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How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  30 reviews
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household is a modern, comprehensive guide covering virtually every aspect of Jewish home life. It provides practical advice on how to manage a Jewish home in the traditional way and offers fascinating accounts of the history behind the tradition. In a warm, personal style, Blu Greenberg shows that, contrary to popular belief, the home, and ...more
Paperback, 526 pages
Published September 15th 1985 by Touchstone
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Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Truthfully, in spite of all the parts of this book I just don't agree with (namely: she's a bit heavy handed with lumping Conservative/Reform/Reconstructionist together, she calls herself a feminist but doesn't show it in her writing except in passive agressive comments here and there, the book is written really to a specific crowd of financially well off East Coast Orthodox Jews), this is in my opinion the best and most accessible 'how-to' book that I've read to date. Greenberg's personal persp ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Presbyterian minister of quarter-Jewish descent with, obviously, a strong interest in Judaism.

I'm far from a specialist, so I don't have much to add to the conversation here other than my personal impressions. On the positive side, this book is a good read, highly accessible. It gives a very clear and beautiful window into the Greenbergs' household practices of Judaism. You can almost taste the food, see the candles, etc.

But, as some others have noted, having read similar Orthodox source
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaism
Greenberg's book is written from the perspective of a Modern Orthodox housewife, a unique viewpoint even among practicing Jews. However, her humor, use of personal anecdotes and flexible viewpoints make this book accessible to any person, Jewish or not, practicing or not, Orthodox or not. This book is lengthy because she goes into great detail about Jewish day-to-day life and what it means to live as a Traditional Jew and all the rituals, practices, traditions, etc. that demands. She does not go ...more
Chelsea Wegrzyniak
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Blu Greenberg is an incredible writer who clarifies the tiny everyday details of observant life that sometimes get left out by other authors, leaving those of us without a religious upbringing missing important aspects of daily observance. This is by far the most detailed book regarding household observance; I unfortunately think that the promotion of books authored by men tends to crowd out fantastic female scholarship such as this. Greenberg perfectly balances the emotional ...more
Kristin Youngberg
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this years ago for a college class and I still remember how insightful she was on her thoughts on the Sabbath.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nf-religion
I read this book on Yom Kippur because it seemed the best time to do it, and I do highly recommend that.

While the edition I had is from the late 80s and I would definitely like to see it updated as some parts of changed way more than others (I'm not sure if there's a newer one), it was on the whole a fine enough book to read. Some parts I skimmed as they don't apply to me now or I'd never remember all the intricacies of preparing for these holidays by the time they roll about or I simply don't f
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish
I have certain differences in hashkafa with Mrs. Greenberg, such as whether or not it's permissible for an Orthodox Jew to eat in a non-kosher establishment. She ignores the issue of morris ayan (that someone who's seeing a visibly Orthodox Jew, such as a woman with a sheitel or other "Jewish type" haircovering may think that the restaurant is kosher, and eat there. Besides which, in her neighborhood of Riverdale there are plenty of kosher establishments. There are certain heterim when one is ou ...more
Melissa Yael Winston
Aug 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
An interesting read, dense with information. The problem is, you can never really tell who Greenberg considered her audience to be. On the one hand, her references to holidays, rituals and bits of Hebrew are oblique enough that one must guess she intends her book to be a how-to for the most Observant of Jews, ones who know off hand how much time passes between Pesach and Shavuot and the importance of abstaining from sex when a woman is considered "niddah." On the other hand, many of her tips see ...more
Oct 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wishing for a stronger commitment to religious practice in their home
I'm not Jewish, and even though this book is specifically geared towards Jewish households, it still strengthened my own faith as well as helped me find ways to deepen my level of commitment to living my faith within the walls of my own home. As a Christian (Latter-day Saint), I feel a special kinship and bond with the Jewish people, and Greenberg's descriptions of several of their holidays and other practices helped me understand the history and meaning behind several of our own LDS traditions. ...more
Jun 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Samira by: the rabbi
Shelves: judaism
In the end, I ended up deciding that this book really serves the purpose of a reference book more than it is anything else. It is engagingly written and a good source for modern takes on traditional practice, though far more traditional than I, personally, have any desire to be.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaism
I continue to be very impressed with this book, and find myself coming back to it almost daily since buying it a month ago.
It is a wonderful reference tool, and I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in how an Orthodox household is run.
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this for a religions class I took at BYU (religion in the home). I loved how this author was able to describe and explain how a jewish home is run in an entertaining and, at time, humorous way. I really enjoyed reading it for the class.
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the way that she writes this book. It's almost like she is talking to you, instead of writing a book. Very interesting information as well. ...more
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For an intrigued non-Jew in search of an educational it was, indeed, educational.
Craig Bolton
How To Run A Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg (1985)
Kristy Ann
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great reference book.
Oct 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating Read!!! It made it tired, but appreciative. I learned so many interesting things.
Nov 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2012 marked it as to-read
Step one: find a nice Jewish doctah...
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaica
The definitive guide for any Bal Tsuvah or Convert to Judaism. Mrs. Greenberg's guide is easy to read, understand, and enjoy. ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book three times and each time I find more little tidbits that I can apply to my life and find meaningful. I suggest this book to anyone thinking about becoming more religious. ...more
Love this book. As soon as I get my books back from storage, this will go on my bedside shelf as it is good to dip into.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Coming from a non-jewish household, this book was very insightful about the daily and holiday workings of a Modern Orthodox Jewish life. The book brought up many discussions around the dinner table.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible resource on Jewish life. My Orthodox Jewish neighbor in London was amazed by it. She said it was very accurate.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Blu Greenberg has a really entertaining writing style, and it's a great book to learn about how Orthodox Jewish families live. Loved it! ...more
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good insight into Orthodox Jewish practice.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hands down the most informational book I have read so far on Jewish life. I would love to add this book to my personal library.
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Jan 09, 2013
Peggy Ephrath
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Mar 20, 2016
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