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Praise for A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living

Rabbi Elliot Dorff, rector and distinguished professor of philosophy at American Jewish University, comments: “This volume…is a ‘must read’ not only for Reconstructionists, but for anyone who wants to understand the Reconstructionist approach to Judaism. Let it challenge you to reevaluate your own Jewish commitments, methods and practices!”

Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, states that the book has his highest endorsement. Ellenson says: “Everyday Living: A Guide to Jewish Practice will be an indispensable addition to the library of all who seek individual and communal guidance and insight from the sources of Jewish tradition in virtually every area of life… The contributions these values and this approach can contribute to the entire Jewish community are unmistakable.”

Marcia Falk, author of The Book of Blessings and translator of The Song of Songs, says: “Everyday Living is much more than a compendium of sources and issues; it’s a stimulating conversation among divergent voices, each with a unique perspective… This is a book for those who want to think, discern and engage with the important issues of living in Jewish community and in relationship. I expect to consult Everyday Living often over the days and years to come.”

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, scholar at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco and author of I’m God; You’re Not and Kabbalah: A Love Story, comments: “Without the elaborate ideologies of other movements, Reconstructionists have always excelled at just telling the truth. This is an anthology about the way things really are among all liberal Jews. Worth the price just for the table of contents alone, it is the ultimate discussion guide for any Jew serious about leading a religious life.”

Ruth W. Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service, declares: “Teutsch plumbs our texts and our teachers and tells us what they have to say about who we are and what we do in the world… how we shape our spiritual selves, interact with others, build community, use the power of speech, create a working ethic and meet the needs of those who need our help. This comprehensive guide helps us identify our values, organize our lives accordingly and live as ethical people in a challenging world.”

Moses Pava, director of Yeshiva University’s Syms School of Business, says: “Everyday Living is like a Shulkhan Aruch [the rabbinic Code of Jewish Law] for Reconstructionist Jews. This book provides a wonderful introduction to the most significant spiritual and ethical foundations of everyday Jewish living. With its many contemporary commentaries on every page, the very form of the book models the highest aspirations of today’s Jewish community. Most important, this book will help to build bridges and to provoke constructive dialogue among Jews from every background.”

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter Shalomi, leader of the Jewish Renewal movement, says that the great strength of this work is that “no two people who read the book will come away doing the same things.” He asserts that Jews today feel a need to be autonomous in the way they embrace their religion and tradition, and adds, “For the many Jews on a journey toward deepening their Yiddishkeit, this is an essential resource. It creates a dialogue between the reader and the diverse views of the commentators, helping to deepen spirituality, think through moral dilemmas and truly make doing Jewish an everyday experience…  and the breadth and depth of what the book covers make this an invaluable resource for every seeking Jew.”