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During the time of Chanukah, when the Syrian-Greeks wanted to undermine and eventually destroy Jewish life, one of the three commandments they tried to abolish was the proclamation of Rosh Chodesh. They knew that without a calendar as ordained by the Torah, the festivals could not be observed and major components of Jewish life would come to a standstill. Today, there is no Sanhedrin and no means of establishing Rosh Chodesh according to sightings of the new moon. How is our present-day calendar designed? What are its complex computations? Why can't Rosh Hashanah fall out on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday? How are the leap years determined, and how is it that the solar years and lunar years are kept in equilibrium? These are only a few of the many issues that are analyzed and clarified in this brilliant presentation by HaGaon Harav David Feinstein, Rosh Yeshivah of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem, and one of the world's great poskim. Also included: the Rosh Yeshivah's insights into all the special days of the Jewish calendar, explanations of their laws, and reasons for many of our familiar yet sometimes mysterious customs. Artscroll, 192 pages.
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The What, How and Why of Jewish Life by Rabbi Mordechai Becher
Questions are the gateway to knowledge. After years of responding to the queries of people from all walks of life, Rabbi Becher saw the need for a single volume that would explain the fundamentals of Jewish living; the philosophy behind Jewish tradition, along with practical explanations of how Jews actually live. Gateway to Judaism offers an engaging insider's look at the mindset, values, and practices of Judaism in the 21st century.
Some of the fascinating questions which Rabbi Becher addresses in Gateway to Judaism are:
In the age of modern conveniences do we really need a Sabbath?
What is Judaism's view on death and the afterlife?
Why is Judaism so full of laws?
Why should I pray? Does God really want to hear my complaints?
Can Judaism enhance my marriage?
What does Judaism say about raising and educating children?
Isn't circumcision just an ancient rite of initiation? What relevance does it have today?
Why is Israel so central to Judaism? Does a religion need a land?
How can I conduct a Passover Seder if I can barely read Hebrew?
Each chapter includes:
An overview and philosophical introduction to the topic, including rationale and sources
Practical laws and instructions
Extensive endnotes, which provide a valuable reference tool for scholars, teachers and students of Judaism
Vignettes of the lively Levy family demonstrate how these topics apply in daily life
Rabbi Becher demonstrates the relevance of Judaism's timeless principles and its ability to transform and elevate the individual, the family and the community. His book opens the door for the newcomer to Judaism, while at the same time providing new insights into its significance for those already familiar with the joy of Jewish living. Highly recommended!
By Rabbi Mordechai Becher. Artscroll, hardcover, 518 pages
Would you like to have a great life? Want to be happy and free? Would you like to have emotional health? Rabbi Shalom Arush's Happy and Free will show you the way! For men only. Includes the Tikkun Haklali. 64 pages. Hebrew.
"Jerusalem" crystal bottle cap. 9 cm long