Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals Paperback – September 1, 2001
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
George Robinson's Essential Judaism is by far the best of the lot. Subtitled "A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs, and Rituals," the book is indeed that and a lot more.
In the course of its 650 pages, the book lucidly explores Jewish worship and practice, sacred literature (Torah, Talmud, other rabbinical works), Kabbalah and mysticism, holidays, life cycle events, dietary laws, and Jewish history and denominationalism.
The treatment Robinson gives such topics as the prayer service, the blessings of daily life, and the evolution of contemporary Judaism is surprisingly deep for a work of this kind.
In particular, his chapters on the mitzvot ("Living a Jewish Life") and non-Rabbinic Jewish thought ("The Philosophers: The Continuing Evolution of Jewish Thought"), stand out not only for their all-around comprehensiveness, but also for their originality of ideas and presentation.
Essential Judaism is a well-organized and well-indexed book that can be enjoyed read from beginning to end, dipped into arbitrarily, and kept nearby as a handy reference. In just the month or so I've had it, I've already had several occasions to use it in this last manner, to answer questions or explain references I've stumbled over in other books, and it hasn't failed me yet.
Most books like this are written by rabbis, and some have particular agendas, ideological or religious.Read more ›
Beginning with a chapter on prayer and ritual, it becomes apparent that the reader will need to familiarize himself with many Hebrew words to appreciate Robinson's discourse. There's no way around it, but it's well worth the effort. The book is so thoroughly interesting that, regardless of the language and length (500 pages plus appendices), it may not seem like an effort at all. Robinson's scholarship is generally exceptional.
This reader was quickly struck with how fluid Judaism has proven to be. As the author states, "A people's ideas are informed by their history, and vice versa. . . and a lot of this book is about that relationship. . . There are some who would have you believe that Judaism is a transhistorical, immutable system of belief, but that just isn't true.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had this book for a few years and I keep going back to it as a reference. It is a basic level book and a good place to start when delving deeper into various topics including... Read morePublished 2 months ago by MovieDaddy
It's a nice book. it opened my eye to the beliefs of the Jews. this religion should be practiced by everyone.Published 3 months ago by John Le
This is my first book I have ever read about Judaism. It looks like this book has everything I need to know. This book made me order the book of the Torah. Good book to recommand.Published 12 months ago by Hong Myungpyo