Living a Jewish Life, Updated and Revised Edition: Jewish Traditions, Customs, and Values for Today's Families

Living a Jewish Life, Updated and Revised Edition: Jewish Traditions, Customs, and Values for Today's Families

by Anita Diamant, Howard Cooper

Paperback(Revised and Updated Edition)

$15.29 $16.99 Save 10% Current price is $15.29, Original price is $16.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 16


Living a Jewish Life describes Judaism as not just a contemplative or abstract system of thought but as a blueprint for living fully and honorably. This new edition builds on the classic guide, which has been a favorite among Jewish educators and students for years. Enriched with additional resources, including online resources, this updated guide also references recent changes in the modern Jewish community, and has served as a resource and guide for non–Jews as well as Jews.

Addressing the choices posed by the modern world, Living a Jewish Life explains the traditions and beliefs of Judaism in the context of real life. It explores the spectrum of liberal Jewish thought, from Conservative to Reconstructionist to Reform, as well as unaffiliated, new age, and secular. Celebrating the diversity of Jewish beliefs, this guide provides information in ways that readers can choose how to incorporate Judaism into their lives.

Readers will learn how to choose the right synagogue, and discover the meaning and significance of lighting Sabbath candles. "Shabbat," "Torah," "kosher," "mitzvah" and other key words are all defined in all of their complex and potent meanings.

On the most basic level, this book explains the essential Jewish vocabulary, but more importantly, LIVING A JEWISH LIFE is a sensitive and comprehensive introduction that reveals the timeless nature of Jewish tradition, rich with history and relevant in the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061173646
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/27/2007
Edition description: Revised and Updated Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 179,043
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Anita Diamant is a prize-winning journalist whose previous books include The New Jewish Wedding and The New Jewish Baby Book.


Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

June 27, 1951

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


M.A. in English, SUNY, Binghamton, NY, 1975; B.A. in Comparative Literature, Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO, 1973.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


The Jewish home has been called a mikdash ma'at, a little sanctuary. It is an evocative image. From the moment you walk through the doorway of a sanctuary, you know you are entering a place that defies the idea that space is always neutral.

A sanctuary looks different from other places. It is defined and ornamented by ritual objects, books, and art. A sanctuary feels different from the workplace and the marketplace. In a sanctuary, the mundane criteria for success and failure fall away. What matters is not what you do but who you are.

A sanctuary is a place of safety and asylum. It is where the dispossessed go for shelter, where the hungry go for food, where the weary find rest. Sanctuaries are filled with voices, sometimes singing in unison, sometimes raised in disagreement. And sometimes, a sanctuary is as still as a garden.

Today, when many American families feature two wage-earners and a constant juggling of roles, needs, and schedules, making a home into a sanctuary seems more difficult than ever — and more important. The tools for making a home into a mikdash ma'at are the mitzvot described in the following pages.

"A Little Sanctuary" elaborates the Jewish vision of the peaceful home as a place of hospitality and beauty. "Shabbat — The Sabbath" is an introduction both to Judaism's core insight and to creating a personal and family day of rest. "Good Deeds" explains the Jewish view of charity and social justice, and how they can be incorporated into daily life. "The People of the Library"is divided into two sections: the first defines and explains some of the major Jewish texts, such as the Bible, Torah, Talmud, and Midrash; the second contains suggestions for building a home library. "What Jews Eat" explains the Jewish dietary laws and their contemporary relevance and practice. Finally, "Travelling Jewish" discusses the portability of the insights and practices of the Jewish home.

No sanctuary is perpetually filled with all the beauty or meaning it might contain. No home is ever fully or finally a sanctuary. But the ongoing process of making Jewish choices is what makes a home into a mikdash ma'at, a little sanctuary, an island of peace, a safe harbor, a beautiful Jewish place.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, when people live together as one.

Psalm 133                 

Living a Jewish Life: Customs and Values for Today's Families. Copyright © by Anita Diamant. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Living a Jewish Life, Updated and Revised Edition: Jewish Traditions, Customs, and Values for Today's Families 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Bernadyn More than 1 year ago
This book is a great but certainly for 'heavy hitters'. Although the author conveys principles fluidly, she details instructional practices with a dry delivery. For someone interested in a serious study for initially returning to traditional Jewish observance, I would recommend this book. For readers that are interested in more of an overview, and a light read, this is not a great selection.
bookchewingbunny More than 1 year ago
Great read good insight and information
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago