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Judaism for Dummies

0764552996


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Book Review
Like the many other Dummies books, Judaism for Dummies organizes a wealth of material into an easy-reading format with a warm, accessible voice. Readers can expect to find translations of common Yiddish words, the difference between Orthodox and other denominations, the meaning and rituals of high holidays, the origins of the Jewish people, and a stirring passage about the Holocaust.

The authors make this book especially engaging by deftly tackling those "I've always wondered..." kinds of questions about Judaism. For instance, what are the guidelines for kosher food? What's the Jewish version of sin? Was Marilyn Monroe really Jewish? (Yes, she converted.) And what exactly do Jews believe about God? The authors answer this last question with characteristic reverence and humor: "Some Jews see God as an external...



A Code of Jewish Ethics: Volume 1 : You Shall Be Holy

1400048354


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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. All societies have ethical codes that distinguish between right and wrong actions. For Jews, this is especially significant since Judaism ranks behavior as more important than belief. Behavioral prescriptions are set forth in sacred writings, anecdotes, medieval codes, rabbinical teachings and present-day stories. Telushkin—scholar, author, lecturer, teacher and rabbi—is compiling this voluminous material in order to help Jews "become more honest, decent, and just people." He plans to present his research in a three-volume series of which You Shall Be Holy is the first. Its primary emphasis is character development, while later volumes will deal with interpersonal relationships and issues of family, friendship and community. This installment is divided into five sections: the task...


A History of God
Karen Armstrong
0345384563
Aug 1994
Paperback
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Book Review
Armstrong, a British journalist and former nun, guides us along one of the most elusive and fascinating quests of all time--the search for God. Like all beloved historians, Armstrong entertains us with deft storytelling, astounding research, and makes us feel a greater appreciation for the present because we better understand our past. Be warned: A History of God is not a tidy linear history. Rather, we learn that the definition of God is constantly being repeated, altered, discarded, and resurrected through the ages, responding to its followers' practical concerns rather than to mystical mandates. Armstrong also shows us how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have overlapped and influenced one another, gently challenging the secularist history of each of these religions. --Gail Hudson

From...


Apples and Pomegranates: A Family Seder for Rosh Hashanah

1580131239


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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-6–A guidebook for celebrating the Jewish New Year. Noting that seder means "order," and that the traditional foods are eaten in a prescribed sequence after specific blessings, the author includes a combination of both traditional Ashkenazic (Eastern European) and Sephardic (Spanish and Middle Eastern) foods symbolizing prosperity. Blessings are included for apples and honey, as well as for dates; pomegranates; green beans; pumpkin or gourd; beetroot leaves; leeks, scallions, or chives; and lettuce. Each chapter gives a history of the fruit or vegetable as related to the Talmud, the blessing, a related story, activity, recipes, and "Think" boxes offering concepts and ideas that encourage meaningful family discussions through motivating questions. Watercolors in fall hues–oranges, yellows,...


A Passover Haggadah
Herbert Bronstein, Leonard Baskin (Illustrator)
0916694054
June 1994
Paperback
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Book Description
The revolutionary Haggadah is written in gender-inclusive contemporary language and has sold over 900,000 copies since its introduction.


Jewish Book of Why¿Boxed Set [BOX SET]
Alfred J. Kolatch
0824603141
January 1, 1995
Hardcover
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Library Journal
Ready answers to a wide spectrum of questions.

Library Journal
A truly impressive volume.

See all Editorial Reviews


The Power of Kabbalah
Yehuda Berg
1571892508
July 2004
Hardcover
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Book Review
At first glance, The Power of Kabbalah seems like an overly simplistic spiritual instruction manual. The language and anecdotes are rabbi-style cozy and the format is exceptionally approachable: one-to-two-page essays. But read a few pages and you're hooked into an experience that immediately promises enlightenment (and eventually delivers it). Although the Kabbalah has its roots in Jewish mysticism, this non-dogmatic manual is applicable to all spiritual seekers. Like Wayne Dyer's bestselling book The Power of Intention, this is actually a book about manifesting the life you want through understanding the laws of spiritual energy and attraction. "To fulfill its giving nature, the infinite force of Energy created a receiver—-in Kabbalah it's called a Vessel," author Yehuda Berg explains. You guessed it, all of us earth...


Religious Signing
Elaine Costello
0553342444
Jan 1997
Paperback
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Bar Mitzvah Disco
Roger Bennett
1400080444
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The Jewish rite of passage into adulthood is more than simply a ritual, according to Bennett, Shell and Kroll. The bar and bat mitzvahs of their youth evoke reminiscences that had been "left to languish in suburban rec rooms and the darker recesses of our memories—the unmistakable smell of the smoke machine... and the sound of Lionel Richie." This collection of essays and photos is the offshoot of their Web site of the same name, on which they solicited photos from the late 1960s through the 1980s displaying the peculiarities of their times. The book is structured as a professionally photographed bar mitzvah album, starting with awkward portraits and ending with the requisite "waving good-bye" shot. In between, the authors give short, humorous recollections of each aspect of the event, from the elaborately...


My Grandfathers Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging
Rachel Naomi Remen
1573228567
April 1, 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
When doctor and author Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom) was young, she was caught between two different views of life: that of her rabbi grandfather and that of her highly academic, research-oriented parents, who believed religion was the opiate of the masses. As Remen gravitated toward academics and serving the world as a medical doctor, her grandfather became an "island of mysticism in a vast sea of science." But over time, Remen discovered that two seemingly divergent paths could lead to the same destination, especially as she learned to blend her spiritual beliefs with her medical treatment.

Remen uses the heart-rending stories of her patients to teach readers how to follow in her example, that is, combining a life of service with a life of receiving and giving blessings (a combination that avoids common...



