Kaddish

Kaddish

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Author/Contributor(s): Wieseltier, Leon
Publisher: Vintage
Date: 02/08/2000
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW
A National Jewish Book Award-winning autobiography that's an astonishing fusion of learning and psychic intensity; its poignance and lucidity should be an authentic benefit to readers, Jewish and gentile (The New York Times Book Review).

Children have obligations to their parents: the Talmud says one must honor him in life and one must honor him in death. Beside his father's grave, a diligent but doubting son begins the mourner's kaddish and realizes he needs to know more about the prayer issuing from his lips. So begins Leon Wieseltier's National Jewish Book Award-winning autobiography, Kaddish, the spiritual journal of a man commanded by Jewish law to recite a prayer three times daily for a year and driven, by ardor of inquiry, to explore its origins. Here is one man's urgent exploration of Jewish liturgy and law, from the 10th-century legend of a wayward ghost to the speculations of medieval scholars on the grief of God to the perplexities of a modern rabbi in the Kovno ghetto. Here too is a mourner's unmannered response to the questions of fate, freedom, and faith stirred in death's wake. Lyric, learned, and deeply moving, Wieseltier's Kaddish is a narrative suffused with love: a son's embracing the tradition bequeathed to him by his father, a scholar's savoring they beauty he was taught to uncover, and a writer's revealing it, proudly, unadorned, to the reader.