Who Should Read This Book How to Use This Book Acknowledgments Preface Are the Twelve Steps Jewish? A Foreword by Rabbi Neil Gillman How the Jewish Calendar Works A Calendar of Months A Calendar of Festivals and Fasts The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous Tishrei * A Fresh Start Cheshvan * Making Ready Kislev * Freedom Tevet * Self-Reliance Shevat * Rebirth Adar * Joy Nisan * Liberation Iyar * Independence Sivan * Revelation Tammuz * Living with Hope Av * Beginning Again Elul * Introspection Spiritual Renewal in the Jewish Calendar An Afterword by Dr. Jay M. Holder Glossary of Important Words and Concepts About the Authors
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, named one of the fifty leading rabbis in North America by Newsweek, is well known for his inspiring books that bring the Jewish wisdom tradition into everyday life. He is executive director of Big Tent Judaism, formerly Jewish Outreach Institute, and is author of many books on Jewish spirituality, healing and Jewish religious practice, including Making a Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage: The Big Tent Judaism Guide to Opportunities, Challenges and Resources; Introducing My Faith and My Community: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide for a Christian in a Jewish Interfaith Relationship; Jewish Paths toward Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing with Suffering; Grief in Our Seasons: A Mourner's Kaddish Companion; Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery: A Personal Guide to Turning from Alcoholism & Other Addictions-Drugs, Food, Gambling, Sex...; Facing Cancer as a Family; Life's Daily Blessings: Inspiring Reflections on Gratitude for Every Day, Based on Jewish Wisdom; 100 Blessings Every Day: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Affirmations, Exercises for Personal Growth and Renewal Reflecting Seasons of the Jewish Year and Recovery from Codependance: A Jewish Twelve Step Guide to Healing Your Soul. He is also coauthor of Grandparenting Interfaith Grandchildren; Jewish Holidays: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Renewed Each Day, Vol. One-Genesis and Exodus: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Meditations; Renewed Each Day, Vol. Two-Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Meditations Based on the Bible and coeditor of The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal (all Jewish Lights). Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky is available to speak on the following topics: The Jewish Twelve Step Path to Healing and Recovery Sparks Beneath the Surface: A Spiritual Read on the Torah Welcoming the Stranger in Our Midst How to Nurture Jewish Grandchildren Being Raised in an Interfaith Family Optimism for a Jewish Future Click here to contact the author. Neil Gillman, rabbi and PhD, is professor of Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he has served as chair of the Department of Jewish Philosophy and dean of the Rabbinical School. He is author of Believing and Its Tensions: A Personal Conversation about God, Torah, Suffering and Death in Jewish Thought; The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year"; The Way Into Encountering God in Judaism; The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Traces of God: Seeing God in Torah, History and Everyday Life (all Jewish Lights) and Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. JAY M. HOLDER, D.C., C.Ad., Ph.D. Laureate-Albert Schweitzer Prize in Medicine is Founder and Medical Director of the Exodus Treatment Center in Miami Beach, Florida. He is President of the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders. James Stone Goodman, musician and poet, is rabbi of Neve Shalom in St. Louis, Missouri and founder of S.L.I.C.H.A. (St. Louis Information Committee and Hotline on Addiction). Danny Siegel is an inspiring poet and writer who is also recognized for his creative tzedakah work in North America and in Israel. He is the author of books of poetry and inspirational essays, including the works Where Heaven and Earth Touch (Jason Aronson, 1989) and The Lord is a Whisper at Midnight: Psalms and Prayers (Town House Press, 1985). Danny Siegel is also the recipient of the 1993 Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators. Rabbi Gordon Tucker, PhD, is senior rabbi at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York, and adjunct assistant professor of Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he formerly served as dean of its rabbinical school. He is the editor and translator of Heavenly Torah: As Refracted through the Generations.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, a tribe faced life and death. Their conqueror demanded the people bow down to his pagan idols. This tribe of Semitic peoples always lived by the law of the land they were in. But this they could not do. For these tribes of Hebrews lived by the word of one God, as understood thousands of years earlier on Mt. Sinai. This God, who had neither face nor name, breathed commandments into their collective souls. One of the bedrock 10 commandments prohibited the worship of idols. Should this tribe bow down to a conqueror's idol so that they could live? Or should the Jewish people resist, preserving their tribal soul, but risking survival? One band of Jews refused to bend their knees to the idol. Led by Judah and the Maccabees, they rose up against the Seleucid king and reclaimed their temple. This minor military victory 2,100 years ago - the first recorded battle fought over religious freedom - became a tribal holiday called Hanukkah. It is a celebration for all people who refuse to betray themselves. Over the years, Hanukkah traditions evolved. One was the giving of money to children, who would then give a portion to the needy. Another tradition involved the giving of the written word. ``It was a custom in the old days to give books on Hanukkah,' said Rabbi Joel Schwab of Temple Sinai in Middletown. It made sense. The Jews, forced to flee to far corners of the earth, were unified and preserved by the written word. In America, Jews enjoyed religious freedoms unheard of in their history. In their drive for assimilation, Hanukkah became ``the Jewish Christmas.' There was the Hanukkah bush, Hanukkah stockings and an orgy of lavish gift-buying. These were the bitter Hanukkah ironies. The holiday celebrating the rejection of false idols found American Jews bowing before the idol of consumerism. The holiday rejecting assimilation found American Jews mimicking the holiday of the dominant religion. Recently, though, Jews have begun to reclaim Hanukkah. A Jewish renewal is spreading across America among Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews. Synagogue attendance is up. A conference in New York City this month sponsored by the Jewish Renewal movement (see sidebar) brought an overflow crowd of 2,000 people. Many baby-boomer Jews who abandoned religious involvement in their earlier years are finding that middle age brings them back to Judaism in a search for answers. This year Hanukkah shows up early on the modern calendar. The first night begins Sunday, Nov. 27, nearly a month before Christmas. This gives it room to breathe and assert its own identity. Perhaps then it is time to go back to the tradition of Jewish book-giving for Hanukkah. After all, Jews have historically been called the people of the Book. Sales of Judaica books have taken off over the past 10 years with new publishing houses springing up like fig trees in the Negev desert. The books have also attracted an audience among Christians, who are enriching their own beliefs by taking a second look at their Jewish roots. What follows on pages 4-5 is a sampling of some of the best books available. The list is by no means comprehensive, but a starting point in a search for your own Jewish book life. -- Mike Levine * Times-Herald Record *