Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays

Jewish Publication Society  2009

How much is there to say about the Jewish holidays? So much that it’s impossible to get it all into one volume, or even two. So Paul Steinberg and his editor, Janet Greenstein Potter, chose to put just four holidays—Passover, The Omer, Shavuot, and Tisha b’Av—into this large, inclusive, lovingly written book, the last of a three-volume series. Each holiday is treated as both a singular event and part of a chain that links the days and months of the Jewish year to each and every Jew who recognizes the beauty and transformative energy in it. A host of contributing writers, all well-credentialed but with different styles, values, and viewpoints, bring a richness of opinion and depth of thought to the total presentation of each holiday.

The organization of the book is simple and elegant. Each holiday is explained fully; descriptions of traditional customs and observances are offered, along with differing perspectives on the significance of the holiday, ways to interpret the appropriate texts, and alternative meditations. The book is also richly designed, with attractive sidebars and varied type, reflecting the contents’ balance of warmth, creativity, and scholarly information. Endnotes, glossary, index.

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