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Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism, 2e

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Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism, 2e Cover

ISBN13: 9781592571314
ISBN10: 159257131x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

You're no idiot, of course. You know that in the Jewish religion Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement and that Saturday, known as the Sabbath, is the day of rest. But when it comes to understanding Jewish traditions, rituals, prayers, and holidays, you feel like you're parting and crossing the Red Sea without God's help. Don't put your life preserver on just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism, written in a warm, conversational style by Rabbi Benjamin Blech, is a fun and easy-to-understand primer to every aspect of this ancient faith. In this Complete Idiot's Guide, Rabbi Blech gives you:

Synopsis:

Understanding Judaism has never been easier. . . or more important. One of the Guides' most popular religion titles, Understanding Judaism covers:

Synopsis:

One of the Guides' most popular religion titles, Understanding Judaism covers:
  • The major denominations of Judaism and how modern times have changed them
  • A history, from ancient times to current events
  • Threats to the religion; Israel and anti-Zionism; anti-Semitism
  • New concerns for the 21st century, and much more.
Understanding Judaism, its roots, its beliefs, and its traditions is crucial to understanding its people and its leaders. And, in light of current world events, this understanding is more important now than ever before

Synopsis:

Understanding Judaism has never been easier than with this guide, which covers the major denominations of Judaism, a history from ancient times to current events, and new concerns for the 21st century.

About the Author

BENJAMIN BLECH, a tenth-generation rabbi, is a nationally recognized educator, religious leader, author, and lecturer. He is associate professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University in New York City and rabbi emeritus of the Young Israel of Oceanside congregation in Oceanside, New York.  The author of Understanding Judaism and many other books, Rabbi Blech has appeared frequently on national television and has written for a host of national magazines and scholarly journals.  He resides in New York City.

Table of Contents

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism Part 1: The World According to God

1. Oh, My God

Meet God as Judaism defines Him: Not many, not three, not two, but one all-powerful Creator who maintains a personal relationship with people. Learn why He has two different names and a lot more about His personality.

2. Man and Woman

Why man and woman are desrcibed as being "in the image of God"; why God created two sexes; the meaning of free will; and the purpose of human beings on this earth.

3. Friends

Why people who need people—and help people—are the luckiest people in the world; social relationships and their significance; the concept of mutual responsibility; Judaism, Jews, and the rest of the world

4. Law and Order

The reason for Laws and a divine "policeman"; Judaism as a religion of deed more than creed; and what part of their lives people will be judged for in the heavenly court.

5. It's a Wonderful World

How Judaism views life; life as a commandment to live, to enjoy, to safeguard, to prolong, and to treasure.

Part 2: Read All About It

6. The World's Best-Seller

Why the Pentateuch—the five books of Moses—is so universally revered and studied; its major ideas, its main messages, some of its greatest quotes, and a brief visit with its heros.

7. There's More to the Bible

Get acquainted with the great works that continue the Bible after the death of Moses. Meet prophets and kings, poets and composers of songs, as well as those immmortal figures whose struggles and spiritual conflicts help us deal with issues of good and evil to this very day.

8. The Laws and the Legends

What the Oral Law, the Mishna, the Talmud, and the Midrash added to the intellectual, spiritual, and the cultural legacy of Judaism.

9. The Later Voices of Judaism

The contributions of later scholars—Biblical commentators, legal experts, disciples of the mystical study of the Kabbalah, and masters of the "Responsa" literature—to the development of Judaism's ideas and traditions.

Part 3: The Time of Your Life

10. The Jewish Calendar

How the Jewish calendar determines years and months; why it differs so greatly from the universal secular calendar; why Judaism recognizes two different New Years; and the spiritual meaning of the weekly Sabbath.

11. The High Holy Days

What makes Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) so special; how Judaism deals with repentance and forgiveness.

12. It's Historical: The Three Feet

The meaning, the symbols, and the rituals of the three Pilgrimage Festivals—Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot—and their historic as well as their agricultural significance.

13. Feasting and Fasting

Spanning the year: An overview of all the other holidays and holy days, the happy and the sad; what they commemorate and how their meaning is remembered.

Part 4: From the Cradle to the Grave

14. "Mazel Tov": It's a Boy/Girl

From birth to Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The way Judaism welcomes a child to the world, as well as to the age of maturity.

15. Members of the Wedding

Join a Jewish wedding and understand its beautiful symbols and rituals; learn how Judaism teaches a couple how to get married—and stay married.

