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Life, Death, and In-Between

Before Birth

Cardin, Nina Beth. Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss. Jewish Lights Pub; 1999. Hardcover: ISBN 1-580230-17-2.
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Feldman, David. Birth Control in Jewish Law: Marital Relations, Contraception, and Abortion As Set Forth in the Classic Texts of Jewish Law. Jason Aronson; 1998. Hardcover. ISBN 0-765760-58-4. [The most comprehensive study available on Jewish attitudes about contraception, abortion, etc.]
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Gold, Michael. And Hannah Wept: Infertility, Adoption, and the Jewish Couple. Jewish Publication Society; 1988. Hardcover. ISBN 0-827603-06-1.
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Rosenberg, Shelley Kapnek. Adoption and the Jewish Family: Contemporary Perspectives. Jewish Publication Society; 1998. Paperback. ISBN 0-827606-53-2.
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Birth and Naming

Diamant, Anita. The New Jewish Baby Book: Names, Ceremonies & Customs, A Guide For Today's Families. Jewish Lights Pub; 1993, 1994. Paperback. ISBN 1-879045-28-1. [Non-traditional]
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Kolatch, Alfred J. Complete Dictionary of English and Hebrew First Names. Jonathan David Pub; 1984. Hardcover. ISBN 0-824602-95-1.
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Kolatch, Alfred J. Best Baby Names for Jewish Children. Jonathan David Pub; 1998. Paperback. ISBN 0-824604-06-7.
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Krohn, Paysach. Bris Milah/Circumcision. Artscroll Mesorah. Paperback. [The covenant of Abraham-A compendium of laws rituals & customs from birth to bris, anthologized from talmudic & traditional source]
[Buy at Artscroll:]

Rosenkrantz, Linda. Beyond Sarah and Sam: An Enlightened Guide to Jewish Baby Naming. St. Martin's Press; 1992. Paperback. ISBN 0-312069-04-9.
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Sidi, Smadar Shir. The Complete Book of Hebrew Baby Names. Harper San Francisco; 1989. Paperback. ISBN 0-062548-50-6.
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Raising Your Child

Abrams, Judith Z.; Abrams, Steven A. Jewish Parenting: Rabbinic Insights. Jason Aronson; 1994. Paperback. ISBN 1-568211-75-9.
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Abramowitz, Yosef I.; Silverman, Susan. Jewish Family & Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today's Parents and Children. Golden Books Pub Co; 1997. Hardcover. ISBN 0-307440-04-4.
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Adahan, Miriam, Raising Children to Care: A Jewish Guide to Childrearing. Philipp Feldheim; 1988. Hardcover. ISBN 0-873064-56-9. [Using the principles developed in her previous book EMETT, Mrs. Adahan displays her thorough understanding of personality development in the application of these principles to bringing up children. While addressed primarily to mothers, a short chapter to fathers touches briefly but forcefully on the marital relationship.]
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Cohen, Simcha Bunim. Children In Halachah. Artscroll Mesorah. Hardcover. [Laws relating to young children: Chinuch, Shabbos, Kashrus, Learning and much more.]
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Danan, Julie Hilton. The Jewish Parents' Almanac. Jason Aronson; 1997. Paperback. ISBN 1-568219-52-0.
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Diamant, Anita; Kushner, Karen (Contributor). How to Be a Jewish Parent: A Practical Handbook for Family Life. Schocken Books; September 2000. Paperback and Hardback Available. ISBN 0-805211-16-0.
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Donin, Hayim Halevy. To Raise a Jewish Child: A Guide for Parents. Basic Books; 1991. Paperback. ISBN 0-465086-35-7.
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Levi, Miriam. Effective Jewish Parenting. Feldheim, 1986. ISBN 0-873064-05-4. Out of print. [Mrs. Levi uses the principles of cognitive psychology to help parents (especially mothers) cope with their own feelings during the trials and tribulations of childrearing. The book is richly illustrated by examples from real life and should be read by husband and wife together in order to arrive at a harmonized treatment of children and thus eliminate a significant potential source of dissension.]

