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

By Jonathan D Sarna

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

Why be Jewish?

Jonathan D. Sarna, acclaimed student of yank Judaism, believes that “Why be Jewish?” is the incorrect query. Judaism, he believes, isn't loads a “why” as a way—a lifestyle, a fashion of marking time, a manner of in relation to the surroundings, to humans, to relatives, and to God. Judaism is skilled via doing—doing issues Jewish, doing issues for fellow Jews in want, doing issues as a Jew to enhance the nation of the realm. The extra Judaism one does, the extra one involves have fun with what Judaism is.

Using the Jewish calendar as his start line, Sarna displays at the significant subject matters of Jewish lifestyles as expressed in a whole 12 months 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 most important practices of Jewish lifestyles in addition to the numerous complexities of the yank Jewish event, this e-book could be crucial examining for American Jews and the best present for the vacation season.

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Extra info for A Time to Every Purpose: Letters to a Young Jew

Sample text

I know folks who think that kosher food is so pure and holy that it will actually keep you healthy. The Food and Drug Administration, however, is unlikely to agree. In fact, not even the Bible makes any such claim! Instead, the point of kosher food, even in ancient times, was to make Jews feel distinctive and special. Lots of world religions, including Islam, Hinduism, and Mormonism, set their members apart through conspicuous food practices. Inevitably, such rules separate insiders from outsiders, those who are faithful from those who are not.

These, as you know, are the laws that define whether food is kosher. ” She thought that keeping kosher meant no more than abstaining from pork and bacon! Of course, the rules are much more complicated than that. For one thing, keeping kosher means separating milk from meat, a requirement that the rabbis deduced from the Bible. Traditional Jews have two completely different sets of dishes and cutlery (and some have two different dishwashers as well) to ensure that nothing associated with meat touches anything associated with dairy.

Does this mean that we are the chosen people? The Bible boldly states that we are. qxd 6/17/08 10:48 AM Page 23 food, family, and jewish distinctiveness | 23 You are a people consecrated to the Lord your God: of all the peoples on earth the Lord your God chose you to be His treasured people. It is not because you are the most numerous of peoples that the Lord set His heart on you and chose you—indeed, you are the smallest of peoples; but it was because the Lord favored you and kept the oath He made to your fathers that the Lord freed you with a mighty hand and rescued you from the house of bondage, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

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