16. Death Be Not Proud

Understanding the meaning of death, the secrets of the hereafter, and the insights of Judaism for coping with loss of loved ones and mourning.

Part 5: All in the Family: The Home

17. Welcome to My Humble Abode

The things that make the Jewish home different—from the strange little box on the doorpost, to the decoration hanging on the eastern wall, to a purposely unfinished part of the house.

18. The Kitchen

What Judaism teaches about proper diet: Understanding the laws of kosher food and why some foods should never be eaten.

19. The Dining Room

The religious rules for eating—before, during, and after; a guide to Judaism's suggested special means and why different foods are appropriate for each of the holidays.

20. The Bedroom

A sex manual with advice from the Bible, the Talmud, and a host of rabbis who weren't embarrassed to share their insights to make sexual relations better and more enjoyable.

21. The Child's Room

Bringing up baby with the wise insights of Judaism, instead of Dr. Spock, and learning what children owe parents, as well as what parents owe children.

Part 6: The Synagogue

22. Let's Take a Tour

Understanding the meaning, the purpose, and the symbolism of everything in a synagogue, as well as the specific roles of its religious functionaries.

23. Let Us Pray

A guide to Judaism's book of prayer and an explanation of people's daily conversations with God.

24. Synagogue Fashion

Judaism's "designer clothes" for the synagogue—from prayer shawl (tallit) to phylacteries (tefillin); the what, the why, and the when.

Part 7: The Crucial Questions

25. What Kind of Judaism?

Which interpretation is true? The different streams of Judaism, their varying approaches to God, to law, and to life; the unanswered questions.

26. What's Most Important?

An attempt to summarize: Can we condense Judaism into a few brief words and ideas that capture the essence of this religion's teachings?

27. Any Questions from the Floor?

Twenty questions—the Jewish version; an opportunity to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked, and fascinating, questions people have about Judaism.

Part 8: Welcome to the Twenty-First Century

28. The Times They Are-A-Changin'

The dramatic ways life has changed for the Jews in America today; why it's "in" to be Jewish; how the three major movements of Judaism, Orthodoxy, Conservatism, and Reform, have confronted the challenges of a new age and how they've adapted.

29. Problems, Problems, Problems

The issues that threaten Jewish survival; extremism, fanaticism, and fundamentalism as the key dangers not just to Judaism but to Western civilization; anti-Semitism that camouflages itself as anti-Zionism; the causes of anti-Semitism; what happens when Jews aren't rejected but embraced and they want to assimilate.

30. The Crystal Ball: So What's in the Future?

Can Jews survive without Judaism? Can Judaism survive without Jews? What is the secret of Jewish survival? Who's right, the optimists or the pessimists, and how can we be sure of the answer?

Appendixes

A. Glossary

B. Your Guide to the Best Jewish Websites

C. Museums

D. Jewish Organizations

E. Books I Highly Recommend to Start a Jewish Library

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

KIER8, June 8, 2008 (view all comments by KIER8)
Rabbi Blech has done it again! Here is an enlightening and entertaining primer on Judaism that will answer most of your questions. He has his pulse on the American scene, has a thorough knowledge of the subject and an engaging writing style.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592571314
Author:
Blech, Benjamin
Publisher:
Alpha Books
Author:
Blech, Rabbi Benjamin
Author:
Do Not Use, Do Not Use
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
Judaism - General
Subject:
Judaism
Copyright:
Edition Number:
2nd ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
The Complete Idiot's Guide
Series Volume:
1927
Publication Date:
20030931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.26x7.21x.98 in. 1.50 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » Reference
Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » Observance

Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism, 2e Used Trade Paper
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Alpha Books - English 9781592571314 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Understanding Judaism has never been easier. . . or more important. One of the Guides' most popular religion titles, Understanding Judaism covers:
"Synopsis" by ,
One of the Guides' most popular religion titles, Understanding Judaism covers:
  • The major denominations of Judaism and how modern times have changed them
  • A history, from ancient times to current events
  • Threats to the religion; Israel and anti-Zionism; anti-Semitism
  • New concerns for the 21st century, and much more.
Understanding Judaism, its roots, its beliefs, and its traditions is crucial to understanding its people and its leaders. And, in light of current world events, this understanding is more important now than ever before
"Synopsis" by , Understanding Judaism has never been easier than with this guide, which covers the major denominations of Judaism, a history from ancient times to current events, and new concerns for the 21st century.
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