Prager, Dennis and Joseph Telushkin. Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism. Touchstone, 1986. ISBN 978-0671622619 224 pp. $
While dated, this basic book covers why someone might want to be/become a Jew, why it’s important to engage in Jewish ritual, observance and practices; if one can be Jewish and not believe in G-d (yes, actually…); an explanation of keeping kosher; why intermarriage is undesirable (and also makes a case for but it’s such a great religion why wouldn’t you join?); and concludes with Zionism and makes a case for supporting Soviet Jews.
Lew, Alan. This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation. Little, Brown 2003. ISBN 978-0316739085 288 pp. $26
An overview of the High Holidays that lead me to a lot of soul searching, apologies and forgiveness, this book about the Days of Awe offers Jews a clearing understanding of the path from repentance to forgiveness starting not with Rosh Hashana, but actually back in Elul with Tisha B’Av. Rabbi Alan lew is insightful, profound and accessible. I would even argue it has reach beyond a traditional Jewish audience to anyone seeking to make meaning and develop a practice of apology and seeking forgiveness.
“What is your role in the recurring disaster(s) in your life?” is a central question in the book that I personally keep returning to; this is an annual re-read.
Purchase where there is a population to benefit from this book.