Recent years have seen an increased interest in Jewish life, its culture, and its celebrations. There are many new students of Judaism, often potential converts or members of interfaith families who are seeking to learn more about the religion and its rituals. Unfortunately, many of the existing texts that examine the Jewish holidays are written in a dry, unexciting way, making it difficult for the reader to retain much information. For those seeking to learn more about Jewish celebrations, Cantor Matt Axelrod has written Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder.
Intended for the reader who has no prior knowledge about the Jewish holidays as well as the reader who knows the basics about the holidays but wants to understand the holidays on a deeper level, Axelrod’s book takes a humorous, light-hearted look at the 11 most important Jewish holidays. Instead of simply explaining that Jews are obligated to observe in a certain way because of a biblical text, Axelrod shows where each holiday, along with its rituals, came from in a historical context. He provides a humorous retelling of the biblical passages relating to the holiday, explorations of rituals associated with each holiday, and descriptions of traditional foods.
Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays also features special sections labeled “In Depth” or “Perfect for Families” that expand upon elements of each holiday in ways that provide greater understanding of traditions or that invite the reader to get the rest of the family involved.