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Judaism and Vegetarianism Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books; 1 edition (February 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930051247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930051249
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,174,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A vegetarian diet is not only consistent with Judaism but, argues Schwartz (emeritus, Coll. of Staten Island; Judaism and Global Survival), the diet best fitted to basic Jewish values. In this third edition of his 1982 and 1988 book (which includes updated scientific and medical references and a list of web sites), the author shows how Jewish beliefs in showing compassion toward animals, protecting human health, preserving the environment, conserving resources, sharing with hungry people, and pursuing peace are best served by vegetarianism. Throughout, the text is calm, fully documented, and very convincing. Schwartz includes biographies of famous Jewish vegetarians (among them, writers S.Y. Agnon and Isaac Bashevis Singer), "action-centered" ideas on how to promote vegetarianism, and typical questions and answers on Jewish and general issues regarding vegetarianism. A well-done treatise on a subject of increasing interest; highly recommended. Marcia Welsh, formerly with Guilford Free Lib., CT
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Gives us much to ponder and even more to do. -- Rabbi Amy R. Scheinerman, Beth Shalom Congregation, Taylorsville, Maryland

Schwartz demonstrates the profound imperatives at the heart of the Jewish faith that lead inexorably in a vegetarian direction. -- John Robbins, author, Diet for a New America

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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All in all, this is a book that every vegetarian activist should have!
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom
I have read this book thoroughly, and I think it is the most informative, most complete and most readable book about vegetarianism I have ever read.
Henny_v_i
I highly recommend the book to everyone, and certainly for Jews who take our traditions seriously.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Audrey Nickel on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book about three weeks ago, and reviewed it for[another source]. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here is the review I posted there (reposted with permission from VegSource):
"Judaism and vegetarianism? Can the two be related? After all, what is a simcha (Jewish celebration) or holiday dinner without gefilte fish, chopped liver, cholent, roast beef, chicken and chicken soup? And what about passages in the Torah referring to Temple sacrifices of animals and the consumption of meat?"
This question, quoted here from the preface to the first edition of Richard Schwartz's seminal work Judaism and Vegetarianism, has often plagued Jews considering a switch to a vegetarian lifestyle, as well as vegetarians considering Judaism. CAN one be Jewish and vegetarian? Don't the Scriptures sanction...indeed, appear to command...the consumption of meat? What is God's will regarding His people and their relationship with the animals, the Earth, and with other peoples? How does vegetarianism fit in (or does it?)?
In this book, Professor Schwartz demonstrates that, not only is vegetarianism wholly consistent with Judaism, it may even be considered an imperative in this day of factory farming, environmental depletion, degenerating human health and worldwide hunger. Beginning, as is fitting, with the Scriptures (particularly the Torah), Schwartz takes his readers on a tour of the Bible from a vegetarian point of view.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Henny_v_i on July 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read this book thoroughly, and I think it is the most informative, most complete and most readable book about vegetarianism I have ever read. The book is very well structured, the information given is presented clearly and is up to date. Since I am a vegan, I have paid extra attention to what is being said about veganism, and I found the author is objective, accurate and gives sound advice. The B12 issue is dealt with in a responsible manner and I think it is very wise to present the transition to vegetarianism and from there to veganism as a process of growth, where every step counts. The author gives many practical suggestions on how to make changes in your lifestyle without losing touch with family or friends and manages to be firm and friendly at the same time. These things alone make the book a purchase well worth the investment. For me, however, the particular merit of the book lies in the spiritual values that have inspired it. Reading the book from a non-Jewish perspective, what struck me most was that the author has chosen focal points which are relevant to people from all kinds of different backgrounds, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and people who are not religious in the 'traditional' sense. In short, all those who are concerned about the way we relate to our environment from a spiritual point of view. The first focal point is that ethical considerations are more important than habit, convenience, or tradition, and the second is that there will be a price to pay if we chose to ignore the ethical imperative to change our ways. There are many books explaining why it is better for your body to become a vegetarian; there are not many books explaining why it is better for your soul.Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on October 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading the manuscript for this newly-revised third edition (due out November 21) and it is absolutely superb! Dr. Schwartz literally "wrote the book" on this topic many years ago, and, with each new edition, it just gets better and better. His book is of interest to both Jews and non-Jews who want to understand what Judaism has to say about vegetarianism and the treatment of animals, written from the perspective of Jewish law and ethics.
What makes this work different from other vegetarian books is that Dr. Schwartz is himself a religous Jew (Modern Orthodox), who takes both Jewish law and his vegetarianism very seriously. Recognizing that Jews have, by and large, tended to be meat-eaters in past centuries, Dr. Schwartz does not seek to attack Judaism itself for this. Rather, he carefully examines what Jewish law has to say about the treatment of animals in the light of modern factory farms, along with the responsibity to feed the hungry and care for the environment, and comes to the conclusion that vegetarianism is the logical choice for a religious Jew today, if he or she wants to avoid causing undue suffering to both animals and fellow human beings.
This book is meticulously researched, providing hundreds footnoted sources, including the famous quote by Rabbi Abraham Issac Kook, concerning his beliefs about Jews being vegetarian in the Messianic Age. (Previous editions of "Judaism and Vegetarianism" gave this quote but no original source reference, causing some anti-vegetarians to claim that it did not really exist. Thank you, Dr. Schwartz, for finally setting the record straight!) Much of the old material has been carefully updated, and new material is added, with an expanded section explaining the important kabbalistic and Hasidic doctrine of "raising up the holy sparks" in food, and how this might be reconciled with vegetarianism. All in all, this is a book that every vegetarian activist should have!
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