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Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed Paperback – September 1, 1992
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For more than a generation, Yeshiva University's James Striar School has been an acknowledged pioneer in Ba'al Teshuvah (return to Judaism) education. Rabbi Benjamin Blech has been a mainstay of that program and has done yeoman work in illuminating the basic principles and creed of Judaism. This volume, a compilation of his thoughts and teachings, brings his erudition, sensitivity, and insights to those seeking to grow in their appreciation of the truths of the Torah. (Dr. Norman Lamm)
Rabbi Blech's book is one that every Jew should read. Even Jews who are very knowledgeable with regard to their ancestral faith will find in it new insights that deal with aspects of the tradition of which one might have thought that nothing new could be said. Only a rabbi who is at one and the same time an inspiring spiritual leader of an active congregation of committed Jews, and a master teacher of college students searching for their spiritual roots, could so skillfully combine in his presentation of Judaism so much that can open the eyes of the latter and deepen the delight of the learned in that which they fathomed only superficially. (Rabbi Emanuel Rackman)
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Top Customer Reviews
Understanding Judaism is, along with Rabbi Irving Greenberg's "The Jewish Way," and Moshe Chayim Luzatto's "The Way of God," one the best introductions to Jewish theology available for the general reader.
One of the best ways to illustrate is content is to list some of its provocative chapter titles: If You Had to Choose Only One Mitzvah, There Are No Ten Commandments, Why Were the Ten Given?, Why Did God Give Us Two Tablets?, Who Comes First, Man or God?, Why is God First on the Tablets?, Enjoy Life on this Earth, Does God Care About Non-Jews?, The Source of the Seven Universal Laws, The Thirteen Fundamentals of Belief, Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?, Can we "Prove" God's Existence?, Who is Satan?, Do We Really Have Free Will?, Does God Speak to Man?, Are We Close to the Time of the Messianic Era?
With all the existing controversy about posting the Ten Commandments in a public place, few people can even name them. Rabbi Blech not only lucidly explains their meaning and inherant structure, put points out that there are three different versions -- Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish -- and compares the versions in his chapter, "Why Did God Give Us Two Tablets?" This chapter contains the best such comprehensive discussion of the Ten Commandments that I know of.
I am confident that everyone who reads this book will thank me for recommending it.
If need something that is even easier. You can read Rabbi Blech's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism" which is based on this book and as an "idiot's guide" is very well layed out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent theory book. Love being able to understand the basics of Judaism. Helps in determining the context of the Bible.Published 10 months ago by Vastmajority
Phenomenal book for learning in a straight forward manner about Judaism.Published 20 months ago by harriet
This is a prime example of what is wrong with modern Judaism. A great primer on how to "Flip-Flop" on any topic.Published on January 31, 2014 by Dan
One of the best books I have ever read. It helps you to see Judaism in a big picture.
Highly recommend for those who wishes to learn more about Judaism!!
I will rank this book a 5/5 as it coincides with Rabbi Blech's online six part video series with the same title and was fantastic. Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Amazon Customer