Essential Judaism: Updated Edition: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals

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9781501117756: Essential Judaism: Updated Edition: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals
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You’ll find everything you need to know about being Jewish in this indispensable, revised and updated guide to the religious traditions, everyday practices, philosophical beliefs, and historical foundations of Judaism.

What happens at a synagogue service? What are the rules for keeping kosher? How do I light the Hanukah candles? What is in the Hebrew Bible? What do the Jewish holidays signify? What should I be teaching my children about being Jewish?

With the first edition of Essential Judaism, George Robinson offered the world the accessible compendium that he sought when he rediscovered his Jewish identity as an adult. In his “ambitious and all-inclusive” (New York Times Book Review) guide, Robinson illuminates the Jewish life cycle at every stage and lays out many fascinating aspects of the religion—the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, the evolution of Hasidism, and much more—while keeping a firm focus on the different paths to living a good Jewish life in today’s world.

Now, a decade and a half later, Robinson has updated this valuable introductory text with information on topics including denominational shifts, same-sex marriage, the intermarriage debate, transgender Jews, the growth of anti-Semitism, and the changing role of women in worship, along with many other hotly debated topics in the contemporary Jewish world and beyond.

The perfect gift for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or anyone thinking about conversion—this is the ultimate companion for anyone interested in learning more about Judaism, the kind of book its readers will revisit over and over for years to come.

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Review:

Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals is a brief but comprehensive layman's handbook to Jewish prayer, worship, festivals, customs, history, language, philosophy, and ideology. Its author, George Robinson, returned to synagogue after a 20-year absence and found himself utterly confused about the basics of his religion, despite having attended Hebrew school. He looked far and wide for a reference work that would help him get his bearings but did not find one; so he wrote one himself. Robinson's background as a journalist proved to be an asset in this project, which shows evidence of much detective work, the results of which are plainly described and clearly organized. Robinson is sensitive to the many perspectives of contemporary Judaism without being mealy-mouthed. His work is a triumph of diplomacy and clear thinking; his overview of Hebrew Scripture, and his excellent Kosher primer, would be worth the price of this book in themselves.

About the Author:

George Robinson is the author of the critically acclaimed Essential Judaism, as well as Essential Torah: A Complete Guide to the Five Books of Moses (2006). The recipient of a Simon Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish journalism from the American Jewish Press Association, Robinson is a senior writer for The Jewish Week, the largest Jewish newspaper in North America. He is a contributor to the new edition of Encyclopedia Judaica and has written frequently for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, and Hadassah Magazine.

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9780671034801: Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals

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ISBN 10:  0671034804 ISBN 13:  9780671034801
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9780671034818: Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals

Atria ..., 2001
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