Rites of Passage : How Today’s Jews Celebrate, Commemorate, and Commiserate

Rites of Passage : How Today’s Jews Celebrate, Commemorate, and Commiserate (Paperback)

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 Rites of Passage : How Today’s Jews Celebrate, Commemorate, and Commiserate
Purdue University Press
Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization, Creighton University
Jewish Studies
6.00" x 9.00"

Book Description

Scholars tend to call them “rites of passage.” Most people prefer to speak of them as life-cycle events or milestones. Jews like to speak of simchas, when there is something (a birth, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or a wedding) to celebrate. These are key moments for individuals and for the families and communities of which they are a part.
    This volume offers new insights into rituals as old as the Hebrew Bible and as recent as the twenty-first century, in contexts as familiar as the American Midwest and as exotic as Karaism. It examines and frequently affirms some of the rituals that have traditionally been associated with these events, while inviting readers to cast a critical eye on the ways in which these customs have developed in recent years.
    The authors, who include congregational leaders as well as scholars, also affirm the need to expand or enhance existing ceremonies to include groups whose needs have not traditionally been addressed. They show how rites of passage may be viewed as both conservative and dynamic—connecting us with generations past as well as with our contemporaries.

Book Reviews


"This collection will be of special interest to Jews and those who study Judaism. It will also appeal to the larger audience who experience similar rites of passage, for Jewish traditions, old and new, always reflect and influence the societies of which they are a part."

About the Editor(s):

Leonard Greenspoon

Leonard J. Greenspoon holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University, where he also is a professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and of theology. Prior to his tenure at Creighton, Greenspoon was a professor of religion at Clemson University. As well as editing the Studies in Jewish Civilization series, Greenspoon has coedited another four volumes and written four monographs. A prolific author, he has written over two hundred journal articles, book chapters, and major encyclopedia entries. He has made public and scholarly presentations throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Israel and many European countries. His major research interests center on Bible translations (especially Jewish versions) and religion in popular culture.