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

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  86 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
Jun 22, 2011 Simcha Wood rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2014 Neil rated it liked it
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
Oct 23, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it
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
Aug 01, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
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
David Rullo
Feb 03, 2015 David Rullo rated it it was amazing
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.
Antoinette Maria
Aug 31, 2015 Antoinette Maria rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Judaism. Honestly, you could read only the last chapter (the author's letter to his children on why they should choose Judaism) and have a far greater understanding on the subject than many other books I've read.
A. Moses Levitt
Nov 15, 2009 A. Moses Levitt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oh-begitu
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...
Rob Koch
Jul 03, 2008 Rob Koch rated it really liked it
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.
michael spencer
Aug 10, 2007 michael spencer rated it liked it
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.
Sep 16, 2007 Mo rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaism
I am about halfway through and enjoying this so far...basic and cogent, which is exactly what I need.
Manderr rated it it was ok
Jun 24, 2010
Jennifer Jacobs
Jennifer Jacobs rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2015
Daniellegaha rated it it was ok
Aug 27, 2013
Curtis Ensler
Curtis Ensler rated it it was ok
Jun 13, 2013
Aron rated it really liked it
May 12, 2008
Jamieakaplan rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2014
Gregory Casteel
Gregory Casteel rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2014
Jeff rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2013
Alford Wayman
Alford Wayman rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2011
Crown Crown
Mar 22, 2014 Crown Crown marked it as to-read
it was a great book
Stephanie rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2008
Laura rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2014
Kaisha rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2009
Elise A
Elise A rated it really liked it
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Dec 23, 2009
TJ Wilson
TJ Wilson rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2016
Rene rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2008
Aug 18, 2015 A rated it really liked it
Highly informative.
Learned a lot by reading this concise primer on Judaism.
Mary Gail
Mary Gail rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2012
Ramenwithfriends rated it liked it
Mar 07, 2013
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