BOOK OF JEWISH SACRED PRACTICE
Readers who want to create significance out of ordinary as well as remarkable moments will find an invaluable resource in this guidebook from CLAL the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. There's a ritual to mark almost every possible occasion, from the mundane (making a list of things to do) to the sublime (falling in love). Organizing a room becomes a symbolic act of repair, of bringing order to a chaotic world. Quitting smoking, running a marathon, honoring a teacher, sending a child to college, mourning a pet these experiences that until now have not been addressed by Jewish tradition receive a new sanctity as they serve as potential "tools for awakening and self-transformation." The contributing rabbis and scholars from every denomination of Judaism also try to renew rituals that may have become routine, like lighting Sabbath candles or cleaning the house for Passover. "What we get from each moment ultimately depends on the attention (kavanah) we give to those moments," writes rabbi and editor Kula, CLAL's president. More than 100 occasions are classified into 11 sections: everyday life; parents and children; relationships; special moments; healing; life and death; learning; leadership and communal life; Israel; tzedakah; and holy days. Each event includes a meditation, a ritual, blessings and teachings drawn from biblical or rabbinic texts. This traditional Jewish framework should appeal to Jewish readers; non-Jewish readers may also enjoy the inclusive and thought-provoking approach, which does not require giving up or adopting new religious beliefs.