The Golden Dreidle

Jewish Mourner's Book of Why, by Rabbi Alfred Kolatch

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Using the question-and-answer format that he employed in his popular Jewish Book of Why and Second Jewish Book of Why, in this volume Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch explores, explains, and analyzes the reasons behind the multitude of Jewish laws, observances, customs, ceremonies, and traditions relating to death and mourning. Among the questions addressed are: Why was the practice of tearing a garment (Keria) instituted? Why are coffins commonly fashioned from raw pine wood? Why does Jewish law require speedy burial? Why may Kaddish be recited only in the presence of a minyan (religious quorum)? Why do mourner's sit on low stools during the seven-day Shiva period? Why is Yahrzeit generally observed on the anniversary of the date of death? The answers that Rabbi Kolatch offers to the hundreds of questions presented in this volume are concise, straightforward, and unbiased, reflecting the attitudes, customs, and practices of Jews of all denominations. The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why features a selection of readings that will bring comfort to the bereaved. The useful appendices include an unveiling service that can be conducted by a family member; the various forms of the Kaddish prayer in Hebrew, in transliteration, and in English translation; as well as a Yizkor service for those who are homebound. Also included are detailed notes, bibliography, and index. Paperback, 414 pages, isbn 9780824603823

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