By Ivan G. Marcus

In this unique and sweeping overview of Jewish tradition and historical past, Ivan Marcus examines how and why numerous rites and customs celebrating phases within the existence cycle have advanced in the course of the a long time and persevered to today. for every part of life--from youth and youth to maturity and the complex years�the booklet strains the beginning and improvement of particular rites linked to the occasions of delivery, circumcision, and education; bar and bat mitzvah and affirmation; engagement, betrothal, and marriage; and getting older, loss of life, and remembering. Customs in Jewish culture, corresponding to the presence of godparents at a circumcision, using a four-poled cover at a marriage, and the putting of small stones on tombstones, are mentioned. In every one bankruptcy, targeted descriptions stroll the reader via such ceremonies as early sleek and modern circumcision, weddings, and funerals.

In a comparative framework, Marcus illustrates how Jewish tradition has negotiated with the bulk cultures of the traditional close to East, Greco-Roman antiquity, medieval eu Christianity, and Mediterranean Islam, in addition to with sleek secular and non secular hobbies and social tendencies, to resume itself via ritual innovation.

In his vast learn at the Jewish existence cycle, Marcus attracts from records on a variety of customs and formality practices, providing reassessments of unique resources and scholarly literature.

Marcus�s survey is the 1st accomplished research of the rites of the Jewish lifestyles cycle in view that Hayyim Schauss's The life of the Jew used to be released in 1950, written for Jewish readers. Marcus�s booklet addresses a broader viewers and is designed to entice students and readers.

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