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Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals

Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Jews are known as the "People of the Book." But even though a library on Judaism would fill many miles of bookshelf space, there has been no single comprehensive, hands-on volume that provides an up-to-date overview of the practices and beliefs of the Jews.

Until now.

For the Jew and the non-Jew alike, here is a book that tells you not only what Jews do and believe, but why. Essential Judaism is a readable and indispensable guide to the religious traditions, everyday practices, philosophical beliefs, and historical foundations of Judaism — everything you need to know about being Jewish.

Essential Judaism encompasses the entire range of Jewish practice and belief, from the Orthodox to the secular, making it the first primer of Judaism to reflect the diversity of the Jewish people, allowing all readers to find the level of practice with which they feel comfortable.

What happens at a synagogue service? What do the prayers and rituals mean? How do I keep kosher? What are the Properfoods and rituals for the seder? What is the role of the rabbi? How do I light the Hanukah candles? What is the jewish calendar? What is in the Hebrew Bible? How do I study the Torah? What are the Jewish holidays and what do they signify? What is the Jewish view of marriage? What should I be teaching my children about being Jewish?

Robinson illuminates the Jewish life cycle at every stage: from birth and circumcision to bar/bat mitzvahs, to weddings, to death and mourning. He also lays out many fascinating aspects of Judaism that may have seemed too dense to tackle — the role of the Kabbalah and mysticism in Jewish history, the evolution of Hasidism, the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish philosophical thought, and more — while keeping a firm focus on the many different paths to living a good Jewish life in today's world.

An ideal bar/bat mitzvah gift, an essential source of information for Jews in search of their roots, and a superb reference for everyday reading, Essential Judaism summarizes 4,000 years of learning and belief into an insightful guide that can be turned to again and again. Essential Judaism will be the standard one-volume reference of its kind for many years to come.

Synopsis:

At last, the book that tells you everything you need to know about being Jewish

From synagogue etiquette to the Kabbalah, from before birth to after death, from the biblical foundations to the aftermath of the Holocaust, here is the book that explains it all. In ESSENTIAL JUDAISM, you will learn:
-- what you should do when you go to a synagogue
-- how to celebrate the Jewish holidays
-- Jewish dietary law — not only what and how to eat, but why
-- how to study the Talmud
-- the roots of Jewish mysticism
-- everyday prayers and blessings: what they mean and where they come from
-- and much more.

Readable and accessible to people of all beliefs, ESSENTIAL JUDAISM is the best, most comprehensive one-volume introduction to Judaism.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [599]-617) and index.

About the Author

George Robinson is recipient of a Simon Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish journalism from the American Jewish Press Association. His writing appears frequently in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Newsday, as well as Jewish Week and the Detroit Jewish News. Mr. Robinson is a trustee and former president of Beth Am, the People's Temple, a Reform synagogue in New York City. He lives in Washington Heights with his wife, a journalist.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

A note to the reader

Introduction

Chapter 1
Service of the Heart:
Prayer and Ritual

The Jewish Idea of Prayer
The Names of God
The Role of the Rabbi
The Blessings of Daily Lifeÿ
An Assortment of Blessings
The Daily Services
Before the Morning Service
Tallit and Tzitzit
Tefillin
Shakharit/The Morning Service
The Basic Structure of the Service
Covering the Head
Kaddish
The Sh'ma
The Amidah
Minkhah/The Afternoon Service
Ma'ariv/The Evening Service
The Shabbat Services
Kabbalat Shabbat/Welcoming the Sabbath and Ma'ariv
Shakharit/Musaf
Minkhah
and Havdalahÿÿ
Festival Servicesÿÿ
The Synagogueÿÿ
Liturgical Musicÿÿ
Home Ritualsÿÿ
Mezuzahÿÿ
The Evolution of the Prayer Bookÿÿ
The Rise of Denominationsÿÿ
Reform Judaismÿÿ
Conservative Judaismÿÿ
Reconstructionismÿÿ
Modern Orthodoxÿÿ
Ba'al Teshuvahÿÿ
Havurah

Jewish Renewal Movementÿÿ
Gay and Lesbian Synagoguesÿÿ
Women's Prayer Groupsÿÿ
Shul Etiquetteÿÿ
The Chosen People?ÿÿ

