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Judaism For Everyone: Renewing Your Life Through The Vibrant Lessons Of The Jewish Faith

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The outspoken author of the best-selling Kosher Sex turns his energy and erudition to the core teachings of Judaism itself, presenting the Jewish faith as a source of inspiration and meaning to people of all religions.

464 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2002

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About the author

Shmuley Boteach

48 books66 followers
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, named by Talkers Magazine as one of the 100 most important radio hosts in America, is a nationally syndicated talk show host, the international best-selling author of 15 books, and an acclaimed syndicated columnist.

A winner of the London Times highly prestigious "Preacher of the Year" award, Rabbi Shmuley has lectured and appeared in print, radio, and TV all over the globe. His radio show, "Rabbi Shmuley's Passion," airs daily on Bonneville Broadcasting in afternoon drive-time.

He is the author of a number of books, including "Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy," "Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments," "Why Can't I Fall in Love," "Judaism for Everyone: Renewing your Life through the Vibrant Lessons of the Jewish Faith," and most recently, "Hating Women: America's Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex." A winner of the annual "preacher of the year" contest sponsored by the Times of London, he was formerly rabbi of Oxford University.

Shmuley—he is known universally by his first name, has marketed himself as a rabbi to the stars and an expert on Jewish attitudes toward relationships and marriage. ("Dr. Ruth with a yarmulke," the Washington Post called him.)

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5 stars
22 (26%)
4 stars
31 (36%)
3 stars
18 (21%)
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6 (7%)
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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Jillian.
2,524 reviews23 followers
December 19, 2015
Finished, finally.

This was a difficult book for me to get through, because Boteach is very repetitive. Even within the same paragraph, he'll use the same phrase as though it's a new thought, and he has a tendency to rearrange the words of an old sentence to make a new one. Thus, much of the book feels like padding.
In addition, I have to soundly reject some of his conclusions. Notably the "benign sexism" and misogyny inherent in his argument that women should joyfully accept their place in the home because femininity is so wonderful and gosh, if only men could strive to be as docile and sweet as women are naturally wouldn't the world be awesome? Oh, and the chapter where he explains that accepting Darwin's theory of evolution will make you a nazi was also excellent.

There were some shining moments, though, and large passages I felt like typing up for myself to have and remember. Lots of the philosophy rang very true for me.

Basically, I'm not sorry I chose to convert to Judaism. As repugnant as I find some of Boteach's moralizing, I still want desperately to be part of the Jewish people. I'm just glad that I'm converting Conservative and joining a Reform congregation, so I can take steps throughout my life to become more observant as I learn and grow, and not have someone like Boteach standing over my shoulder and telling me I'm not doing it well enough for him.
Profile Image for Mark.
163 reviews3 followers
July 30, 2017
I came to this book looking for principles that Judaism has remembered and Christianity has forgotten to enrich my spiritual practice as a Mormon. Pretty much everything of value in the book is something that Mormonism already has that sets it apart from mainstream Christianity, so there's that.

But the value density of the book was too low to be readable: one or two useful thoughts in a chapter of self-congratulatory drivel and New Age affirmations. The author has an excessively shallow understanding of history and non-Jewish religion. Frequent claims that Judaism was the first to do 'x' or the only to do 'y' that are patently false, reliance on discredited statistics and conflation of anecdotes with epidemics.
8 reviews
February 1, 2023
First of all I didnt like his language.
He puts down other religions while trying to prove Judaism is the best religion. It may be the best religion but it doesnt mean he can slaughter others. If something is valuable someone should not try to put others down. This is actually a sign of low self esteem.
Secondly, he only knows other religions from a text book rather than a perspective of a real believer and trying to compare them to Judaism which is disrespectful and disturbing.
Profile Image for Missy.
271 reviews14 followers
September 8, 2009
I did not engage with this book. I love the concept and I was very excited to better understand more about Judaism from the point of view of Boteach. I think his introduction had too much rhetoric about conversion to Judaism and about how Judaism is THE religion/way of life to follow. I did not want to read the book to be recruited, I wanted personal growth and knowledge. I found other works and television works by Boteach to be very approachable and charming. He is a clearly devote man with an understanding that there are endless points of view in the world besides his own. I will probably give this book another try at another time.
20 reviews1 follower
August 8, 2009
Here's a few quotes from the book.

"The deepest loneliness is the fear that we will never be fully known, that there is no one who can truly fathom our depths or fully grasp our pain, that no one will ever join us in our deepest spaces."

"Restraint, discipline, and a commitment to self-mastery are the foundations of religious life." (a bit redundant perhaps, but he makes the point)

"The primary purpose of every leader is to take away the excuse from each of us who wants to renounce a virtuous life."

Profile Image for Fredrick Danysh.
6,844 reviews159 followers
September 20, 2013
An overview of the Jewish faith. It covers what Jews believe as well as explaining some of their religious beliefs. While not a Jew myself, it gave me a wider understanding of Judaism.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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