Why is the Jewish New Year designated on the Jewish calendar as the first day of the seventh month, and not of the first month? Why do women cover their eyes when reciting the blessing over the Sabbath candles? How did the Seder originate? Does the Book of Esther, read on Purim, mirror any real historical events?
Long considered a classic, The Jewish Festivals provides a rich and charming account of the origins, development, and symbolism of the Jewish holidays, and of the diverse rituals, prayers, ceremonial objects, and special foods that have been used throughout history and around the world to celebrate them. Drawing upon a wealth of knowledge of Jewish folkways and customs, Hayyim Schauss shows how these holidays evolved in meaning and importance, depending on the contemporary needs of those who observed them. Written with passion and warmth, this book will infuse your own experience of the holidays with extra meaning and delight.
About Hayyim Schauss
Hayyim Schauss taught for more than twenty-five years at the Jewish Teachers Seminary in New York and at the College of Jewish Studies and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. He was the author of many books and articles on the Jewish religion and its customs, ceremonies and folklore.
"There is no better way to begin to understand the messages of the Jewish holidays and the basic precepts of Judaism than by reading this book." —from the foreword by Harold S. Kushner
“In my teaching experience I have found Schauss’ The Jewish Festivals an excellent text. . . . It examines carefully all pertinent sources dealing with the subject.” —Judah Pilch, Director, National Curriculum Research Institute
“Presents a panoramic view. . . . Highly recommended as a text for class study and home reading.” —Azriel Eisenberg, Director, The Jewish Education Committee