"All people seek the secret of their own continuity," writes Jonathan Wittenberg. "The light of where we come from shines into the uncertainty of who we are. For where we come from is always at the heart of who we are, and until we understand the greater journey of our family and people we cannot recognize the direction of our own life." In this series of lyrical essays organized around the Jewish calendar, Rabbi Wittenberg engages with moral and theological questions - the relationship between God and the Holocaust, humanity's responsibility for its actions, the transience of life - in language that is both precise and passionate. His meditations on the wonders of the natural world and the impact of intergenerational memory invite readers to consider the religious essence of everyday life. Weaving in quotations from Isaac Babel, Osip Mandelstam, Wordsworth, Keats, and Coleridge, as well as biblical and talmudic insights, Rabbi Wittenberg sheds a universalistic light on the particularities of Jewish tradition. Taken as a whole, this series of provocative essays touches on themes that are not only reflective of the Jewish community's eternal journey, but on the eternal journey shared by all of humanity.
"The philosopher S. R. Hirsch referred to the calendar as the catechism of the Jews. Jonathan Wittenberg, in his remarkable book, has opened the Jewish calendar without dogma, but with a poetic sensibility that reveals the personal and collective wisdom and life force of an old-new people. This is a book for the heart, mind and soul of every reader." -Harold M. Schulweis, author of For Those Who Can't Believe and In God's Mirror