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by Alfred J. Kolatch
In Judaism, practice and ideology are inextricably linked. While it is often difficult to draw strict lines between custom and law, taken together they unite individual Jews within a community as well as Jewish communities around the world. They also serve to give Judaism its continued relevance and enduring strength.
In Inside Judaism, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, distinguished author of The Jewish Book of Why, explores the interrelationship between Jewish thought and everyday Jewish practice. He shows how concepts are manifested in deed. The entries in this wide-ranging encyclopedic work discuss such core ideals as goodwill, holiness, and compassion and demonstrate how they find expression through such practices as inviting a newcomer to one's home on Friday night, observing dietary laws, and supporting community charities. Inside Judaism also examines important subjects including the afterlife, conversion, and aging, and it celebrates life milestones such as preparing for a wedding and naming a baby.
Whether discussing the rationale behind such universally celebrated holidays as Passover or the medieval roots of gefilte fish, in Inside Judaism Rabbi Kolatch explores the essence of Jewish belief and the infinite variety of its practice. By presenting complex information in clear prose, cross-referenced and with a comprehensive index for ready access, he provides us with a level of understanding that makes possible a richer appreciation of the Jewish experience. .
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