Are you looking for a very practical way to review the laws of Shabbos observance? The new release, Do You Know Hilchos SHABBOS? , is a perfect read for the entire family. It is written in question answer form, in order of each of the 39 melachos. All the questions are close to real life situations that can happen in any Jewish home.
Judging the Book by its Cover - a first glance review:
The cover is very clear with some colorful pictures that make you wonder what the connection is. This book takes what might be considered random items and organizes their significance in terms of Shabbos, Melachos and Muktza.
I think the key words on the cover are "Practical" and "Whole Family" and they really speak for themselves.
Some Details I Liked:
I always want to brush up on my halachic knowledge and sometimes get intimidated by thick seforim or books that just have on law after another with complicated scenarios that I'm not quite sure if they apply to me or not.
This book breaks each melacha down with a slight overview and then goes through the practical examples that are very applicable nowadays.
Who This Book is For:
This book is a great review for anybody that thinks they know Hilchos Shabbos or knows that they know most of them, but finds themselves in situations that could be problematic. For example, what issues can come up with changing a baby's diaper? Or even what to avoid doing just before lighting candles on Friday evening? These questions have complex and simple answers that Rabbi Fletcher presents in a very clear manner.
Who This Book Isn’t For:
Being that this book is a review, I would not suggest it for someone who is not yet familiar with what makes Shabbos holy and all the fences that keep it that way. Rabbi Fletcher cites his sources, which are both contemporary, such as Rabbi Ribiat shlit"a's and HaRav Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth zt"l's sets of seforim, and talmudic. I would suggest that a true beginner refer to one of the above sets to gain a full tutorial before relying on this book.
What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better:
It sounds funny, but I do think that illustrations would be a great asset to this wonderful work. Being that it is written for the whole family and there are situations that can be understood easier with a picture, I feel that images would be a nice enhancement.
I also felt that it was lacking consistency with the transliteration. So you have to understand the korea, kriyah, and keria, all mean tearing.
I recommend this book as a gift, as bedtime reading, as Shabbos table sharing and an all around good read. It is definitely a powerful, easy to use tool to gauge what you know and what you need to know in terms of Shabbos observance.
I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it, but that it no way changed the way I read it and reviewed it.