Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about

Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about


  • Hardcover
  • 688 pages
  • Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History
  • Joseph Telushkin
  • English
  • 10 January 2019
  • 0688085067

10 thoughts on “Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History

  1. Stefanie Stefanie says:

    I appreciate the usefulness of an encyclopedia of Judaism, but I can t get over the inflammatory statements such as, Muslims like to build temples on the destroyed temples of other religions or categorizing all antizionist jews as self hating, and categorizing all antizionist gentiles as antisemitic I felt the term antisemitic was thrown around fairly easily while at the same time making wild generalizations about non Jewish groups I am irreligious so I prefer an objective POV for these so I appreciate the usefulness of an encyclopedia of Judaism, but I can t get over the inflammatory statements such as, Muslims like to build temples on the destroyed temples of other religions or categorizing all antizionist jews as self hating, and categorizing all antizionist gentiles as antisemitic I felt the term antisemitic was thrown around fairly easily while at the same time making wild generalizations about non Jewish groups I am irreligious so I prefer an objective POV for these sorts of reference books, and this was not objective I have read other objective texts written by religious figures, so I don t think it s asking too much


  2. Simcha Wood Simcha Wood says:

    Rabbi Telushkin s Jewish Literacy is intended to serve as a general introduction to Judaism and Jewish culture and history It performsthan admirably as such an introduction Telushkin s prose is simple and elegant and capable of delivering large amounts of information with little wasted verbiage His style is engaging as well as informative This is no dry Judaism 101 textbook Telushkin clearly has a love for this work and it comes through in his writing He has an academic s grasp of th Rabbi Telushkin s Jewish Literacy is intended to serve as a general introduction to Judaism and Jewish culture and history It performsthan admirably as such an introduction Telushkin s prose is simple and elegant and capable of delivering large amounts of information with little wasted verbiage His style is engaging as well as informative This is no dry Judaism 101 textbook Telushkin clearly has a love for this work and it comes through in his writing He has an academic s grasp of the facts, and a storyteller s gift for the personal and historical anecdote.This book is a must have for anyone looking for a general introduction or reference to Judaism and Jewish cultural literacy


  3. Charlie Hersh Charlie Hersh says:

    The book was extremely thorough and educational, and works both as a collection of individual encyclopedic entries and as a whole cohesive narrative However, it only gets three stars because of the distracting and persistent Islamaphobia that came up every time the author mentions Mohammed or laments the permanence of the mosque at the Dome on the Rock, lest there be an international Islamic jihad holy war He also misunderstands many themes and elements of the Qur an, which is problemati The book was extremely thorough and educational, and works both as a collection of individual encyclopedic entries and as a whole cohesive narrative However, it only gets three stars because of the distracting and persistent Islamaphobia that came up every time the author mentions Mohammed or laments the permanence of the mosque at the Dome on the Rock, lest there be an international Islamic jihad holy war He also misunderstands many themes and elements of the Qur an, which is problematic when you re trying to compare the Qur an to the Torah


  4. Edward Edward says:

    A good overview of Jewish ideas, history, and theological principles written by a member of the Jewish community Arranged in short articles, the information is easy to digest regardless of background and makes for rapid reading despite its 750 page length.The author seems to come from a fairly conservative in the context of Judaism, not necessarily politics mindset, but makes a sincere effort to represent the many sects, opinions, and divisions within his religion For non Jews, this may be t A good overview of Jewish ideas, history, and theological principles written by a member of the Jewish community Arranged in short articles, the information is easy to digest regardless of background and makes for rapid reading despite its 750 page length.The author seems to come from a fairly conservative in the context of Judaism, not necessarily politics mindset, but makes a sincere effort to represent the many sects, opinions, and divisions within his religion For non Jews, this may be the most valuable attribute of the book dispelling monolithic assumptions about Judaism If you grew up in any kind of Christian religious tradition, you automatically know some things about the Jewish religion, because Christianity is a historical offshoot or appropriation, depending on who you ask of Judaism If your knowledge stops there though, you only get part of the picture you ve only understood something as explained by outsiders from the outside of a community As with any encyclopedic summary of a much broader, deeper subject, it s also important to see books like this as the beginning of further research Because of the format, Telushkin often doesn t go into detail about topics that often have entire books devoted to them This is not his fault, but it sometimes allows him whether consciously or not to gloss over facts that reflect negatively on his biases As an example, his stance on the modern state of Israel he is understandably very favorable toward it, its survival, and in justifying certain actions taken by its government In one entry, he briefly mentions an incident that took place at Kafr Qasim, an Arab village within Israel s borders, in 1956, where a group of Israeli soldiers murdered almost fifty Arab civilians for unknowingly violating a curfew order Telushkin condemns this of course, and notes how the Israeli government tried, and convicted, some of the soldiers involved He stops there, and the reader is left with the impression that Israel holds itself to high standards when it comes to the conduct of its military He neglected to note however, that all the convicted soldiers were pardoned within a year, and their commanding officer was given a largely symbolic fine While this revelation doesn t mean Israelis don t care about Arab civilian deaths, it can affect one s judgement overall It also explains why Arabs may still feel some bitterness over the affair despite an official condemnation of the soldier s actions.Still, I think it s on the reader to tease out this kind of information and make decisions about its larger implications on his or her own Personally, I came away withsympathy toward Israel than I had before and a greater awareness of the assumptions many Americans make when it comes to going too far in that direction and believing Israel can do no wrong I look forward to readingabout Israel, and everything else Telushkin covered


