Jewish life is organized by the rhythms of sacred time. The entire year revolves around a cycle of seasons and festivals. This paperback by Francine Klagsbrun, with illustrations by Mark Podwal, offers an erudite and illuminating "pathway to Jewish ideas and beliefs."
The author begins with the Sabbath, a day of rest and reflection. It is interesting to see how the natural world gets integrated into various holidays and festivals. Hanukkah is the festival of lights. The moon is blessed on Rosh Hodesh. A direct prayer for rain is included in Sukkot services, and trees play an important role on Tu B'Shevat. Klagsbrun also spins out the meaning of special days such as the birthday of the Ba'al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism; the death date of Rabbi Isaac Luria, a great Kabbalist; Holocaust Memorial Day; and Shavuot Eve when many Jews stay up all night to study the Torah.