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The Jewish Book of Why

By Alfred J. Kolatch (Author) & Alfred J. Kolatch (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 18.86  
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Item Number 137377  
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Item description for The Jewish Book of Why by Alfred J. Kolatch...

Explains the reasons for Jewish customs concerning marriage, mourning, diet, prayer, worship, and the celebration of religious holidays

Publishers Description
Hundreds of important questions about Jewish life and practice are answered in a concise, straightforward, and unbiased manner. Orthodox, Conservative and Reform views are presented.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Jewish Book of Why by Alfred J. Kolatch has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Booklist - 10/01/1997 page 348
  • ALA Ref Srces for Small/Med Li - 01/01/2000 page 38

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jonathan David Publishers
Pages   324
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Leather, Imitation
Release Date   Mar 1, 2001
Publisher   Jonathan David Publishers
ISBN  0824602560  
ISBN13  9780824602567  

Availability  0 units.

More About Alfred J. Kolatch

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alfred J. Kolatch, a graduate of the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which subsequently awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree, "honoris causa". From 1941 to 1948 he served as rabbi of congregations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kew Gardens, New York, and as a chaplain in the United States Army.

Rabbi Kolatch authored more than fifty books, the most popular of which are "The Jewish Book of Why" and "The Second Jewish Book of Why", "The Jewish Book of Why: The Torah", "The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why", "Inside Judaism", "The New Name Dictionary", and "The Comprehensive Dictionary of English and Hebrew First Names".

Alfred J. Kolatch was born in 1916.

Alfred J. Kolatch has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Compass

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Jewish Life

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Jewish Book of Why?

The Jewish Book of Why  Mar 4, 2008
I am currently very interested in learning everything that I can learn about the Jewish Faith. This particular book was absolutely wonderful!!! It explained everything in perfect detail. I learned so much! I couldn't put the book down. Once I started really getting into the book, I found the Jewish Faith to be very interesting. I can guarantee anyone that buys this book will enjoy it. Gina
Great Gift  Jan 26, 2006
Give a copy of this book to every kid whose Bar or Bat-Mitzvah you attend. It's a terrific reference for all those nagging little questions. A true classic and a great companion to your monetary gift. I'd also suggest it as a good gift for any non-Jew who'd just like to understand their Jewish friends a little better.
Sensible, Readable & Informative  Dec 3, 2005
This book's question-and-answer format makes for easy reading, and should be of equal interest to both Jews and non-Jews alike. Want to know about Jewish marriage, divorce and family life? How about holidays, rituals, differences between orthodox and reform branches, or after affects of the Nazi holocaust? The answers are found here in this slightly dated book, one that was soon followed by a sequel (the Second Book of Jewish Why). This is an informative and nicely readable reference - one can only hope that authors from other religions and traditions will write books with a similar format.
Basic answers   Sep 27, 2005
The book provides basic answers to the thousands of questions on Jewish relgious matters.
Its explanations are most often clear and insightful.
Good to have but leaves out important questions  Aug 8, 2004
I really like these books and the way they are written. The question and answer format make it easy to use it as a "reference" and also allows one to read a few pages at a time.

The question and answer format is also wonderful because alot of what Judiasm is about is questions. "Question Everything" must have been the eleventh commandment.

What is missing are important topics. I wrote to the author in 1996 and he was kind enough to repy to my question. I wrote:

"I enjoy reading your book . . . However, there is a major omission that I need to ask about. Why is the subject of War (and violence) not covered?

Your biography says you were/are active as a military chaplain. I imagine that your role as chaplain and advisor to chaplains would put you in a great position to speak to the question of war and Jewish Law.

Perhaps your wrote about this in another book? If so, could you direct me to that source or perhaps some other Jewish writer has expanded on the subject."

A week later I got this reply from Mr. Kolatch; "I wish I knew how to answer your letter of February 7th. The best I can say is that the subject of war did not fit the theme of The Jewish Book of Why. No, I haven't written anything on the subject, nor is there a book I can recommend."

So you can see, this very important subject was left out, even though Mr. Kolatch was surrounded by military people for most of his career. What a lost opportunity. How sad for us all. His revsions in 2000, didn't answer my questions either.

I hope Mr. Kolatch will write about this concern in his next book. AS I said in my letter to him: "What learning about violence is there to pass on to my 5 sons?"


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