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Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends [Paperback]

Anita Diamant
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 1998
Married to a convert herself, Anita Diamant provides advice and information that can transform the act of conversion into an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. Here you will learn how to choose a rabbi, a synagogue, a denomination, a Hebrew name; how to handle the difficulty of putting aside Christmas; what happens at the mikvah (ritual bath) or at a hatafat dam brit (circumcision ritual for those already circumcised); how to find your footing in a new spiritual family that is not always well prepared to receive you; and how not to lose your bonds to your family of origin. Diamant anticipates all the questions, doubts, and concerns, and provides a comprehensive explanation of the rules and rituals of conversion.

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Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends + To be a Jew: Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken Books; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (1 Feb 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805210954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210958
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Anita Diamant is the author of six books about Jewish life, including The New Jewish Wedding, Living a Jewish Life, and Saying Kaddish. She is also the author of three novels, including The Red Tent. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
CONVERTING TO JUDAISM IS AN EXTRAORDINARY journey-a process of study, experimentation, growth, and self-discovery unlike virtually any other experience. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ths book dealt with a wide range of topics, trying to answer the "universal" questions of the Jew by Choice, such as how to cope with Christmas, how to tell one's parents, etc. However, by far the greatest strength of this book, and the reason I highly recomend it to anyone considering conversion, is the step-by-step explaination of what kinds of questions the rabbi will ask, what happens at the mikva, and what the bet din is like. This book got me really excited about conversion.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily helpful. 24 Dec 1997
By A Customer
As one who is new to the conversion process, I found this book to be extremely helpful. Not only does it describe in user-friendly terms the actual procedures involved in conversion, Ms. Dimante discusses areas involving psychological discomfort, i.e., how one's birth family might feel rejected, giving up the trappings of Christmas whether or not one believes in the concept. I read this book in two sittings, and I didn't want to put it down. I know I'll read parts of it again.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction for converts 31 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first book that I read to seek guidance on the essential points involved in conversion. It was a great read and will continue to stand as a point of reference for me.
I recommend this book to anyone considering conversion or as a gift for the convert's family / friends.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for people with religious families 6 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent guide for anyone converting, and as I don't want to repeat the other reviews here I'll get straight to the point:

This book is excellent if your family is religious and your in-laws are jewish. Yet I am from a non-religious background and one of those rare single converts (no jewish boyfriend/fiance/husband). So pretty much half of the book is completely wasted on me, because even though the advice on how to tell your family, and how to get your jewish in-laws to accept you is great, it simply doesn't apply to singles like me.

So I was a little disappointed that I wasted money on just about 50% of the book, but it is a nice introductory guide. Just not for singles with no religious upbringing. I would highly recommend "Judaism for Dummies" here, which is brilliant (except for the daft title).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor: only suitable for non-orthodox 23 Jan 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A somewhat 'lay' view of what religion is all about but an invaluable guide to the process all the same.

Buyers be aware, the book is only appropriate for what the author calls "liberal" (i.e. non-orthodox) Judaism. For a guide to the Orthodox process the author recommends Rabbi Maurice Lamm's "Becoming a Jew".
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