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Old 07-13-2019, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,632 posts, read 1,640,758 times
Reputation: 6197

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Hello CD World,

I was wondering if there were any good recommendations of an Intro to Judaism that would make the religion more accessible. While I've known many Jewish people over the years, the anecdotes that I've known seemed to fall into two camps....not into it at all.....or really really into it and speaking on a level I couldn't seem to follow. I'm wondering if there's a good book someone could recommend.

I started reading the Ask thread and was optimistic, but my vernacular is insufficient to follow most of it.

I'm not necessarily interested in converting, albeit never opposed if I find gold. Just a fan of our Creator and would love to see God through a new lens.

God Bless,

Artillery
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:52 AM
 
3,483 posts, read 680,224 times
Reputation: 2467
Hi,

Thanks for your interest. I can't answer your question, although there are many Jews on this forum who will undoubtedly have recommendations. (I admit I do speak with a bias, but I think that once you read about Judaism, you will see the beauty of its values and traditions.)

I write to let you know that it is likely those same Jewish posters will not see this message today, as it is the Sabbath and very observant Jews do not use the computer today. I mention this only because I didn't want you to think that any lack of response you get today (if that's what happens) is due to lack of interest. I'm sure you'll hear back at sunset (the Sabbath runs from Friday evening to sunset on Saturday), or by tomorrow.

Last edited by Rachel976; 07-13-2019 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:17 AM
 
629 posts, read 64,853 times
Reputation: 385
Welcome to the Judaism forum, Artillery. I recommend you try The Everything Judaism Book: A Complete Primer to the Jewish Faith-From Holidays and Rituals to Traditions and Culture, by Richard Blank.
https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Ju...gateway&sr=8-1

The book is written in clear and easily understood English and covers the basics of practically every aspect of Judaism. It also contains a glossary of Jewish words and what they mean. It's a good introduction to Judaism.

You will probably receive more responses to your question after the Jewish Sabbath has ended. Orthodox (and many non-Orthodox) Jews will not post on the forum during the Jewish Sabbath. So please don't think that you're being ignored. I'm making an exception for myself by responding to you before the Sabbath is over later this evening. (I see that Rachel976 had the same thought and beat me to it! )
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,632 posts, read 1,640,758 times
Reputation: 6197
Great pick and thanks for the link. The preview looks very promising and already informative, so I've ordered the book. I'd edit my first post, but it is no longer available option. At any rate, no need to break Shabbat, I'm patient, and thank you for the explanation. My apologies for breaking rules right in my opener.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:53 PM
 
Location: U.S.A
58 posts, read 7,744 times
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Welcome Artillery - All of Rabbi Joseph Telushkin's books are excellent. https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Telush...rwt_scns_share
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Long Island
1,726 posts, read 1,392,522 times
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I'm always quick to recommend Jewish Literacy, by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

I gives a fairly short essay on each topic, and provides recommended sources for additional reading.
It's a great resource to get a basic understanding of many Jewish topics.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:29 PM
 
404 posts, read 124,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
Great pick and thanks for the link. The preview looks very promising and already informative, so I've ordered the book. I'd edit my first post, but it is no longer available option. At any rate, no need to break Shabbat, I'm patient, and thank you for the explanation. My apologies for breaking rules right in my opener.
Actually, of course, you did not break any rules, at least not any rules of Judaism. I think you were just being warned not to be disappointed in the immediate dearth of answers.

Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:29 AM
 
629 posts, read 64,853 times
Reputation: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
Great pick and thanks for the link. The preview looks very promising and already informative, so I've ordered the book. I'd edit my first post, but it is no longer available option. At any rate, no need to break Shabbat, I'm patient, and thank you for the explanation. My apologies for breaking rules right in my opener.

You're welcome. The recommendations from Jacob and JB are great ones, too. I know of people who chose to convert to Judaism after having read Rabbi Telushkin's books, in particular.

Here are some more recommendations for you:

1. To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life, Selected and Compiled from the Shulhan Arukh and Responsa Literature and Providing a Rationale for the Laws and the Traditions, by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin. The late Rabbi Donin was an Orthodox rabbi and Adjunct Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Detroit.

2. The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten. This is an updated edition of the late Leo Rosten's original Joys of Yiddish, and now includes the standardized Yiddish transliterations, with additional commentary from Lawrence Bush. It's a wonderful introduction to popular Yiddish, sprinkled with lots of funny stories to illustrate the meanings of various Yiddish words.

4. For Jewish humor, try the late Sam Levenson's Everything But Money and In One Era and Out the Other. They contain humorous stories about Sam growing up back in a time when people had fewer things and life seemed so less complicated.

5. More humor about growing up Jewish: Matzo Balls for Breakfast, and Other Memories of Growing Up Jewish, by the late actor and comedian Alan King.

6. https://www.chabad.org/ The Chabad website is a great resource that is both entertaining and informative. I'm a big fan of Michael Chighel and his humorous "Parsha Perks" videos: https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/vi...rsha-Perks.htm

7. Finally, New York City's Central Synagogue live streams their worship services every week, and you can observe them at this link: https://www.centralsynagogue.org/worship/live_streaming
Central Synagogue's congregation practices Reform Judaism.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
1,138 posts, read 1,435,631 times
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Our local synagogue had a consortium of Intro to Judaism classes. They were held at various shuls by the Rabbis. Once I started, I couldn't stop learning. I'm a convert.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:36 AM
 
Location: US
28,010 posts, read 15,097,026 times
Reputation: 1756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
You're welcome. The recommendations from Jacob and JB are great ones, too. I know of people who chose to convert to Judaism after having read Rabbi Telushkin's books, in particular.

Here are some more recommendations for you:

1. To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life, Selected and Compiled from the Shulhan Arukh and Responsa Literature and Providing a Rationale for the Laws and the Traditions, by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin. The late Rabbi Donin was an Orthodox rabbi and Adjunct Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Detroit.

2. The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten. This is an updated edition of the late Leo Rosten's original Joys of Yiddish, and now includes the standardized Yiddish transliterations, with additional commentary from Lawrence Bush. It's a wonderful introduction to popular Yiddish, sprinkled with lots of funny stories to illustrate the meanings of various Yiddish words.

4. For Jewish humor, try the late Sam Levenson's Everything But Money and In One Era and Out the Other. They contain humorous stories about Sam growing up back in a time when people had fewer things and life seemed so less complicated.

5. More humor about growing up Jewish: Matzo Balls for Breakfast, and Other Memories of Growing Up Jewish, by the late actor and comedian Alan King.

6. https://www.chabad.org/ The Chabad website is a great resource that is both entertaining and informative. I'm a big fan of Michael Chighel and his humorous "Parsha Perks" videos: https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/vi...rsha-Perks.htm

7. Finally, New York City's Central Synagogue live streams their worship services every week, and you can observe them at this link: https://www.centralsynagogue.org/worship/live_streaming
Central Synagogue's congregation practices Reform Judaism.
I can’t remember what site has them, but there is a video series, I believe, by Rabbi Eli Wolf that takes you through the Talmud as he explains things in an easy to comprehend manner...


Ahh, found it, this first one has a few different Rabbis:

- https://www.chabad.org/library/artic...udy-Talmud.htm

This is Rabbi Wolf:

Introductory Talmud with Rabbi Eliezer Wolf

https://www.chabad.org/library/artic...iezer-Wolf.htm
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