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January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
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Title: The Miracle of The Seventh Day

Title: The Miracle of The Seventh Day
Author: Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Publisher: Jossey-Bass Pub., A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA


The sub-title is of The Miracle of the Seventh Day is A Guide to the Spiritual Meaning, Significance and Weekly Practice of the Jewish Sabbath, written by Rabbi Steinsaltz, a leader among the activists of the Kiruv movement, this very attractively published volume is designed to be a working tool toward assisting the newly initiated toward understanding the hidden meanings of prayer.

The Miracle of The Seventh Day is not a siddur, or prayer book, but a guide toward Jewish custom in the home, beginning with the lighting of Shabbos candles, Kiddush, Birchat Hamazon (grace following meals), Melava Malkah (escorting the Sabbath Queen), etc. As with almost all his writings, Rabbi Steinsaltz writes in clear, reasoned exposition, demonstrating his basic value as a teacher – and instructor – to the newly initiated, as well as an expositor of the many hidden meanings to those who may feel familiar with liturgy and custom.

Each section begins with Rabbi Steinsaltz’ introduction, assisting our entry (or re-entry) into the “World of Sabbath.” We have many Minhagim (customs) and Halakhot (laws) that we observe to enhance the reality of the experience of the Jewish Sabbath, which is not merely a day of rest – but a day of renewal and inspiration.

Each prayer or blessing includes a modern Ivrit transliteration printed in English, line for line, and the entire volume is printed in an unusual format that makes it quite compact (easy to lay on the table along-side meals). The typography, including both a modern Hebrew typeface, as
well as the English, is quite attractive, and printed on very good quality, acid-free paper stock, smythe-sewn bound to lay perfectly flat when opened to any particular page. That the title page says this is “An Arthur Kurzweil Book” is indicative of the exceptional work of this well-known exponent of better Judaica publication.

Rabbi Jonathan Chipman, and Yehudit Shabtai performed the wonderfully reflective translation (from the original written in Lashon Kodesh). 

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