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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 15, 2010 09:14AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
This is the thread which will be devoted to the discussion of the history of Judaism and related topics.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Judaism is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people.

Judaism, originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud, is considered by Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God developed with the Children of Israel. According to traditional Rabbinic Judaism, God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah.

This was historically challenged by the Karaites who maintain that only the Written Torah was revealed,[3] and, in modern times, liberal movements such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic.

The Hebrews / Israelites were called (referred to) as Jews, already, as early as in the Book of Esther. The term Jews replaced the title "Children of Israel.".

Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, and the oldest to survive into the present day.

Its texts, traditions and values have inspired later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith.

Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law.

Jews are an ethnoreligious group that includes those born Jewish and converts to Judaism. In 2007, the world Jewish population was estimated at 13 million, of whom about 40% reside in Israel and 40% in the United States.

The largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. A major source of difference between these groups is their approach to Jewish law.

Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin, they are eternal and unalterable, and should be adhered to. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism promoting a more "traditional" interpretation of its requirements than Reform Judaism. Their typical position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews.

Historically, special courts enforced Jewish law; today, these courts still exist but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary.

Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and the many rabbis and scholars who interpret these texts.

Source Wikipedia

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Betraying Spinoza The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Brief Synopsis:

In 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty–three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza’s progeny.

In Betraying Spinoza, Rebecca Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past. Goldstein argues that the trauma of the Inquisition’s persecution of its forced Jewish converts plays itself out in Spinoza’s philosophy. The excommunicated Spinoza, no less than his excommunicators, was responding to Europe’s first experiment with racial anti-Semitism.

Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and hero—a surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age.

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Source: CNN:

My Faith: Yom Kippur 1945, in a camp for Holocaust survivors

Editor's Note: Stanley Abramovitch was born in Poland and lost his mother and two brothers in the Holocaust. He worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for 63 years before retiring in 2008 and continues to consult for the group.

By Stanley Abramovitch, Special to CNN

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I have also posted this book in the European History thread as it is applicable there as well.

Houses of Life

Houses of Life Jewish Cemeteries of Europe by Joachim Jacobs by Joachim Jacobs

Jewish cemeteries are called Houses of Life for good reason; illustrated with color photos and reproductions of art throughout, this book shows how burial grounds across Europe reflect the ways that specific Jewish communities have lived and continue to live. Thirty cemeteries are profiled, starting with the Roman era; surveying Islamic Spain, medieval Italy and baroque and 19th century Germany; and ending in present day Britain and France. The book is full of insights into Jewish history and follows the crucial changes in Jewish life for over 2,000 years.

message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book is a good read for both the Jew and the Gentile. Very interesting.

Living a Jewish Life

Living a Jewish Life Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today's Families by Anita Diamant by Anita Diamant Anita Diamant

Jewish tradition is a gift and a challenge. "Living a Jewish Life" is your guide to the cultural and spiritual treasures of Judaism, explained in ways that address the choices posed by modern life. From hanging a mezuzah to celebrating a wedding, from lighting Sabbath candles to choosing a synagogue that's right for you and your family, you will find "why-to's" and "how-to's" in these pages, which are tuned to both the realities of the modern world and the timeless, grounding rhythms of Jewish tradition. Spanning the spectrum of liberal Jewish thought -- Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform, unaffiliated, new age and secular -- this book provides a sensitive and practical introduction to making Judaism a meaningful part of your life.

message 7: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Sephardim and Ashkenazim - Two Jewish Ethnicities
Ethnically, there are two main groups of Jews in the world today: Ashkenazim and Sephardim. In the United States, the vast majority of Jews are Ashkenazim, and most of what is considered "Jewish" culture here is either Ashkenazi or really just American. Religiously, the two groups are similar, but somewhat different, with Sephardim including some people who are ethnically neither Sephardim or Ashkenazim, but Mizrachim - that is, Jews who never left the middle east or northern Africa.

Who are the Ashkenazim?

Ashkenaz is medieval Hebrew for Germany. The word "Ashkenaz" appears in the Bible in three places: Genesis 10:3, I Chronicles and Jeremiah 51:27; in Genesis, Ashkenaz is a son of Gomer. The Ashkenazim migrated east from Germany, to Poland, Lithuania, and many parts of what was Russia or the Soviet Union or the Austro-Hungarian empire. Fleeing pogroms and other persecution, many came to America.

Who are the Sephardim?

Sephard (also Sfarad) is Hebrew for Spain. The Sephardim are mainly descendants of Jews who fled Spain following their expulsion in 1492 and during the inquisition. From Spain, many fled south to north Africa; others went north, to England, the Netherlands, France and other parts of western Europe.

