No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
See below for a selection of the latest books from Judaism: life & practice category. Presented with a red border are the Judaism: life & practice books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Judaism: life & practice books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Sanctified Sex draws on two thousand years of rabbinic debates addressing competing aspirations for loving intimacy, passionate sexual union, and sanctity in marriage. What can Judaism contribute to our struggles to nurture love relationships? What halakhic precedents are relevant, and how are rulings changing? The rabbis, of course, seldom agree. Underlying their arguments are perennial debates: What kind of marital sex qualifies as ideal-sacred self-control of sexual desire or the holiness found in emotional and erotic intimacy? Is intercourse degrading in its physicality or the highest act of spiritual/mystical union? And should women or men (or both) wield ultimate say about what transpires in bed? Noam Sachs Zion guides us chronologically and steadily through fraught terrain: seminal biblical texts and their Talmudic interpretations; Talmud tales of three unusual rabbis and their marital bedrooms; medieval codifiers and mystical commentators; ultra-Orthodox rabbis clashing with one another over radically divergent ideals; and finally, contemporary rabbis of varied denominations wrestling with modern transformations in erotic lifestyles and values. Invited into these sanctified and often sexually explicit discussions with our ancestors and contemporaries, we encounter innovative Jewish teachings on marital intimacy, ardent lovemaking techniques, and the art of couple communication vital for matrimonial success.
Moving away from focusing on wisdom as a literary genre, this book delves into the lived, embodied and formative dimensions of wisdom as they are delineated in Jewish sources from the Persian, Hellenistic and early Roman eras. Considering a diverse body of texts beyond later canonical boundaries, the book demonstrates that wisdom features not as an abstract quality, but as something to be performed and exercised at both the individual and community level. The analysis specifically concentrates on notions of a 'wise' person, including the rise of the sage as an exemplary figure. It also looks at how ancestral figures and contemporary teachers are imagined to manifest and practice wisdom, and considers communal portraits of a wise and virtuous life. In so doing, the author demonstrates that the previous focus on wisdom as a category of literature has overshadowed significant questions related to wisdom, behaviour and social life. Jewish wisdom is also contextualized in relation to its wider ancient Mediterranean milieu, making the book valuable for biblical scholars, classicists, scholars of religion and the ancient Near East and theologians.
The Jewish intellectual tradition has a long and complex history that has resulted in significant and influential works of scholarship. In this book, the authors suggest that there is a series of common principles that can be extracted from the Jewish intellectual tradition that have broad, even life-changing, implications for individual and societal achievement. These principles include respect for tradition while encouraging independent, often disruptive thinking; a precise system of logical reasoning in pursuit of the truth; universal education continuing through adulthood; and living a purposeful life. The main objective of this book is to understand the historical development of these principles and to demonstrate how applying them judiciously can lead to greater intellectual productivity, a more fulfilling existence, and a more advanced society.
For three decades Susan Aranoff and Rivka Haut have battled to free agunot, Orthodox Jewish women chained to dead marriages because their husbands refuse to give them a gett, a Jewish divorce. These chained women, citizens of modern Western democracies, may be civilly divorced, yet they are forced into rabbinic courts in their quest to obtain a gett. In these rabbinic courts women are subject to financial extortion, pressured to drop charges of domestic violence and paedophilia against their husbands and to concede custody and visitation rights to unfit fathers--all to induce their husbands to free them. Well-versed in the intricacies Jewish divorce law, Aranoff and Haut have counselled thousands of agunot and challenged the Orthodox rabbinate's inaction in the face of the injustices inflicted on these women. Aranoff and Haut take the reader into the rabbinic courts and their ancient, revered legal texts, onto the picket lines against recalcitrant husbands, into American civil divorce courts and legislatures that wrestle with this problem and into the lives of the victimized women and children. The agonies endured by agunot reveal the power of religious law over people's lives even when that law sharply conflicts with modern societies' moral and legal norms.
The Jewish intellectual tradition has a long and complex history that has resulted in significant and influential works of scholarship. In this book, the authors suggest that there is a series of common principles that can be extracted from the Jewish intellectual tradition that have broad, even life-changing, implications for individual and societal achievement. These principles include respect for tradition while encouraging independent, often disruptive thinking; a precise system of logical reasoning in pursuit of the truth; universal education continuing through adulthood; and living a purposeful life. The main objective of this book is to understand the historical development of these principles and to demonstrate how applying them judiciously can lead to greater intellectual productivity, a more fulfilling existence, and a more advanced society. The application of these principles to daily life can make a real and profound difference in education, productivity, and personal happiness.
At the turn of the twenty-first century, the central question confronting Jewish leaders in America is simple: Why be Jewish? Jonathan D. Sarna, acclaimed scholar of American Judaism, believes that Why be Jewish? is the wrong question. Judaism, he believes, is not so much a why as a way ,a way of life, a way of marking time, a way of relating to the environment, to human beings, to family, and to God. Judaism is experienced through doing ,doing things Jewish, doing things for fellow Jews in need, doing things as a Jew to improve the state of the world. The more Judaism one does , the more one comes to appreciate what Judaism is . Using the Jewish calendar as his starting point, Sarna reflects on the major themes of Jewish life as expressed in a full year of holidays,from Passover in the spring to Purim eleven months later. Passover, for instance, yields a discussion of freedom Shavuot, a discussion of Torah Yom Kippur, the role of the individual within the Jewish community Chanukah, issues of assimilation and anti-assimilation. An essential brief introduction,or reintroduction,to the major practices of Jewish life as well as the many complexities of the American Jewish experience, this book will be essential reading for American Jews and the perfect gift for the holiday season.