Jesus and Yahweh
Harold Bloom
1573223220
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
Bloom’s occasional forays into religious criticism are particularly interesting, given his lifelong passion for poetry and his contributions to the study of literature. And while discussions of religion itself are in play here, it is the characters of Jesus and Yahweh that inhabit the pages, and Bloom’s literary critic more than his moonlighting theologian examining them. And what of that analysis? Bloom has an obvious affinity for Yahweh over Jesus (even though Jesus gets first billing in the book’s title.) But to ascribe that preference to his Jewish roots is perhaps too easy. A close reading reveals more. Bloom finds that Yahweh, with his covenants, tempers, resolutions, and even occasional forays into the physical where he fights, eats and walks in the cool of the Garden presents a more interesting...


Hebrew-English Tanakh

0827606974
December 2000
Leather Bound
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Rabbi Jack Riemer, Book Review, 7/8/99
...we have come to appreciate this translation because it makes the Bible make sense and because it is a Bible that we can read and feel directly addressed by because it speaks in the language of our time. It belongs on the shelf of every person who wants to study the Bible for the first time or who wants to come to it afresh. --This text refers to the Leather Bound edition.

Star Tribune, 7/24/99
A gorgeous new Bible... real value comes from adding the Hebrew, paired with its translation in a dual column format on each page...a collaboration among eminent Bible scholars representing all perspectives within the Jewish community...following principles of contemporary critical scholarship and sensitivity to the cultural nuances of translation....


Maimonides
Sherwin B. Nuland
0805242007
Jan 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Maimonides, one of the preeminent personalities of medieval Jewish history, was a jurist, philosopher, expert in Jewish law, physician at the court of Saladin and a respected and dedicated communal leader. Given all that, it's difficult to understand the decision to present Maimonides's legacy primarily through the lens of his work as a physician. The 12th century was a time of stagnation in the history of medicine, and the author himself concedes that Maimonides contributed very little that was new or innovative to the field. By contrast, his jurisprudential magnum opus, the Mishne Torah, constituted a groundbreaking work in its own day and continues to be authoritative almost a millennium later. Although Nuland acknowledges this in a chapter on Maimonides's religious scholarship, it is dwarfed by the...


The Living Torah (English edition)
Aryeh Kaplan
0940118351


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The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children
Wendy Mogel
0142196002
November 1, 2001
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Frustrated with a therapeutic practice that "shifted too frequently to be an anchor" for parents struggling with issues like overindulgence and overscheduling, clinical psychologist Mogel turned to her religious heritage for ways to help her clients and her own family "find grace and security" in an increasingly complex world. "In the time-tested lessons of Judaism, I discovered insights and practical tools that spoke directly to these issues," writes Mogel, who left her psychology practice in order "to help parents look at their children's anxieties and desires using a different lens." Digging into the rich traditions of the Torah, the Talmud and other Jewish teachings, Mogel builds a parenting blueprint that draws on core spiritual values relevant to families of all faiths. With warmth and humor, she offers...


Jewish Literacy
Joseph Telushkin
0688085067
Apr 1991
Hardcover
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Book Review
In 1988, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin undertook a mission to heal "Jewish ignorance," an affliction whose symptoms include the ability to name the three components of the Trinity, coupled with an inability to explain mitzvah. Telushkin's contribution to the cure is his wide-ranging, entertaining Jewish Literacy. First published in 1991, Jewish Literacy contains almost 350 entries on subjects ranging from the Ten Commandments to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Entries are numbered (for easy, encyclopedia-style reference) and organized topically (to smooth the experience of reading each page straight through). And the revised edition contains several new entries (including articles about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the vice-presidential nomination of Joseph Lieberman) as well as numerous corrections,...


Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue
Edwin H. Friedman
0898620597
July 19, 1985
Hardcover
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Review
"Well written and lively...required reading for pastoral counselors of every persuasion....Any therapist will find here new techniques for bringing about changes and will enlarge his or her conceptual framework of the human dilemma." --Jay Haley

"Bravo! This superb book is essential reading for anyone who takes his or her participation in relationships seriously, particularly in the context of religious systems....I have found a book I can use in classroom teaching! It provides the best introduction to family systems and systems thinking that I have encountered." --Reverend Steven Preister, former director, National Center for Family Studies, Catholic University of America


The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Penguin Classics)
Geza Vermes (Translator)
0140449523
November 30, 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
It's been 50 years since a Bedouin youth named Muhammed edh-Dhub went looking for a stray sheep and instead found the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the intervening decades, the scrolls have been enveloped in a storm of controversy and bitter conflict: the scholars entrusted with translating and editing the texts sat on many of them instead, creating suspicions that escalated to conspiracy theories about supposed cover-ups of sensitive, even damaging material. Geza Vermes, a former professor of Jewish studies at Oxford and a noted authority on the scrolls, marks the 50th anniversary of Muhammed edh-Dhub's find with his book The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English; the title, however, is misleading, for the collection of documents is by no means complete. Vermes has left out the copies of Hebrew scriptures that are available...


Beyond Chutzpah : On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History
Norman G. Finkelstein
0520245989
August 28, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Finkelstein, a political science professor and author of The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, has conducted a rancorous public feud with Harvard Law professor and pro-Israel stalwart Alan Dershowitz over the latter's The Case for Israel, and here expands his arguments into a vigorous polemic on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first part of the book examines what he feels is a growing tendency of pro-Israel commentators to use spurious charges of anti-Semitism to deflect and discredit legitimate criticism of Israel. The second, much longer, part is a line-by-line debunking of The Case for Israel, which he compares to Communist apologetics for Stalinist Russia. Rebutting Dershowitz's claims about Israel's "superb" human rights record, Finkelstein cites human rights...

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