Your plain-English guide to Judaism Whether you're interested in the religion or the spirituality, the culture or the ethnic traditions, Judaism For Dummies explores the full spectrum of Judaism, dipping into the mystical, meditative, and spiritual depth of the faith and the practice. In this warm and welcoming book, you'll find coverage of: Orthodox Jews and breakaway denominations; Judaism as a daily practice; the food and fabric of Judaism; Jewish wedding ceremonies; celebrations and holy days; 4,000 years of pain, sadness, triumph, and joy; great Jewish thinkers and historical celebrities; and much more. Updates to the "recent history" section with discussions of what has happened in the first decade of the twenty-first century including: the expansion of orthodox political power in Israel; expansion of interfaith work; unfortunate recent anti-Semitic events; and other news Expanded coverage of Jewish mysticism and meditation, which has become increasingly popular in recent years New coverage on Jewish views of morality, including birth control, homosexuality, and environmental concerns Revised recipes for traditional Jewish cooking, updated key vocabulary, and Yiddish phrases everyone should know Jews have long spread out to the corners of the world, so there are significant Jewish communities on many continents. Judaism For Dummies offers a glimpse into the rituals, ideas, and terms that are woven into the history and everyday lives of Jewish people as near as our own neighborhoods and as far-reaching as across the world.
Introduction 1 Part I: What Jews Generally Believe 9 Chapter 1: That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Jewish: Who’s a Jew and Why 11 Chapter 2: It’s All One: Judaism and God 23 Chapter 3: A Never-Ending Torah: The Unfolding of a Tradition 33 Chapter 4: A Path of Blessing: Judaism as a Daily Practice 45 Chapter 5: Jewish Mysticism 69 Chapter 6: Ethical Challenges 89 Part II: From Womb to Tomb: The Life Cycle 105 Chapter 7: In the Beginning: Birth and Bris 107 Chapter 8: Coming of Age: The Bar/Bat Mitzvah 117 Chapter 9: Get Me to the Chuppah On Time: Weddings 125 Chapter 10: Stepping Through the Valley: The Shadow of Death 137 Part III: An Overview of Jewish History 151 Chapter 11: Let My People Go: From Abraham to Exodus 153 Chapter 12: The Kings of Israel: The First Temple 165 Chapter 13: Bracketed by Exile: The Second Temple 173 Chapter 14: The Exiles Continue: The First Millennium 181 Chapter 15: The Greatest Horror, the Greatest Triumph 193 Chapter 16: Jewish Buddhists and Other Challenges of the New Age 211 Chapter 17: The Problem of Anti-Semitism 219 Part IV: Celebrations and Holy Days 231 Chapter 18: A Taste of Paradise: Shabbat 233 Chapter 19: In with the New: Rosh Hashanah 249 Chapter 20: Getting Serious: Yom Kippur 261 Chapter 21: The Great Outdoors: Sukkot 271 Chapter 22: Seeking Light in Dark Times: Chanukkah 281 Chapter 23: Celebrating Renewal: Tu B’Shvat 293 Chapter 24: A Jewish Carnival: Purim 297 Chapter 25: From Groan to Glee: Passover 307 Chapter 26: Spring Is Busting Out All Over: Shavuot 333 Chapter 27: A Day of Mourning: Tisha B’Av 345 Part V: The Part of Tens 349 Chapter 28: Ten People Who Helped Shape Judaism 351 Chapter 29: Answers to Ten Common Questions about Judaism 359 Part VI: Appendixes 371 Appendix A: Oy Vey! and Other Words You Should Know 373 Appendix B: A Sampler of Jewish Prayers and Blessings 385 Appendix C: Go Now and Learn 393 Index 397
Rabbi Ted Falcon PhD, one of the pioneers of contemporary Jewish and interfaith spirituality, is a writer, teacher, and spiritual counselor in private practice. David Blatner is an award-winning author of 15 books, including Spectrums: Our Mind-Boggling Universe From Infinitesimal to Infinity.
Learn to: Explore the full spectrum of Judaism Grasp the spiritual depth of the faith and practice Discover the rituals, ideas, and terms woven into everyday Jewish life A fascinating look at what being Jewish is all about If you want to reconnect with your Jewish heritage, or if you're just curious about the Jewish experience, then this updated guide is for you. In Judaism For Dummies, you'll discover key Jewish beliefs and traditions, understand the importance of Jewish history, learn about Jewish holiday celebrations, and much more. Judaism 101 — get to know the basic practices and ethical foundations of Judaism, like kosher laws, what happens in worship services, and what Judaism says about war and the environment The wheel of life — discover how Judaism honors and celebrates the major stages of life with rituals, including the bris (circumcision and naming for boys), brit bat (welcoming and naming for girls), Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and funeral rites A fascinating history — delve into the highlights and the low points of Jewish history — from the Biblical stories to modern day — focusing on what you need to know and why you need to know it Take action — explore every major Jewish holiday, from the weekly Shabbat to the week-long Sukkot, and how they're celebrated and observed Open the book and find: People you should know about Answers to common questions about Judaism A quick, easy-in/easy-out guide to prayers and blessings A calendar of Jewish holidays Spiritual and historical components of Judaism The day-to-day aspects of being Jewish Recipes for traditional Jewish foods
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