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Living a Jewish Life

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  413 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Jewish tradition is a gift and a challenge. "Living a Jewish Life" is your guide to the cultural and spiritual treasures of Judaism, explained in ways that address the choices posed by modern life. From hanging a mezuzah to celebrating a wedding, from lighting Sabbath candles to choosing a synagogue that's right for you and your family, you will find " why-to's" and " how- ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published August 16th 1996 by Wmmorrowpb (first published 1991)
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So we're not Jewish but my son attends a Jewish preschool and has been asking me if we can have Shabbat together as a family on Friday evenings. I read this book to better understand Shabbat as well as the other Jewish holidays and traditions. It was helpful!
This would be at the top of my favorite books I have ever read. Judaism moves me and inspires me and this book teaches how to live a better Jewish life. Lets us know how to incorporate Judaism into your everyday lives.
Excellent overview of Jewish customs, traditions, holidays, rituals, etc. Good pace. Very informative.
Very open-handed and helpful outline of Jewish traditions.
Simcha Wood
Like Diamant's companion volume for converts, Choosing a Jewish Life, Living a Jewish Life is a fine resource for someone looking for introductory-level information on (non-Orthodox) Judaism. This book discusses various aspects of Jewish life, including home and community observances, the holidays, and the life cycle. This book makes no assumptions about the reader's level of knowledge or familiarity with Judaism, so it may be less useful to readers who have already spent time studying Judaism o ...more
Much like What Is a Jew, this is a book where most of the information contained within is now freely available and the needs for a reference work are much less now than they were back in the pre-Internet days (or, as we millenials call it, The Dark Times). However, while What Is a Jew is an entirely introductory text for people coming from the outside, Living a Jewish Life assumes at least a base level of knowledge and doesn't cover questions like "What don't Jews celebrate Christmas?" The focus ...more
Emilia P
Oh hey, primer on Jewish practices, services, rituals, holidays, and rites of passage. You were straightforward, well-researched and reported, answered a lot of kind of basic questions I had, like "what do Jews do at temple on Friday night?" and also served as sort of refresher on the bits and pieces of knowledge I'd collected over the last few years. I will say you were somewhat procedural, as you intended to be, and not deeply spiritual and powerful, but I can dig it. You did not cover non-ref ...more
I picked this up for some thematic Yom Kippur reading and immediately realized that I was not the target audience. Nevertheless, I quickly completed it. This is really a primer for someone with minimal knowledge of Jewish customs (that would not be me). I think there are probably updated editions that might be a little more useful to someone who's interested (this edition was quaint, in that it was written before the Internet became widely available and mentions antiquated things like catalogs a ...more
Oct 22, 2012 Kat rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: judaism
This was the first book I completed on Judaism. It gives a good overview of jewish traditions and customs. It is very family oriented. It talked a lot about children, family, and stuff like that. I would not recommend it for someone thinking about converting. It gives barely any guidance on conversion and some of the traditions it explains (most of which don't come from the Torah) might seem pagan and frankly non-biblical to non-Jews.
Aug 21, 2008 Shana rated it 3 of 5 stars
I've read much of this but not all, and I did eventually have to return it to the library. It's good and its intent is quite worthy of respect, but it could use a bit of an update now, over ten years after its publication. I'll take it back out and finish it at a later date.
Aug 08, 2008 Sean rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Every thinking individual
I have like ten copies of this, and I am not even Jewish! Amazing book that explains so much and in such understandable ways about the hows and whys of the Jewish lifestyle.

I completely recommend this to all my friends.
Goes hand and hand with her book on conversion...another one I pick up again and again. Her books on Judaism make fantastic starting points for different topics in Judaism, be they religious, cultural or historical.
Ehh, this was ok. Basically, Reform Judaism (and this book) can be boiled down to: Whatever you believe (whatever works for you) can work within Reform Judaism. Lots of info about holidays and stuff.
The Preface is great! The lists of additional reading is good to. I didn't agree with some of their statements. I guess I've traveled further down the learning road.
Good book and good author... This book is comprehensive and is a great asset as a support system.... I have two more friends converting to Judaism...
The blessings interspersed do not make for very fluid reading, but this is an interesting book nonetheless, though very general. A good how-to "do" Judaism.
Craig J.
"Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today's Families by Anita Diamant (1996)"
Used this during our early family life, introducing Shabbat traditions, holiday practices, talking about our choices.
Very helpful in planning my wedding and my daughters' namings!!
Jane De vries
Idealistic but provides guidelines for those who are searching
T Powers
Very informative. I love this writer.
Feb 18, 2009 Mgaleharris is currently reading it
interesting, helpful, well-written
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Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest being THE BOSTON GIRL.

Addie Baum is THE BOSTON GIRL, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to the wider world of the 1910s and ‘20s: short skirts, celebrity
More about Anita Diamant...

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