The Jew­ish Home: A Guide to the Jew­ish Hol­i­days and Life Cycles

Daniel B. Syme
  • Review
By – September 28, 2012
Peo­ple seek­ing a basic intro­duc­tion to Jew­ish rit­u­al and prac­tice will find it in the new edi­tion of The Jew­ish Home by Rab­bi Daniel Syme. First pub­lished in 1988, it explains the major hol­i­days and life-cycle events from a Reform Jew­ish per­spec­tive. Using a question/​answer for­mat, Rab­bi Syme dis­cuss­es Shab­bat, the High Hol­i­days, Pesach, Purim, and Shavuot as well as less­er-known hol­i­days such as Lag BaOmer, Tu BiSh’vat, and Tishah B’Av. He also cov­ers nam­ing chil­dren, brit milah, wed­dings, divorces, funer­als and mourn­ing, and rites of pas­sage (bar/​bat mitz­vah, con­fir­ma­tion). Black-and-white pho­tographs sup­ple­ment the text and a brief bib­li­og­ra­phy of oth­er works pub­lished by URJ Press offers fur­ther infor­ma­tion. This is a use­ful resource for libraries in Reform con­gre­ga­tions. It is also a good source for the home and for pub­lic libraries in need of basic mate­r­i­al about Judaism.
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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