Lipsitz, Gail Josephson. Practical Parenting: A Jewish Perspective. Ktav Publishing House; 1997. Paperback. ISBN 0-881255-36-X.
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Radcliffe, Sarah Chana. The Delicate Balance: Love and Authority in Torah Parenting. Targum Pr; 1989. Hardcover. ISBN 0-944070-22-1.
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Reuben, Steven Carr. Raising Jewish Children in a Contemporary World: The Modern Parent's Guide to Creating a Jewish Home. Prima Publishing, 1992. ISBN 1-559581-50-6. May be out of print. Contact the publisher at P. O. Box 1260SC, Rocklin CA 95677.

Rosman, Steven M. Jewish Parenting Wisdom. Jason Aronson; 1997. Hardcover. ISBN 0-765759-69-1.
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Wolpin, Nisson. Timeless Parenting: Raising children in troubled times - understanding, coping, succeeding. Artscroll; 2000. Hardback. ISBN 1-578195-10-1.
[Buy at Amazon:][Buy at Artscroll:]

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Davis, Judith. Whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This, Anyway? A Guide for Parents Through a Family Rite of Passage. St. Martin's Press; 1998. Paperback. ISBN 0-312181-97-3.
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Isaacson, Judy and Rosenbloom, Deborah. Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Israel: The Ultimate Family Sourcebook. Israel Info Access; 1998. Paperback. ISBN: 0-966087-70-4.
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Leneman, Helen (Editor). Bar/Bat Mitzvah Basics: A Practical Family Guide to Coming of Age Together . Jewish Lights Pub; 1996. Paperback. ISBN 1-879045-54-0.
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Lewit, Jane; Epstein, Ellen Robinson. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planbook. Scarborough House Publishers; 1996. Paperback revised edition. ISBN 0-812885-46-5.
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Salkin, Jeffrey K.; Min, D.; Sasso, Sand Eisenberg. Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Jewish Lights Pub; 1996. Paperback 2nd edition. ISBN 1-879045-59-1.
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Dating and Marriage

Adahan, Miriam, It's All a Gift (though it may not seem like it at first glance). Philipp Feldheim; 1992. Hardcover. ISBN 0-873066-09-X. [Mrs. Adahan's principles are similarly applied to help people cope with misfortune. Divided into some 5 parts, Part II of the book deals with marriage and deals with common sources of marital discord.]
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Basri, Sima. The Challenge of Two. (translated by Edward Levin). Ktav, 1990. [Written by a counsellor for young couples and wife of an eminent Rabbinical judge in Israel, Mrs. Basri's popular guide addresses all the major challenges facing young couples in plain, clear language.]

Boteach, Shmuley. Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy . Doubleday Books; 1999. Hardcover. 286 pages. ISBN 0-385494-65-3.
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Boteach, Shmuley. Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments. Doubleday Books; 2000. Hardcover. 256 pages. ISBN 0-385496-20-6.
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Brav, Stanley Rosenbaum, ed. Marriage and the Jewish Tradition Philosophical Library, New York. 1951.

Bulka, Rabbi Reuven P. Jewish Marriage: A Halachic Ethic. Ktav Publishing House; 1986. Hardcover. ISBN 0-881250-77-5. [Very thorough with many source references; treats modern-day problems as well.]
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Crohn, Joel; Markman, Howard J.; Blumberg, Susan L. Fighting For Your Jewish Marriage. Jossey-Bass; 2000. Hardcover. ISBN 0-787943-62-2.
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Diamant, Anita. The New Jewish Wedding. New York: Summit Books, c1985. Summit Books; 1986: Paperback reprint edition. ISBN 0-671628-82-8. [Somewhat non-traditional. Good book of ideas on Weddings.]
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Felsman, Aharon. The River, the Kettle, and the Bird: A Torah Guide to a Successful Marriage. Philipp Feldheim; 1987. Hardcover. ISBN 0-873064-40-2.
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Gold, Michael. Does God Belong in the Bedroom. Jewish Publication Society; 1992. Hardcover. ISBN 0-827604-21-1.
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Hefter, Wendy Chernak. The Complete Jewish Wedding Planner. Psp Pr; 1993. Paperback. 196 pages. ISBN 0-963575-30-9.
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Jaffe, Azriela. Two Jews Can Still Be a Mixed Marriage. Career Press; 2000. Paperback. ISBN 1-564144-73-9.
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Kaplan, Rabbi Aryeh. Made in Heaven: A Jewish Wedding Guide. Moznaim Pub Corp; 1983. Hardcover. ISBN 0-940118-11-4.
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Kaufman, Machael. Love, Marriage, and Family in Jewish Law. Jason Aronson; 1992. Hardcover. ISBN 0-802225-54-3. Jason Aronson; 1996. Paperback. ISBN 1-568218-84-2. [It has a good explanation of Taharat Hamishpacha and has some food for thought on what we look for in someone we are planning on marrying. Has good advice on keeping marriages together. Also has good references if you want to read more.]
Hardcover: [Buy at Amazon:]; Paperback: [Buy at Amazon:]

