Book Haul for March

As I said in my previous post, last week I made a spontaneous trip to Berkeley to visit Kourtney at work. While I was waiting for her to meet me, I found myself wandering into the bookstore down the street. Now, I love my kindle and I use it often, but there is just nothing like reading from an actual book. I’m kinda excited because I think I got a pretty good haul for books about Judaism and Jewish life.

First of all, I got this beast (yes, it’s a beast at over 600 pages):


Essential Judaism: a Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals is available on Amazon in case you are curious. I think I have read parts of this book before, but it’s nice to have the full volume to peruse over at my leisure. It’s obviously got TONS of information about Judaism and I’m looking forward to reading it in its entirety. In his introduction the author talks about his many years in the Reform movement so I imagine much of the information is filtered through a Reform perspective.

To Be A Jew: A Guide To Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life


My second book is To Be A Jew, which according to an amazon review is a guide to a more Orthodox observance. I’m excited to read this one because even though I know I can’t have an Orthodox conversion, I do appreciate some of the movement’s attention to detail and tradition, and I’m not opposed to incorporating more traditional observance in my own life (just for me– not for Kourtney, whose spiritual leanings are hers alone, and maybe not even for my kids who will be living in an interfaith household). I just wonder, can I be a feminist and live a somewhat orthodox life? I’m sure they’re not mutually exclusive, right?

Book three is Living a Jewish Life, a book for a more liberal convert. I’ve already read another book by this author about converting, and I appreciate her work because she married a convert and understands the process.


The last book I found there was a prayer book! I’m not sure what movement it’s for, but the prayers are in Hebrew and English (no transliteration). I’ll post a picture when I can, maybe someone can tell me!

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