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Jewish Story

Jul 18, 1997 - 14:45 -

I have a question:
Our son is about to have his bar mitzvah and while we are Orthodox, much of our family is not. We are afraid that they will feel lost during the davening. Can you help us with a summary of the Shabbat service and an explanation of the tradition of bar mitzvah? Thanks. I see on the web that you have written a book that seems appropriate but I can't find it in my community and have only two weeks until the bar mitzvah to get this done.

About me:
My e-mail address:
How I found this site: Surfing the web

I apologize for the delay. I was away tending to some personal matters and neglected the web site for several weeks. By the time I got back, your post was too old for me to help. I hope the Bar Mitzvah was a wonderful occasion for all.

Yes, I do think my book is appropriate for your relatives. My own uncle (an academic PhD, very intelligent humanist, and somewhat cynical with respect to all traditions and authorities) wrote me a note after reading my book. Like me, he enjoys abstract ideas and principles and seldom reveals personal feelings and inner transformations. Although I feel very close to this uncle as result of frequent family visits all my life, I can't recall ever getting a letter from him before. He wrote:

"I found your book highly informative and quite entertaining. Your comparative and historical analysis of synagogue practice and liturgy is deeply insightful and reflects impressive scholarly skills and academic integrity. More importantly, your ability to synthesize information and concepts and create practical and useful constructs informs us all of who we are as Jew's in today's world and how and why we are special. You have succeeded in decoding an enigma for me and making the connections needed to grasp current synagogue practice -- comprehensively and with understanding. Reading your book was like visiting with you -- an interesting, pleasurable, and completely worthwhile experience. I think you are a bit too modest in largely disclaiming originality. (Mozart did not invent the stuff he used to create his music.) You have made your parents and your entire family very proud!"

Whenever I get low, I take it out and re-read the part about decoding an enigma.

If my book isn't in your local stores, you can get it from at least three different on-line bookstores, from the publisher by phone, or from me by mail. (I can autograph or specially inscribe a book as you may direct). The following link has instructions for all vendors, plus links to the other pages listed below:

Ordering info on my book.

Description of my book.
Reviews of my book.  [real ones, not letters from my uncle]
Picture and bio of me.

I hope I can be of help in the future.

--- Jordan