Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture Around the Year

Francine Klagsbrun, Author, Mark Podwal, Illustrator Hill & Wang $30 (240p) ISBN 978-0-374-17923-6
Like a yeasty loaf of bread rich in nutrients, ""Jewish Days"" transcends the usual flat, bland fare on Jewish holidays. Klagsburn, an author, editor and teacher, takes a fresh look at the cycle of the Jewish year, going beyond the holidays to include events and people that have shaped Jewish life. While she focuses on major and minor holidays and special observances, she also fills each month of the calendar with commemorative dates--the deaths of the matriarch Rachel and medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, the establishment of the first ghetto in Venice and the completion of the Septuagint, the first Greek translation of the Torah. She defines the biblical and Talmudic framework of each holiday, explains customs, rituals and themes and adds layers of legend, debate and interpretation. Klagsburn's clear voice and thought-provoking entries make this scrupulously detailed resource a journal of the Jewish year and of Jewish life for both the uninformed and the informed. Podwal's obvious knowledge of Jewish sources colors his paintings with as much beauty as his palette; his witty black-and-white drawings bring to life the year's varying moods. Together, Klagsburn and Podwal have succeeded in portraying the holiness of time in Jewish life. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-374-52566-8
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