  5. Coop Williams Coop Williams says:

    Jewish Literacy is formatted as an encyclopedia of Jewish history, with 1 5 pg entries on things like King Nebuchadnezzar and The Damascus Blood Libel I chose to read it sequentially to my wife as a bedtime story We found it often makes for violent and tragic bedtime stories Nonetheless, the book is full of important summaries that seem really useful for a non Jew trying to understand the Jewish people Occasionally, the author shares a legend, story, or aphorism that is truly profound I Jewish Literacy is formatted as an encyclopedia of Jewish history, with 1 5 pg entries on things like King Nebuchadnezzar and The Damascus Blood Libel I chose to read it sequentially to my wife as a bedtime story We found it often makes for violent and tragic bedtime stories Nonetheless, the book is full of important summaries that seem really useful for a non Jew trying to understand the Jewish people Occasionally, the author shares a legend, story, or aphorism that is truly profound I loved the chapter on Rabbi Israel Salanter And if you ve never surveyed the history of the Jews, you may be amazed by all the momentous turns of events and paradigm shifts.I have two substantial complaints, though The first is that Rabbi Telushkin does not delve deeply enough into the Jewish thinkers he discusses For some figures, like Rabbi Akiva or Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, far too much time is spent on their geographical movements and the respect afforded them, and not enough time on their actual teachings.My second complaint is that the author is highly motivated, and not subtly, to read Zionism into potentially any part of Jewish history If you read this book, you ll see what I mean It becomes extremely annoying in that it feels like the author is wasting my time with politically motivated reasoning


  6. Suzette Tanen Suzette Tanen says:

    I read this 670 page book over the course of the year it s a great overview of Judaism and though I knew a lot of what s in it, R Telushkin s stories and examples make it a very enjoyable read.


  7. Ryan Ryan says:

    Really interesting for the first 600 pages Har har Exactly what I was looking for in terms of a book on a religion it s essentially a narrative encyclopedia about Judaism Goes through the Bible, religious texts, historical periods, and then contemporary practice and custom the last bit I skimmed through It picks out events, people, ideas, and places that you should know about to have some sort of literacy when thinking about Judaism and by extension, good parts of Christianity, Islam, a Really interesting for the first 600 pages Har har Exactly what I was looking for in terms of a book on a religion it s essentially a narrative encyclopedia about Judaism Goes through the Bible, religious texts, historical periods, and then contemporary practice and custom the last bit I skimmed through It picks out events, people, ideas, and places that you should know about to have some sort of literacy when thinking about Judaism and by extension, good parts of Christianity, Islam, and world history Really interesting Each entry is anywhere from a few paragraphs to a few pages, usually brief and well written I almost gave it 4 stars because at times he tries to paint Judiasm as logically the best choice of religions, but then I realized he s a Rabbi, writing a book called Jewish Literacy, and my goyim self should besurprised at how even handed and restrained it really was


  8. Laura Laura says:

    Rabbi Telushkin s books are always welcomed on my nightstand, as his writing style is unassuming, eloquent, yet basic This book serves almost as an anthology to all things Jewish, which is great for non Jews to learn why they do that for a variety of holidays, events, customs, tenets, etc.Considering Christianity is founded on many principles of Judaism, I think this book should be exploredby Christians than those of our own faith This book certainly is written to assume that the audi Rabbi Telushkin s books are always welcomed on my nightstand, as his writing style is unassuming, eloquent, yet basic This book serves almost as an anthology to all things Jewish, which is great for non Jews to learn why they do that for a variety of holidays, events, customs, tenets, etc.Considering Christianity is founded on many principles of Judaism, I think this book should be exploredby Christians than those of our own faith This book certainly is written to assume that the audience knows nothing of Judaism.My favorite section of this book is that which is devoted to the noteworthy Jews of history, included Golda Meir and many others I slowly savored each word of these mini biographies, absorbing as much wisdom as possible


