Kosher Liv­ing: It’s More Than Just the Food

Ron Isaacs
  • Review
By – August 16, 2012
Peo­ple usu­al­ly asso­ciate the term kosher with foods and dietary laws. It actu­al­ly means fit or prop­er. Rab­bi Ron Isaacs’ new book applies the term to all aspects of life. Using a question/​answer for­mat, he dis­cuss­es a wide range of top­ics includ­ing abor­tion, cir­cum­ci­sion, busi­ness ethics, friend­ship, char­i­ty, fam­i­ly rela­tion­ships and ecol­o­gy. The dis­cus­sion of each issue con­tains sev­er­al parts: what’s kosher, what’s not kosher, what the experts say, and sources. The kosher/​not kosher sec­tions explain the Jew­ish laws relat­ing to the issue. What the experts say and sources are quotes from tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish texts about the sub­ject. These include Bible, Tal­mud, Kab­bal­ah, and texts of var­i­ous schol­ars. A chap­ter about the sources of Jew­ish law and a brief bib­li­og­ra­phy offer direc­tion for fur­ther research. This book is a use­ful ready ref­er­ence source because it pro­vides quick answers on a vari­ety of sub­jects. It will also be a good source for teach­ers who want to start dis­cus­sions on issues such as gos­sip, the treat­ment of the elder­ly, and for­give­ness. Seri­ous stu­dents will want to con­sult the orig­i­nal texts or resources with more exten­sive cov­er­age such as the Ency­clo­pe­dia Judaica, but Kosher Liv­ing is an accept­able addi­tion to home, pub­lic, and syn­a­gogue libraries.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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