Download A Time to Every Purpose: Letters to a Young Jew by Jonathan D Sarna PDF

By Jonathan D Sarna

At the flip of the twenty-first century, the critical query confronting Jewish leaders in the US is straightforward:

Why be Jewish?

Jonathan D. Sarna, acclaimed pupil of yankee Judaism, believes that “Why be Jewish?” is the incorrect query. Judaism, he believes, isn't really quite a bit a “why” as a way—a lifestyle, a manner of marking time, a manner of with regards to the surroundings, to humans, to kinfolk, and to God. Judaism is skilled via doing—doing issues Jewish, doing issues for fellow Jews in want, doing issues as a Jew to enhance the kingdom of the area. The extra Judaism one does, the extra one involves savour what Judaism is.

Using the Jewish calendar as his place to begin, Sarna displays at the significant subject matters of Jewish lifestyles as expressed in a whole yr of holidays—from Passover within the spring to Purim 11 months later. Passover, for example, yields a dialogue of freedom; Shavuot, a dialogue of Torah; Yom Kippur, the function of the person in the Jewish neighborhood; Chanukah, problems with assimilation and anti-assimilation.

An crucial short introduction—or reintroduction—to the key practices of Jewish lifestyles in addition to the various complexities of the yankee Jewish adventure, this booklet can be crucial studying for American Jews and definitely the right reward for the vacation season.

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Extra resources for A Time to Every Purpose: Letters to a Young Jew

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A year later, some 437,000 Jews from Hungary were deported to Auschwitz in the space of just two months. Most of them were murdered too. You asked me once why more Jews did not resist. ZdenZk Ornest, a teenager locked away in the concentration camp in Terezin, asked the same question in the very midst of the Holocaust. Writing in the secret boys’ magazine, Vedem, produced in the camp, he described a group punishment meted out in 1943 against the entire camp population, which was forced to stand at attention outside in the cold for twelve long hours: There were 30,000 of us and only a few of them, yet there was nothing we could do in our impotence.

Warsaw once had the largest Jewish community in Europe: some 375,000 Jews lived there on the eve of World War II. The Nazis, when they captured Poland, confined those Jews to a tiny ghetto surrounded by a high wall. People lived six or seven to a room. By the time of the uprising, most Jews had already died of starvation and disease or been transported to death camps. But the more than 50,000 who remained courageously battled the Nazis when they came to liquidate the ghetto. Using primitive weapons and fighting from underground bunkers, they held off the Nazis for weeks.

Live! Hope to see you soon! qxd 6/17/08 10:48 AM Page 41 4 C E L E B R AT I N G I S R A E L Yom ha-Atsma’ut Dear Leah, I am back in Boston today, but all morning I’ve been thinking about my first trip to Israel, in 1965. Israel was a small, third world country in those days. Plumbing was primitive, telephones were scarce, and good-quality meat was almost nonexistent. Eggplant, rye bread, and watermelon were the staple foods. Poverty lined the faces of beggars and street peddlers. Rickety, fumebelching buses and large taxicabs dominated the roads; private cars were pretty rare.

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