Relative numbers of Ashkenazim and Sephardim

There are about 10 million Ashkenazim in the world, with 6,000,000 in the United States and about 2.5 million in Israel. There are about 1.5 to 2 million Sephardim in the world today, about 700,000 in Israel, 300,000 in France, and the rest scattered in many countries. There are about 100,000 Sephardim in the United States.

Cuisine of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim

Each has adapted the cuisines of the lands in which they live, with some variations. For Ashkenazi cuisine, emblematic dishes are gefilte fish, chopped liver, kugel (noodle pudding) and matzoh ball soup. For Sephardim, traditional dishes include couscous, fish, stuffed grape leaves, with frequent use of Mediterranean seasonings.

Culture of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim

The word for the culture of the Ashkenazim is Yiddishkeit, which is Yiddish for "Jewishness". In Eastern Europe, Yiddishkeit revolved around bible study - to be a scholar was the noblest thing for a man (women were not treated so well). More recently, many Ashkenazi Jews have become much less religious, but are often still very scholarly.

In America, Ashkenazim have also gravitated toward show business, and especially comedy.

Sephardi culture also emphasizes learning; throughout history, many Sephardi Jews have been doctors; many rulers had Sephardi advisers. In America, Sephardi culture is less well-defined than Ashkenazi, simply because there are fewer.

Languages of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim

Both Ashkenazim and Sephardim spoke the language of whatever country they lived in; among themselves, though, many Ashkenazim spoke Yiddish and many Sephardim spoke Ladino (both languages declined in use in the 20th century, only partly due to the Shoah, but there are some signs that they are making a comeback). Yiddish is written in Hebrew characters, but is based on Middle High German, with some words from Hebrew, Polish, Russian and other languages added. Ladino, on the other hand, is based on medieval Spanish, with words added from Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and other languages as well. Yiddish and Ladino have virtually nothing in common. (Friends of mine who speak Ladino and Hebrew fluently said they managed to get along in South America by speaking Ladino and taking out the Hebrew).

Liturgies of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim

There are substantial difference in liturgy both within and between these groups, but that is a huge field in which I am not remotely knowledgeable.

Other groups of Jews

As mentioned above, there are also the Mizrachi Jews, who never left the middle east or northern Africa. There are or were groups of Jews in China, Africa (most prominently Ethiopia), and Yemen, each of these was entirely isolated from other groups of Jews for much of history. Many have found homes in Israel or the United States.



Forward (on Ashkenaz in the Bible)

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 07, 2013 04:36PM) (new)

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Terrific Peter - thank you very much - Excellent post and addition. It explains a lot.

So would you say that the Jewish settlers from Brazil that tried to settle in New York early on were Sephardim?

message 9: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thank you for that enlightening post, Peter. It is important for the non-Jew to understand the differences in the Jewish ethnicities/backgrounds.

message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Sephardim. They almost certainly started off in Portugal

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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My feelings too. Thanks.

message 12: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) An excellent guide to the life and beliefs of the Orthodox Jew.

The Non-Orthodox Jew's Guide to Orthodox Jews

The Non-Orthodox Jew’s Guide to Orthodox Jews by David Baum by David Baum (no photo)


The Non-Orthodox Jew’s Guide to Orthodox Jews offers an all-encompassing view of Orthodox Jews’ beliefs and actions and explains the issues that non-Orthodox Jews often find puzzling or exasperating. Readers will encounter surprisingly refreshing discussions of topics such as happiness, good and evil, personal integrity, suffering, heaven and hell, prophecy, prayer, charity, economics, feminism, love and sexuality, marriage, evolution, morality, political correctness, assimilation, intermarriage and Zionism. They will also discover that Orthodox Jews are modern, twenty-first-century men and women who embrace the benefits of modern society while affirming and perpetuating an all-important chain that stretches back more than three millennia

message 13: by Jill (last edited Jan 22, 2014 06:14PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This is not a book about the Jewish people but a book about the colorful and descriptive language of Yiddish, spoken mainly by the Ashkenazim. It resonates from the streets of New York to the streets of Krakow. Many of the words have become a part of the English language. This is a fun book and good for reference.

The Joys of Yiddish

The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten by Leo Rosten Leo Rosten


Do you know when to cry Mazel tov -- and when to avoid it like the plague? Did you know that Oy! is not a word, but a vocabulary with 29 distinct variations, sighed, cried, howled, or moaned, employed to express anything from ecstasy to horror? Here are words heard 'round the English-speaking world: chutzpa, or gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, "...that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and his father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan." Then there's mish-mosh, or mess, hodgepodge, total confusion...and shamus, or private eye.

