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eBook The Jewish Life Cycle
Author:  
Publisher:  Bar-Ilan University Press
Original Publisher:  Bar-Ilan University Press
Published:  2008
Language:  English
Pages:   682


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ISBN: 978-965-226-334-6

File size: 27.042 Mb




About the Book -- The Jewish Life Cycle

This volume describes the major ``rites of passage`` of the Jewish life cycle. From birth, through circumcision, to marriage, divorce, sickness, death and mourning, Daniel Sperber presents detailed descriptions of the major customs attending these events. These customs are examined in light of their original sources, their integration and evolution in varying Jewish communities, and the popular explanations given for their practice, both historically and today. This book draws on the whole spectrum of rabbinic literature, comparing its stories and explanations with folk beliefs of other cultures throughout the world. Sperber makes use of a wide range of resources - medieval and modern, legal, folkloristic, anthropological and literary - in his discussion of customs, proving that Jewish communities were never isolated from their environment. He also examines in depth the earliest origins of many of our well-known and commonly practiced Jewish customs. This book makes use of iconographic material found in illustrated books written by non-Jews describing Jewish practice. These illustrations are analyzed in detail, constituting yet another rich source for the understanding of the evolution of Jewish customs. Customs, by their nature, are often taken for granted. In this book, Daniel Sperber offers an expert, detailed, and lively analysis of some of the most and least commonly practiced customs in Jewish tradition. Co-published with Oxford University Press. ספר זה מתאר את תולדותיהם של מנהגים הקשורים במעגל החיים היהודי, ועומד על מקורותיהם, שורשיהם והתפתחותם לאורך הדורות. הוא מבוסס על חומר רב ומגוון, ממקורות יהודיים ולא יהודיים, ספרותיים ואמנותיים, ומצביע על מקבילות בנוהגי התרבויות השכנות והרחוקות ועל השפעות בשני הכיוונים. יצא בשיתוף עם הוצאת אוניברסיטת אוקספורד.

About the Book

Contents

New Page 1

Introduction

 

    Part 1    LIFE

1. Some North African Fertility and Pregnancy Customs

2. Protective Charms for the Pregnant Woman

3. New Mother Impurity

4. Circumcision only while Standing?

5. Circumcision over Earth or over Water

6. Circumcision as a Form of Sacrifice

7. Who Drinks the Circumcision Wine and the Place of Women in Society

8. Women Mohalot

9. The Two Wine Cups of Circumcision

10. One and Twelve Candles at the Circumcision

11. Tahanun on the Day of the Circumcision

12. The Third Day after the Circumcision

13. Aspects of the Redemption of the Firstborn

14. On the “Reasons” for Customs: The Halakah

15. The Wimpel

16. The Breaking of Plates during the Tena'im Ceremony

17. Betrothal Rings

18. Some Wedding Preparations

19. Wedding Dates

20. Fasting on the Wedding Day

21. The “Huppah” — The Wedding Canopy / Ceremony Appendix: The Nature of the Huppah

22. The Wedding Ring in the Cup of Wine

23. Throwing a Shoe at a Wedding

24. “Confetti”: The Throwing of Wheat Kernels at Weddings

25. “How they Dance before the Bride”

26. The Bride's Entry into the Bridal Suite

27. The Lighting of Candles after the Wedding

28. The Morning After

29. The Regel Redufin of Caucasus Jewry

30. The Halitzah Ceremony

31. On Divorce

 

    Part 2    DEATH

1. Omens of Approaching Death

2. The Manner of Sitting while Visiting the Sick

3. The Moment of Death

4. Asking Posthumous Pardon of the Dead

5. The Custom of the Deceased's Wife Passing under the Bier

6. The Firstborn of an Animal in the Cemetery

7. Opening the Coffin before Burial

8. The Construction of the Coffin in the Cemetery

9. The Table for the Coffin

10. The Rolling and Overturning of the Coffin

11. How the Deceased is Laid in his Grave

12. A Separate Row of Graves for Women who Died during Childbirth

13. The Direction of Graves

14. The Seven Evil Spirits and the Seven Funeral Stations

15. Casting Seven Coins next to the Deceased

16. The Plucking of Grass when Leaving the Cemetery

17. The Candles, Spices, and Flutes of the Deceased

18. Kohanim Walking on the Graves of the Righteous

19. A Kerchief around the Neck of the Mourner, and the Practice of Covering the Head

20. The Meaning of the Kaddish: “May His Great Name”

21. The Memorial Candle

22. The Eastern Mourning Practices

23. Mourning for the Firstborn

24. “The Death of a Nasi” and the Mourning for Moses

 

Bibliography

 

General Index



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