Alfred J. Kolatch was an American rabbi and graduate of Yeshiva College. He was founder, president, and editor in chief of Jonathan David Publishers, as well as the author of more than 50 books. His most popular book, The Jewish Book of Why, spawned a series that has sold more than 1.5 million copies in five languages. He died in 2007.
The Jewish Book of Why is designed to explain the reasons behind various Jewish customs. Aspects of Jewish life including marriage, death and mourning, dietary laws, synagogue rituals, holidays, and the Jewish calendar are explained. The author does not judge the value of Jewish customs; rather, he offers a thoroughly respectful guide to the major how, where, and when questions the average layperson may have regarding Jewish life. In pointing out that Jewish law has never been static, Wallach stresses the importance of the Talmud, respected rabbinical traditions, and the Old Testament to contemporary Jewish observance. Wallach, who also serves as reader, explains the differences that have evolved in the manner in which Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed Jews practice their faith. Highly recommended for religion collections.‘Ravonne A. Green, Emmanuel Coll. Lib., Franklin Springs, Ga.