They're all here and more, in Leo Rosten's glorious classic The Joys of Yiddish, which weds scholarship to humor and redefines dictionary to reflect the heart and soul of a people through their language, illuminating each entry with marvelous stories and epigrams from folklore and the Talmud, from Bible to borscht belt and beyond. With Rosten's help, anyone can pronounce and master the nuances of words that convey everything from compassion to skepticism. Savor the irresistible pleasure of Yiddish in this banquet of a book!

message 14: by Kressel (last edited Jan 23, 2014 10:03AM) (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Here's my favorite:

Rabbi Berel Wein's Crash Course In Jewish History 5000 Years In 5 Hours by Berel Wein by Berel Wein Berel Wein

message 15: by S. (last edited Jan 23, 2014 12:03PM) (new)

S. Sigerson (whoshotcollins) | 7 comments A Treasury of Jewish Folklore by Nathan Ausubel
A Treasury of Jewish Folklore

I'm told that studying Jewish folklore actually fulfills the mitzvah of torah study.

This book is a real treasure. Priceless.
It includes history, biographies, anecdotes from the lives of historical personages, a thousand folktales on every theme, from the comical to the sublime. As well as songs and Biblical apocrypha.

message 16: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Looks like a terrific book, S. Don't forget the book citations. The book you mentioned should look like this:

A Treasury of Jewish Folklore by Nathan Ausubel by Nathan Ausubel(no photo)

message 17: by S. (new)

S. Sigerson (whoshotcollins) | 7 comments Thanks for that Jill. I changed it.

message 18: by S. (new)

S. Sigerson (whoshotcollins) | 7 comments Jill wrote: "Looks like a terrific book, S. Don't forget the book citations. The book you mentioned should look like this:

A Treasury of Jewish Folklore by Nathan Ausubel by Nathan Ausubel(no..."

I just added a trivia question to this book's page:

"Where was the village of Chelm?"

message 19: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig S, you still need an author, thanks.

message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Story of the Jews, The: Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD

The Story of the Jews Finding the Words, 1000 BCE – 1492 CE by Simon Schama by Simon Schama Simon Schama


In this magnificently illustrated cultural history—the tie-in to the PBS and BBC series The Story of the Jews—Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish experience, tracing it across three millennia, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the New World in 1492 to the modern day.

It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds.

It spans the millennia and the continents—from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs. And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain.

In The Story of the Jews, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the streets of medieval London, a Majorcan illuminator redraws the world; candles are lit, chants are sung, mules are packed, ships loaded with spice and gems founder at sea.

And a great story unfolds. Not—as often imagined—of a culture apart, but of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.

Which makes the story of the Jews everyone's story, too.

message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Thank you for the adds Bryan.

message 22: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Aug 29, 2015 10:10AM) (new)

Jerome | 4310 comments Mod
Here's the second volume of Schama's history:
Release date: November 15, 2015

The Story of the Jews: When Words Fail, 1492 – Present Day

The Story of the Jews When Words Fail, 1492 – Present Day by Simon Schama by Simon Schama Simon Schama


The words that failed were words of hope. But they did not fail at all times and everywhere.

These gripping pages teem with words of defiance and optimism, sounds and images of tenacious life and adventurous modernism, music and drama, business and philosophy, poetry and politics. The second part of Simon Schama's epic Story of the Jews is neither overwhelmed by hopelessness nor shrouded in the smoke of the crematoria. As much as it gives full weight to the magnitude of the disaster that befell the Jews, it is a story of hope vindicated rather than wiped out.

The stories unfold across the world - in the provincial pavilions of Ming China and beneath the brass chandeliers of Rembrandt's Amsterdam; on ships and carts, stage-coaches and railway trains crossing oceans and continents; in the honky-tonk of San Francisco and the pampas of Argentina, the department stores of Berlin and the avenues of Trieste. The stories themselves are played on the stage of opera houses; in the travelling camera of an expedition in Ukraine, the prison cells of Stalin's Russia, the lagers of the Holocaust; the scenery of misery and redemption in Palestine and Israel.

At the heart of the story is the budding belief that peoples of different faiths, customs and cultures can be fellow-citizens of a common country.

