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Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History

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Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History Cover

ISBN13: 9780688085063
ISBN10: 0688085067
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How much do you know about Judaism?

  • How did the Ten Lost Tribes become lost ?
  • Are circumcisions performed on the Sabbath ?
  • Which country first granted Jews equal rights ?
  • When was polygamy outlawed for Jews ?
  • Why does Jewish law compare gossiping to murder ?

You'll find the answers to these questions — and much more — in this insightful and comprehensive guide. Written by esteemed rabbi and bestselling author Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy has become one of the most respected and widely used reference books on Jewish life, culture, religion, and tradition. Now revised and updated, this fascinating volume distills a vast body of scholarship into 348 short, readable chapters, making the rich and complex history of Judaism accessible to any reader.

Organized by subject, the book's fifteen sections include:

History and Contemporary Life

From the biblical and Talmudic periods through the Spanish Inquisition to modern times, with special sections on the Holocaust, Israel, and American-Jewish life.

Beliefs, Ethics, and Rituals

From monotheism to Judaism's views on the afterlife, "chosenness," and human relations with God; ethical concerns ranging from the proper treatment of animals to the real meaning of "an eye for an eye"; along with explanations of the major prayers and synagogue practices.

Jewish Holidays and Life Cycle

The origins and distinctive customs of each holiday, and the rites sanctifying every major life event from circumcision and baby naming to burial and mourning.

Answers to the questions from the front flap:
  • They were dispersed when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.E. (see Chapter 45).
  • The United States (see Chapter 203).
  • Around 1000 C.E., when it was proscribed by Rabbi Gershom; however, most Sephardic Jews did not accept the ban (see Chapter 95).
  • Because gossip, like murder, can do irrevocable damage (see Chapter 271).

Synopsis:

In this collection of 346 important facts about Judaism and its people, Telushkin ranges through all of Jewish history and literature to extract the enduring concepts one needs to know in order to be a well-informed, modern Jew.

About the Author

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is a widely known spiritual leader and scholar. He is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including Jewish Wisdom, Biblical Literacy, Jewish Humor,and The Book of Jewish Values.He lives in New York City with his family, and lectures throughout the United States.

Table of Contents

Bible — The Second Commonwealth: The Mishna and The Talmud — Early Medieval Period: Under Islam and Christianity — Late Medieval Period — Modern Period-Western and Eastern Europe — Zionism and Israel — The Holocaust — American Jewish life — Soviet Jewry — Antisemitism — Jewish texts — Jewish ethics and basic beliefs — The Hebrew calendar and Jewish holidays — Life cycle — Synagogue and prayers.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

KIER8, June 24, 2008 (view all comments by KIER8)
This is a great book for those Jews and gentiles who are interested in upgrading their knowledge of the basics of Judaism and Jewish life but do not want to read a boring textbook. An articulate lecturer and author on the relevance and meaning of Judaism today, Rabbi Telushkin holds my interest throughout this big book. It will stimulate your interest in going forward to learn more about some of the topics/issues that he touches upon.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Hugsalot16, November 15, 2006 (view all comments by Hugsalot16)
The name of the book is outstanding because it is teaching "Jewish Literacy" in the form of lessons regarding the Religion, the People, as well as Judaism's History. This is extremely important for those of us, like myself, who have a strong interest in Judaism as a religion and way of life, but were not Jewish by heredity. Many things enter into a human being's choice to become a Jew, and there are many questions and thought provoking study which are helpful in considering such a decision. I personally became interested in Judaism while with a Jewish partner of ten years. Unfortunately there were some substance abuse issues and we are no longer together. But I miss her, and the fact that I had a jewish partner had a profound influence on my life. Life can be difficult, and the jewish people have suffered a lot. Their steadfast faith in one God continues to strengthen them in times of trouble. It is wonderful to have a book that answers some pertinent questions.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780688085063
Subtitle:
The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History
Author:
Telushkin, Joseph
Author:
by Joseph Telushkin
Publisher:
William Morrow
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
History
Subject:
Judaism - General
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Judaism
Subject:
Customs and practices
Subject:
Judaism -- Customs and practices.
Subject:
Judaism - Rituals & Practice
Subject:
General Religion
Copyright:
Edition Number:
2001 reissue
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
9361
Publication Date:
April 1991
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
784
Dimensions:
9.55x6.26x2.33 in. 2.46 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture

Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History Used Hardcover
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Product details 784 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780688085063 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this collection of 346 important facts about Judaism and its people, Telushkin ranges through all of Jewish history and literature to extract the enduring concepts one needs to know in order to be a well-informed, modern Jew.
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