with the event and able to experience it more joyfully. How did bar and bat mitzvah originate? What is the lasting significance of the event? What are the ethics of celebration? What specific things can you do to reclaim the spiritual meaning of the event? How to further develop spirituality? What spiritual values can parents and young people build together?

To help guide friends and family who are not Jewish through this important Jewish life cycle event, Rabbi Salkin provides a brief, welcoming overview: "What Non-Jews Should Know About the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Service."

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jewish History and Culture
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jewish History and Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 0028627113

Irreverent in approach, these guides include tips and advice from leading authorites, aiming to help with life's big decisions and challenges, as well as hobbies, sports and studies. This volume condenses 5800 years of Jewish history into one guide.

The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land (Updated in 2008)
The Israelis
Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land (Updated in 2008)
Paperback      ISBN: 0743270355

Israel is smaller than New Jersey, with 0.11% of the world's population, yet captures a lion's share of headlines. It looks like one country on CNN, a very different one on al-Jazeera. The BBC has their version, The New York Times theirs. But how does Israel look to Israelis?

Israel is smaller than New Jersey, with 0.11% of the world's population, yet captures a lion's share of headlines. It looks like one country on CNN, a very different one on al-Jazeera. The BBC has their version, The New York Times theirs. But how does Israel look to Israelis? The answers are varied, and they have been brought together here in one of the most original books about Israel in decades. From battlefields to bedrooms to boardrooms, discover the colliding worlds in which an astounding mix of 7.2 million devoutly traditional and radically modern people live. You'll meet "Arab Jews" who fled Islamic countries, dreadlock-wearing Ethiopian immigrants who sing reggae in Hebrew, Christians in Nazareth who publish an Arabic-style Cosmo, young Israeli Muslims who know more about Judaism than most Jews of the Diaspora, ultra-Orthodox Jews on "Modesty Patrols," and more. Interweaving hundreds of personal stories with intriguing new research, The Israelis is lively, irreverent, and always fascinating.
From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History
From Generation to Generation
How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History
Paperback      ISBN: 0062733354

A guide for American Jews, particularly those of Eastern European origin, features material on finding information recently made available from the former Soviet Union