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A Woman's Guide to Jewish Observance
|Halichos Bas Yisrael
A Woman's Guide to Jewish Observance, Volumes I & II
By Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Fuchs
Targum Press, Southfield, Michigan: 1987
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 23, 2004
Halichos Bas Yisrael is an indispensable guide to the Halachah that pertains to women. It is a 'must' for every Jewish women and girl, as well as those interested in studying the these laws. The text is intuitively organized and each law is discussed in detail. In the process of exploring each law, the Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Fuchs, the book's author, discusses the underlaying principles, and implications, of each law, the various ways in which each law has been interpreted throughout time, and he includes sources notes that, should they choose, will enable readers to delve further into each given subject. Throughout, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic opinions are enumerated upon.
The English edition of Halichos Bas Yisrael was published in two volumes. Volume one concentrates on the day-to-day Halachah associated with maintaining a home and one's personal faith, while volume two concentrates more upon the observances related to the holidays. In both volumes, the main text, as well as all the notes and commentaries have been translated into English, making this essential book accessible to women of all backgrounds.
Volume I has thirteen chapters and an introduction that covers some of the fundamental laws, such as A woman's obligation in mitzvoth and an overview of the rules concerning time-bound mitzvoth. The thirteen chapters in this volume include:
While this book is intended as a guide to Jewish observances, for women, it is also a suitable book for men. It serves not only as a general survey textbook covering the full breadth of laws relating to woman, but it also serves as an indispensable reference guide for any Jewish woman concerned with maintaining the highest standards of observance of Torah and the mitzvoth.
- Washing the Hands in the Morning
- Mitzvoth of the Meal
- A Woman's Hair
- A Woman's Voice
- Miscellaneous Laws of Modesty
- Torah Study
- Training Children
- Bath (Bat) Mitzvah
- Challah (The laws concerning the separation of the dough.)
The chapters in volume 2 include:
- Miscellaneous Mitzvoth and Blessings (including the laws regarding Tzedakah, Lashon ha'ra, and Birkath HaGomel)
- Rosh Chodesh
- Yom Tov
- Chol HaMoed
- Yamin Nora'im
- The Days of Sephirah and Shavuoth
- Bein HaM'tzarim
Halichos Bas Yisrael: A Woman's Guide to Jewish Observance should be required reading in every girl's high school and seminary, and it deserves a place on every Jewish bookshelf!
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- The Jewish View of Feminism, by By Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller.
With candor, humor, and an in-depth knowledge of the subject, Mrs. Heller expounds on the Jewish view on feminism and what it means to be a Jewish woman - in this two-part audio series.
- The Regal Glow of Modesty, by Rebbetzin D. Weinberg.
In this lecture, Rebbetzin Weinberg presents a solid overview of what modesty means, in the Jewish sense, and why it is such an important quality to cultivate.
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