The book is divided into three sections, each representing a cycle of Jewish life. The first section demonstrates how Judaism responds to the natural events of life, looking at the ceremonies associated with birth, the coming-of-age, marriage, and death. The second deals with the major milestones of the Jewish calendar - holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, and Purim - as well as the Sabbath, minor fast days, and holidays created to respond to the tragedy of the Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel. The third section explores the rhythm of the Jewish day, in which time is marked with prayers and blessings
ARI L. GOLDMAN, one of the nation's leading religion journalists, was a reporter for The New York Times for twenty years. He left the Times in 1993 to teach journalism at Columbia University, where he has trained a new generation of religion writers. Professor Goldman was educated at Yeshiva University, Columbia, and Harvard. He is the author of the bestselling memoir The Search for God at Harvard and the widely acclaimed Living a Year of Kaddish. Goldman has been a Fulbright Professor in Israel and a Skirball Fellow at Oxford University in England. He lives in New York with his wife and their three children.