The Jewish Book of Why
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The Jewish Book of Why

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  338 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Explains the reasons for Jewish customs concerning marriage, mourning, diet, prayer, worship, and the celebration of religious holidays.
Leather Bound, 326 pages
Published August 1st 1983 by Jonathan David Publishers (first published January 1st 1981)
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Lisa Ard
I didn't read every word of this book, but then the format doesn't lend itself to that. It's more of an encyclopedia on the Jewish traditions and religion with short excerpts explaining why Jews do what they do.

A Jewish friend recommended it to me when I asked for a book that would explain some of the key concepts of Judaism. This conversation arose after she told of setting up the sukka for Sukkot. (What?!) The book covers marriage and divorce, death and morning, dietary laws, clothing, the hi...more
Answers a lot of questions.
A friend loaned me this book and I am so glad she did. I learned so much about the Jewish religion from this book. If anyone wants to find out why we do the things we do in the Jewish religion, this is the book for you. If you are someone who is interested in understanding the Jewish religion than this book is for you as well. I highly recommend this book as it is extremely informative.
Patricia Ferreira
Interesting book! I've read it to learn more about jews, since I knew what everybody knows: that they don't believe the Messiah has come yet, and they don't eat pork; it was pretty much it, actually, so with this book I learned that their relationship with their religion is much more complex, with many festivities and holy days; and they have to follow millions of rules. Very interesting.
Amazing. This helped me understand more about the nuts and bolts of this rich, complex faith and its long history. The best thing about this book is that it breaks down what can seem the Herculean task of gaining insight into Judaism into manageable increments. Rabbi Kolatch's language is clear and accessible. Makes me want to get the sequel.
Karyn Wynne
Very good. My only complaint is that I do not speak hebrew, and I have the impression that would help. I am reading the second book now tho. It was not that much of a deterrent to no know the language. I am Jewish and I like having the historical reference to WHY
More than I probably ever needed to know about things like the blue thread in a talit (which I thought was a tallis, but whatever). Judaism is so interesting. This book is a Q & A--a little repetitive if you actually read it straight through, but not a bad resource.
still reading, sort of, on & off, whenever i get inspired. it's great to pick up & put down & that's what i've done for several years.

my brotherinlaw has all of the series & i recommend them all
the book my rabbi gave me on bat mitzvah, the book he gave to my brother on his bar mitzvah.... both copies yet to be read all the way through
I pick this up whenever I have a question. I've read the whole chapter on death and burial customs. It's very interesting!
Marianne Ogden
All the things you wanted to ask a Jewish person but were afraid to ask. It's especially helpful as a cultural perspective.
Interesting book, but definitely written for someone more aware of Jewish tradition than myself.
I am still reading this book but i really has great facts about judisum
Sharon Callaway
I am reading this now. Just to find out why they do and believe as they do.
Jul 18, 2007 Brianna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Other Jews or those puzzled by the Jewish religion
Most any questions you have about Judaism can be answered in this book.
Nov 29, 2013 Bob added it
Excellent book to understand Jewish customs, especially holy days.
Endlessly fascinating tidbits for the perpetually fascinated.
Jan 30, 2009 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amanda by: friends in undergrad
I've read this four times now...every time I do, I learn something.
Answers just about any question about Judaism. Love it.
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