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Questions are the gateways to knowledge. After years of responding to the queries of people from all walks of life, Rabbi Becher saw the need for a single volume that would explain the fundamentals of Jewish living; the philosophy behind Jewish tradition, along with practical explanations of how Jews actually live. Gateway to Judaism offers an engaging insider's look at the mindset, values, and practices of Judaism in the 21st century.
Some of the fascinating questions which Rabbi Becher addresses in Gateway to Judaism are:
- In the age of modern conveniences do we really need a Sabbath?
- What is Judaism's view on death and the afterlife?
- Why is Judaism so full of laws?
- Why should I pray? Does God really want to hear my complaints?
- Can Judaism enhance my marriage?
- What does Judaism say about raising and educating children?
- Isn't circumcision just an ancient rite of initiation? What relevance does it have today?
- Why is Israel so central to Judaism? Does a religion need a land?
- How can I conduct a Passover Seder if I can barely read Hebrew?
Each chapter includes:
- An overview and philosophical introduction to the topic, including rationale and sources
- Practical laws and instructions
- Extensive endnotes, which provide a valuable reference tool for scholars, teachers and students of Judaism
- Vignettes of the lively Levy family demonstrate how these topics apply in daily life
Rabbi Becher demonstrates the relevance of Judaism's timeless principles and its ability to transform and elevate the individual, the family and the community. His book opens the door for the newcomer to Judaism, while at the same time providing new insights into its significance for those already familiar with the joy of Jewish living.
Praise for Gateway to Judaism
“ Gateway to Judaism is a book that will inspire, inform and guide readers in exploring their Jewish heritage. The style is user-friendly and the profound philosophical and ethical teachings of Judaism are clearly presented in an up-to-date, relevant manner. To the question 'What is Judaism all about?' this book provides a thoroughly researched, comprehensive and very accessible response .”
— Joe Lieberman
“In today’s challenging world, Jews must understand the how’s and why’s of our identity. This book gives cogent answers. I recommend it highly.”
— Natan Sharansky
Former Israeli Member of Knesset and Minister
Author of Fear No Evil and The Case for Democracy
“ Gateway to Judaism is a remarkably thorough and meaningful guide to the Jewish calendar, life cycle and faith. This volume will provide renewed excitement and significance to observances throughout the year .”
— Malcolm Hoenlein
Executive Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
“ This is what we ’ve been waiting for! Rabbi Becher ’s masterpiece is thoroughly engaging and comprehensive in scope. His presentation and advocacy of a vibrant and pertinent Judaism will capture your imagination and enhance commitment to the Jewish way of life .”
— Dr. Florence Neumann
Bronfman Center for Jewish Life , 92nd Street Y, New York
“This is a book that I would not hesitate to give to anyone in the U.S. Army as an insightful, inspiring and entertaining guide to Judaism.”
— Colonel Ira Kronenberg
Chaplain, U.S. Army Reserve
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Table of Contents