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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 force, a Being outside of the universe.... Some Jews say that God contains the Universe.... Other Jews say that God is the universe.... The one thing that Jews won't argue about, period, is that God--whatever you imagine God to be--is ultimately unknowable and therefore un-nameable." They also note that Jews argue with God in order to know God better. They're called "Children of Israel" because of the biblical story in which Jacob wrestles with an angel and gets his name changed to Israel, meaning "one who wrestles with God."
The authors' lively voices give this stylistically formatted book a unique personality. Sometimes they sound as though they're telling jokes at a dinner party: "Have you heard the one about the two rabbis arguing over the Torah?" and "Yom Kippur means always having to say you're sorry." Other times they sound like fireside elders sharing the old stories of an ancient faith. This is an excellent book for someone preparing to become a bar or bat mitzvah. It could also be helpful for gentiles marrying into Jewish families, or any adult who is planning on converting. --Gail Hudson
A very enlightening book about the history, traditions and religious practices of the Jewish population. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
As a non Jew, this book offered a great introduction to many aspects of Jewish culture, faith, history, and tradition. Read morePublished 9 months ago by JWR
I am a Jew, and there was information I didn't even know, I use this book to reference, love it.Published 10 months ago by gerald
Good beginners guide for starting to learn Hebrew and to learn the basics of Judaism. Could be more detailed on explaning the requirements of the holy days.Published 17 months ago by none
I bought this book because I was literally a dummy in terms of Judaism. But I wanted to learn.
And so I did with the simple yet complete explanations for all the rituals and... Read more
As with the other books in this series the material presented in a simple yet interesting way that is easy to comprehend. Informative text. RecommendedPublished on June 29, 2013 by Kate