Kitov, Rabbi A. E. The Jew and His Family. (14th ed.) (translated by Rabbi Nathan Bulman). Shengold Publishers, New York. [This classic by the late Rabbi Kitov (author of "Book of the Heritage") is the pioneering book on the Jewish family. First published in Hebrew about 1966, is still a valuable compendium of concepts and customs.]

Lamm, Maurice. The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage. Harper and Row, New York. 1982. ISBN 0-060649-16-X. Jonathan David Pub; 1991. Paperback reprint edition. ISBN 0-824603-53-2.
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Lamm, Norman. A Hedge of Roses: Jewish Insights into Marriage and Married Life. Feldheim, NY. 1972. ISBN 0-873064-34-8. Out of print. [Brief explanation of the laws of family purity.]

Lebovits, Yehudah. Shidduchim and Zivugim: The Torah Perspective in Finding Your Mate. Philipp Feldheim; 1987. Hardcover. ISBN 0-944070-01-9.
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Marks, Susan; Ruthern, Marlene Lobell (ill); Black, Bruce. Seven Blessings: Our Jewish Wedding Book. Union of American Hebrew Congregations; 1998. Hardcover. ISBN 0-807406-40-6. [Reform]
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Radcliffe, Sarah C. Aizer Knegdo: Jewish Woman's Guide to Happiness in Marriage. Philipp Feldheim; 1989. Hardcover. ISBN 0-944070-08-6. Author's web page:
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Stolper, [Rabbi] Pinchas M. Jewish Alternatives in Love, Dating and Marriage. University Press of America; 1965, 1985. Hardcover. ISBN 0-819144-75-4.
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Tauber, Rabbi Ezriel. To Become One: The Torah Outlook on Marriage. Shelheves; 1991. Paperback. ISBN 9-992233-66-4. [Conceptual development of the Jewish view on marriage by a veteran marriage counsellor, presented as a dialogue with a couple who have come for treatment. While confined to the basic concepts, is very stimulating intellectually.]
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Tendler, Rabbi Moshe D. Pardes Rimonim: A Marriage for the Jewish Family Ktav Publishing House; 1988. Paperback. ISBN 0-881251-44-5.
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Wiener, Nancy H. Beyond Breaking the Glass Central Conference of American Rabbis; 2001. Paperback. ISBN 0-881230-97-9. [Reform: Discusses what Reform Judaism teachs about Marriage.]
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Westheimer, Ruth K.; Mark, Jonathan (ed.) Heavenly Sex: Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition. Continuum Pub Group; 1996. Paperback: ISBN 0-826409-04-0. Hardback available.
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Dealing With Family or Personal Problems

Kushner, Harold S.. How Good Do We Have to Be? A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness. Little Brown & Co; 1997. Paperback: ISBN 0-316519-33-2.
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Levy, Naomi. To Begin Again: The Journey Toward Comfort, Strength, and Faith in Difficult Times. Alfred A. Knopf; 1998. Hardcover: ISBN 0-375400-03-6.
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Olitzky, Kerry M.; Copans, Stuart A. Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery: A Personal Guide to Turning from Alcoholism and Other Addictions. Jewish Lights Pub; 1992. Paperback: ISBN 1-879045-09-5.
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Olitzky, Kerry M.. Recovery from Codependence: A Jewish Twelve Steps Guide to Healing Your Soul. Jewish Lights Pub; 1993. Paperback: ISBN 1-879045-32-X.
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Olitzky, Kerry M.; Holder, Jay. 100 Blessings Every Day: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Affirmation, Exercises for Personal Growth & Renewal Reflecting Seasons of the Jewish Year. Jewish Lights Pub; 1993. Paperback: ISBN 1-879045-30-3.
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Family Purity

Abranov, Tehilla. Secret of Jewish Femininity. Targum, NY. 1988. ISBN 0-944070-04-3. Out of print. [Sensitive, detailed, sympatheic discussion of laws of mikveh, family purity and marital relations.]