And amidst all the brutality, somehow the light of Jewish endurance is never extinguished. The odyssey is unforgettable, the storyteller impassioned, the words unfailing.

message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Thx Jerome

message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Thx Libby

message 25: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

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The Genius: Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism

The Genius Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism by Eliyahu Stern by Eliyahu Stern (no photo)


Elijah ben Solomon, the "Genius of Vilna", was perhaps the best-known and most understudied figure in modern Jewish history. In this book Eliyahu Stern offers a new narrative of Jewish modernity based on Elijah's life and influence. While the experience of Jews in modernity has often been described as a process of Western European secularization - with Jews becoming citizens of Western nation-states, congregants of reformed synagogues, and assimilated members of society - Stern uses Elijah's story to highlight a different theory of modernization for European life. Religious movements such as Hasidism and anti-secular institutions such as the yeshiva emerged from the same democratization of knowledge and privatization of religion that gave rise to secular and universal movements and institutions. Claimed by traditionalists, enlighteners, Zionists, and the Orthodox, Elijah's genius and its afterlife capture an all-embracing interpretation of the modern Jewish experience. Through the story of the "Vilna Gaon", Stern presents a new model for understanding modern Jewish history and more generally the place of traditionalism and religious radicalism in modern Western life and thought.

message 26: by Dave (new)

Dave | 513 comments Bryan wrote: "Story of the Jews, The: Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD

The Story of the Jews Finding the Words, 1000 BCE – 1492 CE by Simon Schama by Simon Schama[author:Simon Schama|69..."

I just finished this book and enjoyed it very much. It's not a "year-by-year" history, but looks at snapshots of key periods in Jewish history. What's most fascinating is the fact that Schama is able to include personal correspondence and evidence of everyday life, even in the most ancient times. The only flaw that I noticed several times is that he sometimes uses terms that a non-Jewish reader like me wasn't familiar with. Most of the time he explained them, but not always. Still, it was a fascinating - though often sad - read.

message 27: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

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The Talmud: A Biography

The Talmud A Biography by Harry Freedman by Harry Freedman Harry Freedman


Containing nearly two million words in thirty-seven volumes, the Talmud covers topics as diverse as law, faith, medicine, magic, ethics, sex, humor, and prayer. It is a highly complex, profoundly logical, and frequently impenetrable work with a history like no other. In its fifteen-hundred-year history, the Talmud has been banned, censored, and burned; dissected by scholars and rabbis; probed by philosophers, poets, politicians, and kings.

In The Talmud, Jewish scholar Harry Freedman tells the engrossing story of an ancient classic, the legal and mystical pillar of Judaism, and recounts the story of a chronicle that, in many ways, parallels the history of the Jewish people. From its origins as a record of discussions among scholars in towns and villages close to modern-day Baghdad, Freedman traces the spiraling paths of the Jewish diaspora and explores the story of the Talmud, its role during the Enlightenment, and its influence over traditional Judaism. A compelling fusion of law, storytelling, and spirituality, the Talmud's story provides fascinating insight into the history of Judaism, and Harry Freedman's The Talmud – A Biography is a remarkable account of one of the most important cultural, historical, and religious works of our time.

message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Thank you Teri

message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Thanks Teri for all of the adds

message 30: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) It's too bad there isn't more information given about this book as it sound like an interesting look into modern Israel.

Next Year in Jerusalem: Everyday Life In A Divided Land

Next Year In Jerusalem Everyday Life In A Divided Land by Daphna Golan-Agnon by Daphna Golan-Agnon (no photo)


From a pioneering Israeli human rights activist, a stirring memoir on life in the troubled region.

message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Thanks everyone for all of the adds on the religion threads

message 32: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments For the light route toward Maimonides:

message 33: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Same producer, I think.

message 34: by A.J. (last edited Jun 14, 2015 06:55PM) (new)

A.J. Deus (ajdeus) | 4 comments Peter wrote: "Sephardim. They almost certainly started off in Portugal"
While the Sephardim may originate with the conquest of Spain by Rome, a first large wave of Jewish refugees moved in through North Africa during the early fourth century. The next wave arrived after the Goths had sacked Rome in the fifth century. In the seventh century, an attempt to expel the Jews from Spain was halted by the expanding Umayyad Caliphate in the early eighth. From then on until the early eleventh century, Spain was "the most successful area of Jewish settlement" (Johnson, 177). The decline of the Sephardim started with the Almoravid Invasion.

message 35: by Kressel (last edited Jun 15, 2015 06:30AM) (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Really, there was no division of Ashkenazi v. Sephardi Jews in Biblical times through the Babylonian exile, which is many, many centuries. The division happened when Jews began leaving Babylon. Some went to North Africa and ultimately Spain, becoming the Sephardim, and others, at the invitation of Charlemagne, went to France and Germany, becoming the Ashkenazim.

message 36: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Wonderful book!

message 37: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 13, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

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Aphrodite and the Rabbis: How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism As We Know It

Aphrodite and the Rabbis How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism As We Know It by Burton L. Visotzky by Burton L. Visotzky Burton L. Visotzky


Historians have long debated the (re)birth of Judaism in the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple cult by the Romans in 70 CE. What replaced that sacrificial cult was at once something new–indebted to the very culture of the Roman overlords–even as it also sought to preserve what little it could of the old Israelite religion. The Greco-Roman culture in which rabbinic Judaism grew in the first five centuries of the Common Era nurtured the development of Judaism as we still know and celebrate it today.

