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Practical Judaism

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Practical Judaism

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Practical Judaism
By Rabbi Israel Meir Lau
Feldheim Publishers, 1997, 404 pages
ISBN 13: 978-9657141472
ISBN 10: 9657141478

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - June 22, 2010

Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the author of this book designed to make Judaism meaningful was a chief rabbi of Israel. The volume discusses the origin, reason, and method of observance of a multitude of Jewish practices.

The rabbi discusses the laws of Kosher, for example, in close to twenty pages, and the Sabbath in about fifty pages. He address the ceremonies of Bar and Bat Mitzvah, marriages, and commandments associated with festivals. He focuses also on what is unique about Jews and Jewish beliefs.

He answers many questions, such as: Why do Orthodox Jews wear head coverings? Why is a quorum of ten males necessary for some Jewish services? What is the source for wearing a prayer shawl called tallit by male Jews during services and why is it done? Why is the mourner's prayer said in Aramaic instead of Hebrew? Why is there a command to wash one's hands before a meal?

The book is designed for the average reader and is very easy to read.


Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of seventeen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides. The Orthodox Union (OU) and Yeshiva University publish weekly chapters of Drazin and Wagner's book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah and on www.yutorah@yutorah.org. His website is http://booksnthoughts.com.

The views expressed in this review/article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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