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The Jewish Cultural Tapestry: International Jewish Folk Traditions Paperback – Feb 18 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (Feb. 18 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195158008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195158007
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 19.3 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,045,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
WHAT IS IT THAT HAS MADE THE JEWISH PEOPLE, SCATTERED ALL OVER THE WORLD for over 2000 years, one people despite the lack of a homeland for most of that time? Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Finally a book is available for the Jewish and non-Jewish reader that explains both the common thread and the differences of Jewish customs throughout the world. Clearly the author has a strong scholarly background, but this book is a lively read. Especially fascinating are the chapters on vernacular languages, cuisine (with recipes), music (with notations), and the new field of genetics. The author treats each custom with equal respect; nothing is described as being weird or exotic. Numerous action maps explain migrations and cultural changes, and the many illustrations of actual people add to the accessibility of this usually dry subject. It is a must for personal, synagogue, and secular libraries.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Finally Explanations May 16 2001
By Emily Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Finally a book is available for the Jewish and non-Jewish reader that explains both the common thread and the differences of Jewish customs throughout the world. Clearly the author has a strong scholarly background, but this book is a lively read. Especially fascinating are the chapters on vernacular languages, cuisine (with recipes), music (with notations), and the new field of genetics. The author treats each custom with equal respect; nothing is described as being weird or exotic. Numerous action maps explain migrations and cultural changes, and the many illustrations of actual people add to the accessibility of this usually dry subject. It is a must for personal, synagogue, and secular libraries.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Big & Little Tradition July 25 2007
By Eric Maroney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book begins with a very simple assertion about religious experience. There is such a thing as a Big Tradition and Little Tradition. For The Jewish Cultural Tapestry, the Big Tradition is embodied in the formal and official aspects of Jewish worship: the synagogue service, holiday celebration, the study of texts like the Talmud and the commentaries on Jewish law. The Little Tradition are those folk elements which fill in the numerous gaps left unanswered in the official practice of Judaism (mainly text bound, and not always exhaustive in explanation on how to carry a practice). For example hot food cannot be prepared on the Sabbath, but it is considered important to do so, so various Jewish communities developed ways around this difficulty. Overall, the book shows how many Jewish customs, most of a folk variety in the realm of food, clothing, song, dance, and even to some extent in religious practice, are modified forms of what is already present at the folk level of the gentile community which surrounds a group of Jews. Folk practice can often be widely at variance with "official" religion, and perhaps the one weak spot of this work is that it does not explore this rich mine of conflict and resolution. That said, the book presents a complex series of subjects in an excellent and easy to read format and style.

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