Read Jewish With Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Free Online
Book Title: Jewish With Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice|
The author of the book: Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Edition: Riverhead Trade
Date of issue: March 7th 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.94 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1621 times
Reader ratings: 5.3
ISBN 13: 9781594481802
Read full description of the books:
My biggest "beef" with the book is that it's not what I thought it was. It describes itself as "a guide to meaningful Jewish practice," but it's really an Introduction to Judaism book. It's not a tool for people already Jewishly-committed to deepen their practice. I was let down, but the first couple of chapters were somewhat helpful. The later chapters...not so much.
My primary annoyance with the book is that there is never a current description of the author and his perspective on Judaism. There is no "about the author," nor does he ever come out and say he's part of the renewal movement. He goes into great depth about his history in the orthodox movement, but totally leaves out when or why he left orthodoxy to start/create/lead the renewal movement. (I never got around to Googling his role in the movement.) His biography just seems to end when he's sent out by the Lubavitch rebbe to do kiruv work.
I don't care which movement he's in or where he works, I just want to know this information in order to more fully understand the likely "context" of the book. For instance, when he began making suggestions for the reader to do prohibited activities on Shabbat if those activities were "Shabbat-like" for them, I wasn't sure whether it was...
A) An "ease into Shabbat observance" kiruv technique or
B) Saying that you can fully observe Shabbat without following the laws of Shabbat.
I went through the book thinking it was A, but at the end of the book, when he finally spoke about the renewal movement (still in a roundabout way), I realized he meant B. That's a big difference to a reader who finds that distinction important. If he doesn't think that distinction is important, then he should make himself clear.
His failure to address his background more thoroughly seems deliberate to me, and I don't like what that suggests. It seems like a purposeful manipulation of the readers' respect for his interpretation of Judaism. He should believe that his interpretation of Judaism is correct, whether or not he affiliates orthodox, and he shouldn't take advantage of the neophyte's stereotypical awe of orthodoxy as the end-all-be-all of Jewish knowledge. That smacks of either an inferiority complex vis a vis orthodoxy or a purposeful misleading of the reader. I don't like either scenario.
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