Symbols of Judaism

Marc-Alain Ouaknin, Author
Marc-Alain Ouaknin, Author Rizzoli International Publications $40 (128p) ISBN 978-2-908228-35-9
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
In a gorgeous book that has already been a bestseller in France, Rabbi Ouaknin provides thoughtful and accessible commentary on aspects of the practice of the Jewish faith ranging from the customs and rituals of Yom Kippur to the history and meanings of Jewish sacred texts and sacred objects. In a series of 30 reflections, each accompanied by a lavish full-page photograph of the symbol under consideration, Ouaknin reveals the religious use of everyday sacred objects like the tallith, or prayer shawl, and the tefillin, in which are contained ""tiny parchments inscribed with texts from the Torah."" Other commentaries in the book focus on sacred space (the synagogue) and sacred time (the Sabbath). Finally, Ouaknin's relfections on the interrelationship of Judaism and society are found in commentaries on Jewish religious and social customs like the mikvah, or ritual bath, and the brit milah, or circumcision. This beautiful book will appeal to both Jews and non-Jews. (Oct.)