Rabbi Kotel Da-Don:
"(r)idovstvo ¾ivot, teologija i
(Judaism: way of life,
Philosophy & Theology)
Few month ago came out a new book in Croatia: "Zidovstvo ¾ivot, teologija i
filozofija" ("Judaism: way of life, Philosophy & Theology")
Zagreb, Profil International, 2004., 840 p. by Rabbi Kotel Da-Don, Ll.B., chief rabbi of
Haskamot and blesses
The book received the Haskamot and blesses of rabies and Jewish leaders among them: Chief
Rabbi and Rishon Letzion Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, Chief Rabbi and Rishon Letzion Rabbi
Bakshi Doron, Chief Rabbi and Rishon Letzion Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem
Rabbi Shalom Mesas zc"l, Rabbi Shlomo Kassin of SSC Jerusalem and President of Bar
Ilan university prof. Moshe Kaveh.
With the book
This is the first book published in the Croatian language by a Croatian Rabbi explaining
practical and philosophical Judaism from a rabbinical point of view. The book is dealing
with few aspects of Judaism, firstly the religious but not only, the aspects of Law,
culture, literature, philosophic and theology. The book is meant firstly to help Jews
knowing their roots and identity; as well it is a practical and philosophical guide for
every day Jewish life. The book intends to help gentiles who wish to know and to learn
about Judaism. The book is a comparative study on different theologies, philosophies and
The book is devided to 6 parts
1. The Jewish year, where the Jewish calendar was analyzed in
comparison to other calendars and the Jewish holidays.
2. The Jewish Home, where issues that are unique to the Jewish
home were analyzed such as: The Shabbat, Purity of the family, covering the heads for men
and women, women in Judaism, Kashrut and Mezuza.
3. The Jewish Day, where daily laws and commandments were
analyzed among them: The Commandments and their idea, the seven laws of Noah, The Prayer,
the Talit, the Tefilin and Blesses in Judaism.
4. The Jewish cycle of life, in this part were discussed the
event that accompanying the Jew from birth till death: Berit Mila, Pidion haben, Bar
Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah, the Jewish wedding, the divorce in Judaism, and in the end Death
in Judaism. Under Death were brought few issues among them: mourning in Judaism,
Euthanasia, suicide, abduction, transplantation of organs, cremation and abortion.
5. The Religious literature and the Jewish Law, the creation of
the religious rabbinical literature, comparative study on the Jewish law its development
and his uniqueness in comparison to other systems of law including the Israeli law and
main subject as who is a Jew? The law of return and the conversion. In the end were
discussed the issue of law and ethics.
6. The Jewish Theology, here were analyzed some issues that has
to do with the Jewish theology and the Jewish philosophy. Among them: general introduction
to the Jewish philosophy, its beginning and the main philosophers and their work. Inter
religious study on the thirteen principles of the Jewish belief by Rambam, Mimonides. In
the end, the correlations between religion and Science.
Since Holocaust the Jewish communities of Croatia were missing of a spiritual leadership,
the last Rabbi of Zagreb perished in Auschwitz in 1943. Since his last published work, a
Siddur, passed almost 60 years. During 55 years since his tragic death, Jewish Communities
in Croatia were without a permanent spiritual leader. Since Rabbi Da-Don was appointed as
the Chief Rabbi for Croatia, he felt as one of his first duties to give his congregations
a book that will explore Judaism from few aspects, both practically (the way of life) and