Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians

A book from Jewish Lights, SkyLight Paths’ sister imprint

With biblical and historical background, insight into contemporary practice and personal stories, this easy-to-understand guide explains nine rituals in Jewish spiritual practice and shows how they can deepen Christians' understanding of their own faith.

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky and Rabbi Daniel Judson

5½ x 8½, 144 pp | 978-1-58023-210-4

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A window into the meaning of Jewish rituals throughout history and today—written especially for Christians.

Ritual moments and opportunities guide the daily life of practicing Jews. These spiritual practices give expression to Jewish identity and reflect Judaism’s core beliefs and values. But what can they mean to Christians seeking to understand their own faith? In this special book, Rabbis Olitzky and Judson guide you through the whys and hows of nine specific areas of Jewish ritual.

  • Observing the Sabbath
  • Keeping Kosher
  • Putting on Tefillin (Prayer Boxes)
  • Wrapping the Tallit (Prayer Shawl)
  • Covering the Head
  • Studying Torah
  • Praying Daily
  • Saying Blessings throughout the Day
  • Going to the Ritual Bath

Providing you with the biblical and historical background of each practice, insight into its contemporary use and significance—including the often divergent approaches of different Jewish movements—and personal stories from rabbis and lay people, this easy-to-understand guide illustrates the deep meaning these rituals have in the Jewish relationship with God. Linking these practices to familiar rituals in the Christian tradition, Olitzky and Judson help you better understand the roots of Christianity and how the fundamentals of Judaism relate to and reflect your own spiritual foundation.

“I will be recommending this book to anyone who teaches adult education in parishes. A helpful guide to understanding the ritual practices of Judaism, some of their traditional and theological underpinnings, and how it all relates to us as Christians.”

Jon M. Sweeney, author of The St. Francis Prayer Book: A Guide to Deepen Your Spiritual Life

“Very sensitive and embracing … this book succeeds in translating for Christians the richness of Jewish ritual and tradition. It is a work of profound faith told through spiritually uplifting and engaging prose, as well as through the stories of those who have embraced a life of Jewish ritual and enriched their souls as a result.”

The Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, PhD, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona