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By Jill Hammer / Jewish Publication Society / 2006
Throughout the ages, Jews have connected legends to particular days of the Hebrew calendar. Abraham's birth, the death of Rachel, and the creation of light are all tales that are linked to a specific day and season. The Jewish Book of Days invites readers to experience the connection between sacred story and nature's rhythms, through readings designed for each and every day of the year. These daily readings offer an opportunity to live in tune with the wisdom of the past while learning new truths about the times we live in today.
Using the tree as its central metaphor, The Jewish Book of Days is divided into eight chapters of approximately forty-five days each. These sections represent the tree's stages of growth—seed, root, shoot, sap, bud, leaf, flower, and fruit—and also echo the natural cadences of each season.
Each entry has three components: a biblical quote for the day; a midrash on the biblical quote or a Jewish tradition related to that day; and commentary relating the text to the cycles of the year. The author includes an introduction that analyzes the different months and seasons of the Hebrew calendar and explains the textual sources used throughout. Appendixes provide additional material for leap years, equinoxes, and solstices. A section on seasonal meditations offers a new way to approach the divine every day.
With Noet, this valuable volume is enhanced by cutting-edge research tools. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Noet, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
What a beautiful way to learn Torah. Jill Hammer has offered us a gift and a wonderful resource of 'midrashim' and teachings to support and guide us on our soul journey day by day.
—Melinda Ribner, Founder, Beit Miriam
The first command to the first Jew, Abraham, was "Lech l'cha"—walk forth into your self. Jill Hammer's book gives us the markers for that walking, seeing each day of the Jewish year as one more step into the journey. Abraham—and Sarah too—would be delighted.
—Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Founder, The Shalom Center
The Jewish Book of Days is rich learning for Jews, both educated and not, and highly informative and inspirational as well for those unfamiliar with the Jewish faith.
—Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Founder and Executive Director, Walking Stick Foundation
Every page reveals something new and fascinating in this innovative Jewish calendar . . . contains a treasure chest of Jewish gems.
. . . a poetic, soulful, and organic view of the cycle of the Jewish year, bringing together Jewish texts and environmental themes. . . . Rabbi Hammer’s original juxtaposition of ideas engages, enchants, and inspires in ways that stimulate others to be thoughtful, appreciative, and creative.
—Long Island Jewish Week
Rabbi Jill Hammer is the author of The Jewish Book of Days (a 2006 National Jewish Book Award Finalist) and Sisters at Sinai. A popular teacher, her speech topics include “Jewish Cycles of Time” and “Contemporary Midrash.”