Arguing that its transformation from a Jerusalem-centered cult to a world religion was made possible by the Roman Empire, Rabbi Burton Visotzky presents Judaism as a distinctly Roman religion. Full of fascinating detail from the daily life and culture of Jewish communities across the Hellenistic world, Aphrodite and the Rabbis will appeal to anyone interested in the development of Judaism, religion, history, art and architecture.

message 38: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

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An upcoming book:
release date: May 30, 2017

The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age

The Origin of the Jews The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age by Steven Weitzman by Steven Weitzman (no photo)


The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know--or think we know--about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be.

Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers--and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive.

Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.

message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Upcoming Release - April 2, 2018

The Rational Bible: Exodus

The Rational Bible Exodus by Dennis Prager by Dennis Prager Dennis Prager


Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors – and sometimes we ourselves – dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today’s issues, but completely consistent with rational thought.

Do you think the Bible permitted the trans-Atlantic slave trade? You won’t after reading this book.

Do you struggle to love your parents? If you do, you need this book.

Do you doubt the existence of God because belief in God is “irrational?” This book will give you reason after reason to rethink your doubts.

The title of this commentary is, “The Rational Bible” because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. As Prager says, “If something I write does not make rational sense, I have not done my job.”

The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager’s forty years of teaching the Bible to people of every faith, and no faith. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world and to your life.

His goal: to change your mind – and then change your life

message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation

The Jewish Study Bible by Anonymous by Anonymous (no photo)


The Jewish Study Bible is a one-volume resource tailored especially for the needs of students of the Hebrew Bible.

Nearly forty scholars worldwide contributed to the translation and interpretation of the Jewish Study Bible, representing the best of Jewish biblical scholarship available today.

A committee of highly-respected biblical scholars and rabbis from the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism movements produced this modern translation.

No knowledge of Hebrew is required for one to make use of this unique volume. The Jewish Study Bible uses The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation.

Since its publication, the Jewish Study Bible has become one of the most popular volumes in Oxford's celebrated line of bibles.

The quality of scholarship, easy-to-navigate format, and vibrant supplementary features bring the ancient text to life.

* Informative essays that address a wide variety of topics relating to Judaism's use and interpretation of the Bible through the ages.
* In-text tables, maps, and charts.
* Tables of weights and measures.
* Verse and chapter differences.
* Table of Scriptural Readings.
* Glossary of technical terms.
* An index to all the study materials.
* Full color New Oxford Bible Maps, with index

message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts

Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts by Marc Michael Epstein by Marc Michael Epstein (no photo)


The love of books in the Jewish tradition extends back over many centuries, and the ways of interpreting those books are as myriad as the traditions themselves. Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers the first full survey of Jewish illuminated manuscripts, ranging from their origins in the Middle Ages to the present day. Featuring some of the most beautiful examples of Jewish art of all time--including hand-illustrated versions of the Bible, the Haggadah, the prayer book, marriage documents, and other beloved Jewish texts--the book introduces readers to the history of these manuscripts and their interpretation.

Edited by Marc Michael Epstein with contributions from leading experts, this sumptuous volume features a lively and informative text, showing how Jewish aesthetic tastes and iconography overlapped with and diverged from those of Christianity, Islam, and other traditions. Featured manuscripts were commissioned by Jews and produced by Jews and non-Jews over many centuries, and represent Eastern and Western perspectives and the views of both pietistic and liberal communities across the Diaspora, including Europe, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa.

Magnificently illustrated with pages from hundreds of manuscripts, many previously unpublished or rarely seen, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers surprising new perspectives on Jewish life, presenting the books of the People of the Book as never before.

message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
This is not good - what a horrible thing to do - horrendous - have we not learned anything by World War I and II:

France anti-Semitism: Jewish graves desecrated near Strasbourg
6 minutes ago

Nearly 100 graves at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France have been desecrated with swastikas.

The damage was discovered on Tuesday, ahead of nationwide marches against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the cemetery, in a village near Strasbourg, telling community leaders: "It's important for me to be here with you today."

France has the biggest Jewish community in Europe, about 550,000 people.

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Source: BBC News

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