Chapter 2
Rejoice in Your Festivals:
The Jewish Year

Sacred Time — The Jewish Calendarÿÿ
Rosh Khodeshÿÿ
The Jewish Calendarÿÿ
The Festivalsÿÿ
Shabbatÿÿ
The Thirty-nine Categories of Forbidden Workÿÿ
Special Sabbathsÿÿ
The High Holy Daysÿÿ
Elul, a Month of Teshuvahÿÿ
Rosh Hashanahÿÿ
Days of Repentanceÿÿ
Yom Kippurÿÿ
Sukkotÿÿ
The Sukkahÿÿ
Building the Sukkahÿÿ
The Four Speciesÿÿ
Hoshanah Rabbah/The Great Hosannahÿÿ
Shemini Atzeretÿÿ
Simkhat Torahÿÿ
Hanukahÿÿ
Historical Rootsÿÿ
Home Observanceÿÿ
Tu b'Shevatÿÿ
Purimÿÿ
Pesakhÿÿ
Exile and Homeÿÿ
The Bread of Afflictionÿÿ
The Sederÿÿ
The Meaning of the Sederÿÿ
The Four Questionsÿÿ
Counting the Omerÿÿ
Shavuotÿÿ
Yom ha-Shoah, Yom ha-Atzma'ut, Yom ha-Zikaron, and Yom Yerushalayimÿÿ
Minor Fast Daysÿÿ
Tisha b'Avÿÿ
Special Readings for the Festivalsÿÿ

Chapter 3
Birth to Death:
A Jewish Life Cycle

Birthÿÿ
Abortionÿÿ
Adoptionÿÿ
Mamzerutÿÿ
Brit Milahÿÿ
Brit Habat
— the Baby-Naming Ceremonyÿÿ
Pidyon Ha-Benÿÿ
Parent and Childÿÿ
Jewish Educationÿÿ
Bar/Bat Mitzvahÿÿ
Confirmationÿÿ
Engagement and Marriageÿÿ
The Jewish View of Marriageÿÿ
The Ketubahÿÿ
Engagementÿÿ
Before the Ceremonyÿÿ
The Wedding Ceremonyÿÿ
Levirate Marriageÿÿ
Intermarriageÿÿ
Prohibited Marriagesÿÿ
Divorceÿÿ
Conversion to Judaismÿÿ
The Noahide Lawsÿÿ
Who Is a Jew?ÿÿ
Should Judaism Proselytize?ÿÿ
Leaving the Foldÿÿ
Illnessÿÿ
Agingÿÿ
Ethical Willsÿÿ
Death and Mourningÿÿ
Defiance and Acceptanceÿÿ
Dyingÿÿ
Right to Die? Euthanasia and Assisted Suicideÿÿ
Preparations for Burialÿÿ
Burialÿÿ
Mourningÿÿ
Unveiling and Yahrzeitÿÿ
The Afterlifeÿÿ

Chapter 4
613 Ways:
Living a Jewish Life

The Mitzvotÿÿ
Gematria: Making the Letters Add Upÿÿ
Pikuakh Nefesh: To Save a Lifeÿÿ
Who's Counting?ÿÿ
The 613 Mitzvot (According to Maimonides)ÿÿ
Why Observe?ÿÿ
Mind, Body, and Soulÿÿ
Halakhah: Mitzvot into Lawÿÿ
Joseph Caro and the Shulkhan Arukhÿÿ
Opponents of Halakhahÿÿ
The Sadducees and the Karaitesÿÿ
Reform Judaismÿÿ
Conservative Judaismÿÿ
Reconstructionismÿÿ
Reactions Within Orthodoxyÿÿ
The Mitzvot in Daily Lifeÿÿ
Gemilut Khasadim/Acts of Lovingkindnessÿÿ
The Evil Tongue: Lashon Haraÿÿ
Tzedakah/Doing Justiceÿÿ
The Ladder of Charityÿÿ
Ethics and Justiceÿÿ
Laws Governing Loansÿÿ
Capital Punishmentÿÿ
"An Eye for an Eye"ÿ
Tikkun Olam/Repairing the Worldÿÿ
Sexualityÿÿ
The Mikvehÿÿ
Kashrut/Dietary Lawsÿÿ
Kosher and Treifÿÿ
Meat and Dairyÿÿ
Buying Kosherÿÿ
Kosher Wineÿÿ
Taking Khallahÿÿ
Match But Don't Mix: Sha'atnezÿÿ

Chapter 5
In the Beginning:
The Hebrew Bible

The Tanakhÿÿ
The Books of the Hebrew Bibleÿÿ
The Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphaÿÿ
What Is in the Hebrew Bible?ÿÿ
The Torahÿÿ
The Parashiyot and the Haftarotÿÿ
Genesis/Bereishitÿÿ
Exodus/Shemotÿÿ
Leviticus/Vayikraÿÿ
Numbers/Bamidbarÿÿ
Deuteronomy/Devarimÿÿ
Biblical Measurementsÿÿ
Making the Text Sing: Cantillationÿÿ
Torah Comes Firstÿÿ
The Nevi'im/The Prophetsÿÿ
Joshuaÿÿ
Judgesÿÿ
I and II Samuelÿÿ
I and II Kingsÿÿ
Isaiahÿÿ
Jeremiahÿÿ
Ezekielÿÿ
The Twelve Minor Prophetsÿÿ
The Role of the Prophetsÿÿ
The Ketuvim/The Writingsÿÿ
Tehillim/The Psalmsÿÿ
Reading the Psalmsÿÿ
Proverbsÿÿ
Jobÿÿ
Shir ha-Shirim/Song of Songsÿÿ
Ruthÿÿ
Lamentationsÿÿ
Kohelet/Ecclesiastesÿÿ
Estherÿÿ
Danielÿÿ
Ezra and Nehemiahÿÿ
I and II Chroniclesÿÿ
Reading the Bookÿÿ
Some Key Bible Commentatorsÿÿ
Peshatÿÿ
Derashÿÿ
Remezÿÿ
Sodÿÿ
Who Wrote the Hebrew Bible?ÿÿ

