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We Have Reason to Believe: Fifth Edition Hardcover – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell; 5 Revised edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853035385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853035381
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,603,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Kaiser on October 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the infamous book that got Rabbi Louis Jacobs kicked out of Orthodox Judaism in Great Britain. While containing a bit too many British references (which makes it slightly less accessible for US and Canadian readers) it is still a good read.

Louis Jacobs moves beyond the "Do it because I told you God said so" approach so popular among the Orthodox. Orthodox Jews claim that the text of the Torah is a direct quote from God, and thus we are obligated to follow its rules. Non-religious Jews use the findings of modern critical Bible study to show that since our understanding of how the Bible was edited is now known to be flawed, then it can't possibly be inspired in any way; therefore, humanity is free from trying to follow the word of God in this way (or in any way).

In between these paths lies a view promoted by Rabbi Jacobs, a path now known as Masorti, or Conservative, Judaism. He notes that *how* God inspired man is one question; whether or not God does so is another. If God does exist, and does inspire mankind in some way, then the Torah may well contain man's understanding of God's will, as Judaism has always claimed.

No brief review can do justice to the arguments that Jacobs makes for his views: non-fundamentalist, observant, authentic Judaism. You will have to read it for yourself - and you'll be the better for it. I also suggest reading the updated sequel to this book "Beyond Reasonable Doubt"; in fact, it may be better to skip the original altogether and just read the later volume.
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