Forst, Binyomin. The Laws Of Niddah. Artscroll Mesorah. Paperback. [A comprehensive exposition of their underlying concepts and applications.]
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Maccoby, Hyam. Ritual and Morality: The Ritual Purity System and Its Place in Judaism. Cambridge Univ Pr; 1999. Hardcover. ISBN 0-521495-40-7.
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Slonim, Rivkah (ed.) Total Immersion: A Mikvah Anthology. Jason Aronson; 1997. Paperback. ISBN 0-765799-55-3.
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Living Your Life Properly

Finkelman, Shimon; Berkowitz, Yitzchak. Chofetz Chaim: Lesson A Day. Artscroll Mesorah. Hardcover. [The concepts and laws of proper speech arranged for daily study.]
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Friedman, Rabbi Manis. Doesn't Anyone Blush Anymore?: Reclaiming Intimacy, Modesty, and Sexuality (edited by Jena Morris Breninstall). Bais Chana Press, ISBN 1-578870-00-3, $11.95. [Collection of popular lectures by a charismatic Lubavitcher Hassidic maggid, widely acclaimed by both Jewish and non-Jewish commentators. The book is no longer available from HarperCollins. Bookstores may order it through The Bookmen, Inc.]
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Pliskin, Rabbi Zelig. Guard your Tongue. (Adapted from Chofetz Chaim). NJ, Gross Bros., 1975.

Telushkin, Joseph. Words That Hurt Words That Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well. William Morrow & Co; 1996. Hardcover: ISBN 0-688124-45-3. William Morrow & Co; 1998. Paperback: ISBN 0-688163-50-5.
Hardcover: [Buy at Amazon:]; Paperback: [Buy at Amazon:]

Wylen, Stephen M. Gossip: The Power of the Word. Ktav Publishing House; 1993. Hardcover. ISBN 0-881254-69-X.
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Interest and Loans

Reisman, Yisroel. The Laws Of Ribbis. Artscroll Mesorah. Hardcover. [The laws of interest and their application to everyday life and business.]
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Amram, David Werner. The Jewish Law of Divorce. Herman, Boston. 1968.

Bulka, Rabbi Reuven P. Jewish Divorce Ethics. Ivy League Press, 1992. Paperback. ISBN 0-918921-03-1.
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Fried, Jacob, ed. Jews and Divorce Ktav, New York. 1968.

Haut, Irwin H. Divorce in Jewish Law and Life. Sepher-Hermon Pr; 1983. Hardcover. ISBN 0-872031-10-1.
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Riskin, Shlomo. Women and Jewish Divorce: The Rebellious Wife, the Agunah and the Right of Women to Initiate Divorce, in Jewish Law, a Halakhic Solution. Ktav Publishing House; 1988. Hardcover. ISBN 0-881251-22-4.
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Death and Mourning

Boteach, Shmuel. Wrestling With the Divine: A Jewish Response to Suffering. Jason Aronson; 1995. Hardcover. ISBN 1-568211-76-7.
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Brener, Anne. Mourning and Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path Through Grief To Healing. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1993. ISBN 1-879045-23-0.
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Diamant, Anita. Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn As a Jew. Schocken Books; 1998. Hardcover. 266 pages. ISBN 0-805241-49-3. Schocken Books; 1999. Paperback. 288 pages. ISBN 0-805210-88-1.
Hardback: [Buy at Amazon:]; Paperback: [Buy at Amazon:]

Gillman, Neil. The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought. Jewish Lights Publishing. Hardcover, 1997, 336 pages, ISBN 1-879045-61-3. Paperback, 2000, 336 pages, ISBN 1-580230-81-4. [Includes information from a Conservative perspective.]
Hardback: [Buy at Amazon:]; Paperback: [Buy at Amazon:]

