My Jewish Year : 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
Overview - The much-dissected Pew Research Center study of 2013, "A Portrait of Jewish Americans," revealed that most U.S. Jews locate their Jewishness in their ancestry and culture--not in religion. Abigail Pogrebin wondered if perhaps that's because we haven't all looked at religion closely enough. Read more...
More About My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin; A. J. Jacobs
The much-dissected Pew Research Center study of 2013, "A Portrait of Jewish Americans," revealed that most U.S. Jews locate their Jewishness in their ancestry and culture--not in religion. Abigail Pogrebin wondered if perhaps that's because we haven't all looked at religion closely enough.
Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and current relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, in some cases for thousands of years. Her curiosity led her to embark on an entire year of intensive research, observation, and writing about the milestones on the Jewish calendar. My Jewish Year
travels through this calendar's signposts with candor, humor, and a trove of information, capturing the arc of Jewish observance through the eyes of a relatable, wandering--and wondering--Jew. The chapters are interspersed with brief reflections from prominent rabbis and Jewish thinkers.
Maybe you're seeking an accessible, digestible roadmap for Jewish life. Maybe you'd appreciate a fresh exploration of what you've mastered. Whatever your motivation, you'll be educated, entertained, and inspired by Pogrebin's unusual journey--and by My Jewish Year
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Can a 50-something neophyte glean meaning about herself and the world from observing all 18 annual Jewish holidays in a year of personal exploration? Pogrebin (Stars of David) provides a vigorous and moving affirmative answer in this insightful, clever, funny, and compulsively readable volume that will lead newcomers to seek out her other writings. Having grown up with her Jewish identity a given, not a pursuit, Pogrebin believed that there was more to feel than Id felt, more to understand than I knew. She is guided by an eclectic group of teachers, including rabbis from all modern denominations, who provide different lenses through which to view ancient, and sometimes obscure, holidays as relevant today. Her exploration begins with Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes the Jewish New Year, that provides an opportunity to gear up for that holy day with daily self-examinations; typically, her account of trying to learn how to blow a shofar every morning, and integrate her experiment in observance with her family routine, is both humorous and inspiring. Even knowledgeable Jews will find wisdom and new perspectives in these pages. (Mar.)