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Thursday, March 10, 2016

"A Book of Life" by Michael Strassfeld

While this reads like a novel, the book is really a reference for all things Jewish.  While things like Shabbat and holidays are covered towards the end of the book, the beginning starts off with the fundamentals.  The aspects of Torah, prayer, and acts of loving kindness are introduced first.  The Talmud and other ancient Jewish texts are heavily quoted.  There are sections on life-cycle events such as birth, death, mourning, marriage, and more.  Conversion is even covered, along with the different branches of Judaism.  No detail is left out, even controversial opinions held by extremely right winged Jews.  What I liked about this book was how it balanced information with bias.  Many perspectives are given, but no one is elevated about the others.  It was also nice how the main theme of doing good that runs throughout the book.

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