Editors Rabbi Kerry M. Olitsky, executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, and Rabbi Daniel Judson, the spiritual leader of Temple Beth David of the South Shore in Canon, Massachusetts, have aimed this paperback at those who are interested in starting a spiritual practice rooted in the Jewish tradition; those who want to enhance a Jewish practice they already perform; those looking for spiritual inspiration; and those who are not Jewish but interested in the background of Jewish ritual.
Each of the ten chapters includes a ritual or practice; why it's done; what it's all about; ways it can add spiritual meaning to your life; how to do it; and personal stories of people who have incorporated these customs into their everyday lives. As Vanessa Ochs points out in the foreword, daily or weekly Jewish practices are harder to start keeping than the more dramatic rituals of birth, coming of age, marriage, death or even the holidays.
We were especially pleased to be able to write down various blessings which can be used to praise God in the morning. Here are a few of them shared by Rabbi Amos Vogel:
• "Praised are You, Adonai our God, whose presence fills the universe, who created me in God's image."
• "Praised are You, Adonai our God, whose presence fills the universe, who takes care of all my daily needs."
• "Praised are You, Adonai our God, whose presence fills the universe, who guides our steps."
• "Praised are You, Adonai our God, whose presence fills the universe, who gives strength to those who are weary."
We also picked up additional devotional insights and material from chapters on "Daily Prayer" by Dr. Mark Kligman and "Blessings Throughout the Day" by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin.