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In The Jewish Book of Why, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch addresses hundreds of fundamental questions frequently asked about Jewish life and practice. In this sequel volume, he delves more deeply into the subject matter touched upon in that best-selling work and goes on to explore more complex and controversial subjects, including abortion, homosexuality, birth control, artificial insemination, organ transplants, smoking, proselytizing, intermarriage, Jewish-Christian relations, and the changing role of women in Jewish life.
Recognizing the importance of our understanding how Jewish law developed and how legal authorities arrived at their decisions, Rabbi Kolatch opens The Second Jewish Book of Why with an overview of Jewish legal development from biblical times to the present. He introduces us to the major interpreters of Jewish law, explores the relationship between law and custom, and explains the basic principles upon which much of Jewish practice is based.
Following the same concise question-answer format he established in The Jewish Book of Why and the straightforward writing style for which he is renowned, Rabbi Kolatch addresses all questions without judgment or bias, presenting the beliefs and practices of all denominations. Featuring notes and a detailed index covering both of the Why volumes, The Second Jewish Book of Why is essential for anyone seeking an understanding of the Jewish heritage.
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Alfred J. Kolatch, a graduate of the Teachers Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which subsequently awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa. From 1941 to 1948 he served as rabbi of congregations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kew Gardens, New York, and as a chaplain in the United States Army.
Rabbi Kolatch authored more than fifty books, the most popular of which are The Jewish Book of Why and The Second Jewish Book of Why, The Jewish Book of Why: The Torah, The Jewish Mourner s Book of Why, Inside Judaism, A Handbook for the Jewish Home, The New Name Dictionary, The Comprehensive Dictionary of English and Hebrew First Names, The Family Seder, and The Jewish Child s First Book of Why. Among his other notable works are Great Jewish Quotations: By Jews and About Jews, The Presidents of the United States & the Jews (with David Dalin), What Jews Say About God, and Masters of the Talmud: Their Lives and Views.
In addition to his scholarly work, Rabbi Kolatch served as president of the Association of Jewish Chaplains of the Armed Forces and as vice-president of the interdenominational Military Chaplains Association of the United States.Review:
"A truly impressive volume." --Library Journal
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