Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, celebrated author of "The Jewish Books of Why", has helped a generation understand the reasons behind Jewish law, custom, and ritual. Now, in A Handbook for the Jewish Home, he provides us with a practical guide that explains precisely and concisely how to conduct ourselves both in our homes and when interacting with the Jewish community at large.
Without underestimating the reader's intelligence or overestimating his or her Jewish knowledge, the handbook instructs us how to derive the most from life's joyous occasions (picking a name for a newborn, preparing for a Bar and Bat Mitzva, planning a wedding celebration) and how to cope with the painful ones (arranging for a divorce, making funeral preparations, observing the rituals of mourning). It teaches us how to establish a kosher home, properly affix a mezuza to a doorpost, don tefillin, light Sabbath and holiday candles, and recite the Kiddush over wine. So that we might obtain maximum pleasure and inspiration from the Jewish days of celebration, it also presents background on each of the holidays and offers step-by-step guidance on how to observe the relevant customs. Taking into account that the Jewish mosaic is diverse and that religious law can be intimidating, A Handbook for the Jewish Home explains the varieties of Jewish observance in straightforward language and compact, easy-to-understand units. Whether discussing how to kindle a Chanuka menora, assemble a lulav bouquet, or conduct a Passover Seder, it equips us with the knowledge and confidence necessary to fulfill Jewish tradition with ease and comfort. Previously issued in hardcover as The Jewish Home Advisor and in paperback as How to Live a Jewish Life.
"Whenever you see the name of Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, you can be sure the book is going to be chock full of useful information and this volume is no exception . . . . Very well organized, [A Handbook for the Jewish Home] presents the kind of detailed information needed by the modern family committed to perpetuating Jewish tradition. . . . It deserves to be in every Jewish home."
- The Jewish Chronicle
"After two volumes of his popular Jewish Books of Why, Rabbi Kolatch has shifted from explaining the reasons for Jewish custom to writing a guide for those wishing to follow them . . . . The first of the two easy-to-read sections deals with customs related to home and family; the second focuses on synagogue rituals and holiday celebrations . . . . A wealth of information that will be useful both to those who follow Jewish rituals and to those with limited knowledge of them."
- The Jewish Week
"A superb volume that tells the hows for every Jewish experience . . . . A must for significant and vibrant Jewish life."
- Rabbi Saul I. Teplitz
"The perfect reference resource on the proper observance of Jewish customs and practices."
- The Midwest Book Review
About the Author:
Alfred J. Kolatch, a graduate of the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which subsequently awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa. Early in his career, he served as rabbi of congregations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kew Gardens, New York, and as a chaplain in the United States Army. Rabbi Kolatch has authored more than fifty books, the most popular of which are the best-selling "Jewish Book of Why" and "Second Jewish Book of Why", "The Jewish Book of Why: The Torah", "The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why", "The New Name Dictionary", "The Comprehensive Dictionary of English & Hebrew First Names", "The Family Seder", and "The Jewish Child's First Book of Why". His most recent works are "Great Jewish Quotations", "The Presidents of the United States & the Jews", and "Masters of the Talmud". In addition to his scholarly work, Rabbi Kolatch has served as president of the Association of Jewish Chaplains of the Armed Forces and as vice-president of the interdenominational Military Chaplains Association of the United States.