Catalog of Books

Judaism In A Nutshell Series
  Passover
A complete guide to the themes, practices, and traditions of Passover.
  God
The reality of God as examined through philosophy, history, and the  Kabbalah.
  Israel
Learn how the State of Israel arose, its history and why it is so central to Judaism.
  Holidays
A broad exploration of the major holidays deeper spiritual meaning.
 
The Survival Kit Series
  Passover
Rediscover the seder's lively inner life as a source for personal growth.
  Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
An easy-to-use guide for the High Holiday Services
  Family Haggadah
Clear explanations woven into the standard text along with Q & A style commentary.
 
Survival Kit Companions
  Chanukah - 8 Nights of Light, 8 Gifts for the Soul
Examine the history, themes, traditions, and prayers of Chanukah.
  One Hour Purim Primer
A step-by-step guide to celebrating Purim with insights that reveal how the holiday speaks to the heart
 
Clueless but Curious Series
  The Bible For The Clueless But Curious
The Bible's wisdom presented  in a fun and unique format.
  Kosher For The Clueless But Curious
A fun, fact-filled and spiritual guide to all things kosher.
 
Cheat Sheets
  High Holiday Cheat Sheets
A pamphlet that's jam-packed with fun and practical information to help you have the most meaninful High Holidays ever!  
  My Hanukkah Cheat Sheets
This Hanukkah, give the gift of Jewish knowledge and humor.
  My Purim Cheat Sheets
This pamphlet is jam-packed (and not just because it includes a recipe for jam-filled hamentashen!) with useful, fun, and practical information about the holiday of Purim.
 
Other Available Books
  Remember My Soul
Provides a comforting voice for those who have suffered a loss.
  Death Of Cupid
Speaks equally to singles searching for love and couples searching to deepen theirs.
  Missiles, Masks And Miracles
Chilling accounts of the attacks on Israel during the Gulf War and the miracles that ensued.  
  The Jewish Hero Corps
This comic book tells the story of the world's only Jewish Super-Hero team as they go on a worldwide race against ti$  
   

THE ONE HOUR PURIM PRIMER
by Shimon Apisdor


List price: $12.95
Our price: $11.65

 

ORDER QUANTITY  

  Excerpt From THE ONE HOUR PURIM PRIMER

SCIENCE, CYBERSPACE AND THE SOUL

Something is going on out there.

One need not be an astute social analyst to see that the search for
a metaphysic that speaks to our time no longer emanates from the
fringe, nor is it the sole domain of those who seek to live life in a New Age sort of way. While science and technology are changing our world more rapidly than we can keep up with, the timeless questions of existence and the human condition are sounding an ever more resonant chord.

The fields of science and technology are inherently progressive. Breakthroughs and advances are the products of new knowledge based on more experimentation, tests and evidence than anything that preceded them. In the technological realm, what's newer is generally what's better. At the same time, people are seriously questioning whether all these developments necessarily bring in their wake better ways of understanding and dealing with life. There is a growing realization that those of an earlier time, those who could never have conceived of the human genome, palm devices or chat rooms could, and did, devote a great deal of thought to matters of human fulfillment, the meaning of life, and issues of identity. Today, from the boardroom to the ballpark, matters of the soul, of a mind-body relationship, of values, and of a spiritual dimension to living have entered the mainstream of social
consciousness and discussion. Who would have ever believed that one day Campbell's would tout its soup with the line, "Mmm-mmm, good for the body, good for the soul."

The National Institute of Health, a bastion of biological reduc-
tionism which has long viewed human beings as just another dish of chemical reactions, has allocated two million dollars to establish a Panel of Mind-Body Interventions. Harvard Medical School now holds seminars examining the frontiers of mind-body medicine, and nursing schools regularly offer courses exploring the relationship between prayer and healing. For a sense of the public pulse, one need look no further than the New York Times' bestseller list where over twenty-five percent of the titles in recent years have been books related to spirituality. The Road Less Traveled, a book about spiritual growth, was a bestseller for over five hundred weeks. And Phil Jackson, a six-foot, ten-inch, ex-New York Knick and Buddhist, successfully coached Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, and the Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers to seven NBA championships while employing zen techniques with his players. Clearly, something is going on out there.


2001: AN INNER SPACE ODYSSEY

The long awaited year 2001 has finally arrived. As history ventures past this mythical watershed, people of every ilk are looking not only backwards and forwards, but more importantly, inwards. More and more the long-awaited calendar shift is catching people's cosmic attention. "Where are we headed?" they ask. "Where should we be headed? What does it all mean? Is there an ultimate purpose or meaning to my life, or have I just been set hopelessly adrift?" Simply put, people want to know, "What's it all about?" And this time the it is not outer space, but inner space. It is life.

The Jewish calendar takes a much broader view of human history than does our civil calendar. If you look at a Jewish calendar, you will find that we are in the year 5761, not 2001. Thus, the Jewish calendar has no millennium shift for another two hundred and forty years. Nonetheless, Judaism would always applaud any efforts at introspection, any attempts to grapple with life's ultimate questions, and every aspiration to uncover a deeper dimension to living.

LOOK AGAIN: AT PURIM AND LIFE

A recurring theme throughout the story and holiday of Purim is the idea of seeing beneath the surface. The Book of Esther tells the Purim story and is the only book in the Bible which never mentions the name of G-d; yet at every turn in the story one can't help but sense a transcendent presence. Purim is the only holiday in which we are told not only to eat and drink, but to actually get drunk! (See page 30 for a discussion of this issue.) Yet, while the observance of the holiday includes eating, drinking, costumes, and parties, both the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria and Maimonides, the renowned sage and philosopher, assure us that Purim is a day whose spirituality is rivaled by no other. And the Hebrew term for the Book of Esther, Megillat Esther; when literally translated, means to reveal (megillat) that which is hidden (esther). From all sides the holiday of Purim calls out to us, in fact challenges us, to look beneath the surface.

The wonders of the world around us are without end. Majesty and awe are commonplace in nature, but there is more to this awe than meets the eye. The complexities of the human organism are just beginning to be understood. Yet, this homo sapien is not just another genus or species. There is far more to the human being than meets the microscope. In all aspects of life, Judaism looks at one level and then proceeds to perceive and reveal quite another. In every detail of living, Judaism sees a dimension of an ever-deeper life form, and a richer quality of potential. It is to these depths of perception and living that Purim calls us.

I recently had a conversation with an accomplished graphic designer from California named Heidi. Quite to my surprise she told me that, "I was born Jewish. Ičve never really done much Jewish stuff, but lately Ičve been wondering if there could be any spirituality in Judaism. You know," she continued, "you can begin a conversation for one reason and find out that it was supposed to lead you in a direction you never imagined."

"Heidi," I wrote in the copy of a book I sent her, "sometimes the things we are looking for are hidden in places we would least expect to find them." Like Purim. Often referred to as a "minor festival," Purim is in fact a major source of wisdom and spiritual inspiration.

The One Hour Purim Primer has been written for everyone who never dreamed that there could be more to Judaism than what they encountered in the world of suburban Jewry. Indeed, just as there is far more to Purim than meets the eye, so there is far more to Judaism than most of us were led to believe. This book is an attempt to cast a ray of light into the subterranean domain of Jewish wisdom and spirituality. Far from inaccessible or foreboding, once we venture beneath the surface of Judaism, we will find an enlightening and enchanting inner world, a world of experience and thought that speaks to us in the context of our lives today while simultaneously lifting our vision of what we, and what the world can be tomorrow.
 

©Jewish Literacy Foundation. Content protected by law, users must obtain written permission for reproduction.