Chapter 6
The Rabbis Said:
The Talmud and Other
Rabbinical Writings<\B>

Roots of Rabbinic Judaismÿÿ
From the Pairs to the Tannaimÿÿ
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Torahÿÿ
"O You Scribes and Pharisees!"ÿ
Tragedy, Dispersion, and the Writing of the Mishnahÿÿ
What Is in the Mishnah?ÿÿ
What's in the Mishnah and the Talmud: Primary Subjectÿÿ
Matter of the Tractates and Where They Appearÿÿ
How the Mishnah Worksÿÿ
An Example from the Mishnahÿÿ
Tosefta and Baraitaÿÿ
Gemara: The Task Continuesÿÿ
A Time Line of Talmudic Scholarsÿÿ
Yavneh: The First Great Academyÿÿ
Some Key Figures in Rabbinic Judaismÿÿ
Halakhah and Aggadah
How the Gemara Worksÿÿ
Palestinian Talmud versus Babylonian Talmudÿÿ
The Later Commentatorsÿÿ
Proliferation and Persecutionÿÿ
A Page of Talmudÿÿ
Modern Talmudic Scholarshipÿÿ
How to Study Talmudÿÿ
Daf Yomiÿÿ
Midrashÿÿ
Some Important Midrashic Textsÿÿ

Chapter 7
Jewish Mysticism:
Emanations of the Eternal

What Is Mysticism?ÿÿ
The Chariot and the Chambers: Ancient Jewish Mysticismÿÿ
The Mysteries of Creation: Sefer Yetzirahÿÿ
Ten Sefirot Twice Over: Early Kabbalah and the Ashkenazi Hasidimÿ
Kabbalah in Spainÿÿ
Splendor: The Zoharÿÿ
The Tree of Lifeÿÿ
The Star of Davidÿÿ
The Lion Speaks: Lurianic Kabbalahÿÿ
The False Messiah: Shabbateanismÿÿ
Hasidic Mysticismÿÿ
Some Other Key Figures in Jewish Mysticismÿÿ
Kabbalah in the Twentieth Centuryÿÿ
Rabbi Kookÿÿ
Gershom Scholem and the Study of Mysticismÿÿ
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the Jewish Renewal Movementÿÿ
Meditationÿÿÿ
The Lasting Influence of Jewish Mysticismÿÿ
How to Study Kabbalahÿÿ

Chapter 8
The Philosophers:
The Continuing Evolution
of Jewish Thought

Rabbis versus Philosophersÿÿ
Philo Judaeus (20 B.C.E.-50 C.E.)ÿÿ
From the Writings of Philoÿÿ
Saadiah Gaon (882 C.E.-942 C.E.)ÿÿ
From the Writings of Saadiah Gaonÿÿ
Maimo

Product Details

ISBN:
9780671034801
Subtitle:
A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals
Author:
Robinson, George
Publisher:
Atria
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Judaism - General
Subject:
Judaism - Beliefs Practices Rituals
Subject:
Judaism
Subject:
Judaism - Rituals & Practice
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references.
Series Volume:
987-6
Publication Date:
20000301
Binding:
HC
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
672
Dimensions:
9.53x6.41x1.77 in. 2.16 lbs.

Related Subjects

Religion » Judaism » Observance

Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals
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Product details 672 pages Pocket Books - English 9780671034801 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , At last, the book that tells you everything you need to know about being Jewish

From synagogue etiquette to the Kabbalah, from before birth to after death, from the biblical foundations to the aftermath of the Holocaust, here is the book that explains it all. In ESSENTIAL JUDAISM, you will learn:
-- what you should do when you go to a synagogue
-- how to celebrate the Jewish holidays
-- Jewish dietary law — not only what and how to eat, but why
-- how to study the Talmud
-- the roots of Jewish mysticism
-- everyday prayers and blessings: what they mean and where they come from
-- and much more.

Readable and accessible to people of all beliefs, ESSENTIAL JUDAISM is the best, most comprehensive one-volume introduction to Judaism.

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