Goldberg, Hayim Binyamin. Mourning in Halachah. New York, NY: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 1991. ISBN: 0-899061-71-0.
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Grollman, Earl A. Concerning Death: A Practical Guide for the Living. Beacon Pr; 1974. Paperback. ISBN 0-807027-65-0.
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Kolatch, Alfred J. The Jewish Mourner's Book Of Why. Middle Village, NY: J. David Publishers. 1993. ISBN 0-824603-82-6.
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Lamm, Maurice. The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning. Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.; 1969. Paperback. 288 pages. ISBN 0-824601-26-2.[A compassionate and practical guide to the customs and rituals involved in death and mouring. Lamm's commentary and insights are instructive and enlightening, and ultimately, comforting, for he depicts a process of both comprehending and enduring the loss of a loved one in a most sensible way.]
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Levine, Aaron. To Comfort the Bereaved: Guide for Mourners and Those Who Visit Them. Jason Aronson; 1994. Hardcover. ISBN 1-568211-09-0. [Contains the traditions, customs, and prayers pertaining to nichum aveilim, comforting mourners. It demonstrates how Jewish customs address themselves to the various stages of the mourning process. This highly practical guide covers all aspects of appropriate behavior by a visitor to the house of mourning. It explains what should or shouldn't be said to mourners, and records experiences of mourners to visitors, to offer suggestions on what one can say or write at such a time.]
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Olitzky, Kerry M. and Isaacs, Ronald H. A Jewish Mourner's Handbook. Ktav Publishing House; 1991. Paperback. ISBN 0-881252-89-1. [Reform]
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Olitzky, Kerry M. Grief in Our Seasons: A Mourner's Kaddish Companion. Jewish Lights Pub; 1998. Paperback. 448 pages. ISBN 1-879045-55-9.
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Raphael, Simcha Paull. Jewish Views of the Afterlife. Jason Aaronson, 1994. Paperback reprint, 1996. ISBN: 1-568219-38-5. 474 pp. [Most Jews are under the mistaken impression that Judaism does not believe in an afterlife. This is not so, and in fact Jewish texts preserve a rich tradition of how this concept has been understood and taught throughout Jewish history. This book is an excellent introduction and overview of how the afterlife is viewed in The Torah, The Talmud, the medieval works, the Midrash and the books of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Many medieval Jewish texts are presented here for the first time in English.]
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Sonsino, Rifat and Syme, Daniel B. What Happens After I Die: Jewish Views of Life after Death. Paperback, UAHC Press, New York. 1990. UAHC #571201. ISBN 0-807403-56-3; Hardcover, Jason Aronson, 1994, ISBN 1-568212-88-7. [Addresses a spectrum of responses to the question, including philosophies from biblical rabbinic commentators to contemporary thinkers in the Jewish community.]
Paperback: [Buy at Amazon:]; Hardback: [Buy at Amazon:]

Weiss, Abner. Death and Bereavement: A Halakhic Guide. Orthodox Union; 2000. Hardcover. ISBN 1-578195-44-6.
[Buy at Amazon:][Buy at Artscroll:]

Wieseltier, Leon. Kaddish Knopf; 1998: Hardcover, 588 pages, ISBN 0-375403-89-2. Vintage Books; 2000: Paperback, 608 pages, ISBN 0-375703-62-4.
Paperback: [Buy at Amazon:]; Hardback: [Buy at Amazon:]

Wolfson, Ron. A Time to Mourn, A Time to Comfort. A volume in The Art of Jewish Living Series. Jewish Lights Pub; 1996. Paperback. 320 pages. ISBN 1-879045-96-6. [This volume is a guide to those who are or will be mourning the loss of a loved one, those who will be comforting those who are mourning, and also contains information on advance planning for your own death and such end-of-life issues as ethical wills, advance health care directives, and estate planning.]
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[Got Questions?]Our goal is to keep this list useful for its readers. To that end, suggestions of books to add to the list are always welcome. In your suggestion, please be as complete as possible; we need author, title, publisher, publishing date, and ISBN number. We also welcome a one paragraph short summary of why the book is of interest. Please send your suggestions to the FAQ maintainer at

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