What Do Jews Believe?: The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism
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What Do Jews Believe?: The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In this fresh and lucid study, Ariel presents the fundamentals of Jewish thought on the profound issues of God, human destiny, good and evil, Torah, and messianism, guiding the reader toward a definition of the beliefs that shape Jewish identity. This lively exploration of Jewish ideas and beliefs provides a rationale and stimulus for anyone seeking to understand or reconn...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 23rd 1996 by Schocken (first published February 14th 1995)
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Simcha Wood
There are currently a number of brilliant surveys of Judaism available, chief among them perhaps being George Robinson's Essential Judaism and Rabbi Telushkin's Jewish Literacy. Nevertheless, David Ariel's What Do Jews Believe? manages to cover ground not already covered by other fine general works on Judaism. While the best surveys of Judaism are rich in Jewish history, halakhah, and observance, Ariel's book fills in a much needed gap with an in-depth exploration of Jewish belief, diving into t...more
I had to read this book for a class where we are studying the three major Western World Religions [Judaism, Christianity, and Islam]. I found this book a delightful read. It was filled with great insight while discussing the beliefs and the reasons behind those beliefs.

I especially liked the chapter discussing God. It was a great chapter, offering new insights into God that I had not considered before. It offered interesting perspectives on God's character and nature and how God's nature and ch...more
Oct 23, 2008 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amanda by: lb
Shelves: read-in-2008
Looking for the basic spiritual foundations of Judaism? This book delivers its promise. Ariel breaks down the historical and philosophical progression of the basic elements of Judaism (inc. God, Torah, Good/Evil, Messiah, Prayer) in a series of chapters that can be read individually or as a cohesive whole. The link between the progression and present-day beliefs wasn't always as clear as it could have been. Despite its modest size (<300 pages), it packs a good deal of information in, and give...more
Crown Crown
Mar 22, 2014 Crown Crown marked it as to-read
it was a great book
David Ariel walks us through the spiritual aspects of Judaism, covering God, prayer, the Mitzvot, Good & Evil, Torah, human destiny, Jewish messianism and what being the "Chosen People" really entails. Each chapter shows how these concepts have evolved from Biblical Judaism through rabbinical and medieval schools of thought and how they have changed (or not) under the influence of modern schools of Jewish thought. Not very deep, but broad, this book is a fine introduction to general Jewish l...more
Dave Rullo
I thought this was a great book. More than a casual survey it highlighted and explored many different aspects of Jewish belief. The opening chapter is amazing, really every chapter is great. Ariel's chapter on the messiah really illustrates the differences between Christianity and Judaism. Overall, a fabulous book.
A. Moses Levitt
penulis sebenarnya menulis sebuah "surat" ttg Judaisme untuk ketiga anaknya Judah, Micah, Aviva. Gw bisa lebih terbuka dan melirik segi positif dari sekte2 judaisme seperti Kabbalah dan Orthodox, juga Modernis...God is JHVH yg hanya bisa disebut dgn Adonai...
michael spencer
A decent summary of basic Jewish beliefs and modern practices. A must-read for anyone who ever means to be intentional friends with a person of Hebrew descent.
Rob Koch
Im still working on this but its useful information. Being a total ignoramus on the subject I think its a good overview, but I could be wrong.
Elisabeth Ericson
Not a light read, but absolutely thought-provoking. Was looking for something specific, and this gave it to me, for the most part.
Sep 16, 2007 Mo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: judaism
I am about halfway through and enjoying this so far...basic and cogent, which is exactly what I need.
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