To Be A Jew: A Guide To Jewish Observance In Contemporary Life

by Hayim Donin. Basic Books, 1991.

If you are looking for a classic in Jewish literature and a primer on Jewish life, philosophy and law, To Be A Jew fits that description. Written by Hayim Donin, a Rabbi for more than twenty years and Adjunct Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Detroit, this book is a valuable reference for those wanting to reclaim their Jewish roots or have a refresher course in Jewish traditions. The book is divided into four parts: an overview of Jewish history, Jewish practices for everyday life, Jewish holidays, and Jewish special days. Readers will appreciate Rabbi Donin’s warmth and heart, as well as his enjoyable writing style. This book does presume some knowledge of Hebrew and Yiddish terms and because it was written in 1991, some aspects of the book will appear dated. However, much of the content remains instructive for anyone wanting a comprehensive guide related to contemporary Jewish life.