  9. Lirazel Lirazel says:

    5 5 for thoroughness and accessibility I docked a star because sometimes Telushkin s bias comes through He actually does a quite admirable job of presenting a range of Jewish beliefs on most topics in a fair and balanced way if this were a Christian book, I d describe it as ecumenical, but I don t know what the Hebrew Jewish equivalent to that word is , especially considering that he s Orthodox, but there are definitely a few moments, many related to how he talks about the Arab world, that ma 5 5 for thoroughness and accessibility I docked a star because sometimes Telushkin s bias comes through He actually does a quite admirable job of presenting a range of Jewish beliefs on most topics in a fair and balanced way if this were a Christian book, I d describe it as ecumenical, but I don t know what the Hebrew Jewish equivalent to that word is , especially considering that he s Orthodox, but there are definitely a few moments, many related to how he talks about the Arab world, that made me uncomfortable Still, I think this is a truly excellent resource and would recommend it to anyone who s trying to increase their Jewish fluency just keep your eyes open for those moments he might go too far I listened to the whole audiobook from start to finish, but I think this would also be very useful as a reference book


  10. Alan Jay Alan Jay says:

    As I am away from my library which still has many many books that I have not read, stuck in Florida during this Coronavirus pandemic, I order books online to feed the beast While reading my last book, I ordered the next two books online I wanted to read almost a month ago One finally arrived yesterday.In the meantime, I scrounged around my father s house, which has a very limited selection, and found a box that Robin and I did not send to Israel In it was Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Tel As I am away from my library which still has many many books that I have not read, stuck in Florida during this Coronavirus pandemic, I order books online to feed the beast While reading my last book, I ordered the next two books online I wanted to read almost a month ago One finally arrived yesterday.In the meantime, I scrounged around my father s house, which has a very limited selection, and found a box that Robin and I did not send to Israel In it was Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin It is a book that Rabbi Telushkin wrote at the suggestion of Rabbi Nathan Laufer, VP of the Wexner Heritage Foundation He suggested a book in the same genre as Professor E.D Hirsch Jr s Cultural Literacy as a primer of what everyone Jewish should know At one point, it may have been the perfect book to fill in big gaps in my knowledge Having been brought up Conservative in a house that did not keep Kosher, but attended Shabbat services every week with parents who encouraged me to attend services every morning after Bar Mitzvah and who insisted I continue my Jewish education throughout High School, I was had some background when I first decided to further my religious observance As it says in Pirke Avot 1.6, Find yourself a teacher and acquire a friend Thus my first step in exploring expanding my Jewish observance was to find a Rabbi to teach me I was lucky to find one who was able to understand how I learned and what I needed he recognized that I loved to read Thus he started my journey by assigning me some books to read Considering Jewish Literacy was written for exactly such a first step, I am rather surprised that he never suggested the book He never suggested any books that provided an overview Instead suggested books to challenge me on why I was searching Jewish Literacy is considered, by www.myjewishlearining.com one of the top 10 Introduction to Judaism books Many of these books approach Judaism as a religion however, Jewish Literature takes the approach that Judaism is muchJews are a nation, a race, and a culture that has a 5000 year history The topics covered go way beyond the Jewish religion They include The Bible The Second Commonwealth The Mishna and The Talmud Early Medieval Period Under Islam and Christianity Late Medieval Period Modern Period Western and Eastern Europe Zionism and Israel The Holocaust American Jewish Life Soviet Jewry Antisemitism Jewish Texts Jewish Ethics and Basic Beliefs The Hebrew Calendar and Jewish Holidays Life Cycle Synagogue and PrayersAs you can see from the list of Parts this work attempts to be a comprehensive overview Since it has been over 30 years since my Rabbi recommended my first books, and I have since read hundreds of books on Judaism, Jewish History, and Israel, most of these subjects were not new to me Even so, I admit there were a handful of subjects that were new to me So I am certain there is something for everyone I did find some sections to be a well rounded overview of the subject matter This was especially true of the section on Zionism Then there were other sections that I found lacking in the basic information The section on Antisemitism is rather brief One of the shortcomings of the book is the coverage of any subject is brief and high level I believe this is by the design of the author Most of the topics are presented with the basic bare facts however, Rabbi Telushkin offers the reader suggestions at the end of most sections on where they can go for further reading I found these lists to be rather extensive, and I was happy to see that I agreed with many of his suggestions considering I have read a good number of recommended books.One of the challenges of a brief overview is that some fundamental facts could be overlooked I especially found this to be the fact in many sections One example was his overview of Shabbat He did an excellent job of presenting the activities of a traditional Shabbat however, I think he missed the point.When I was first becomingobservant I remember riding up 30 flights in an elevator with a Hassid and a non observant Jew or perhaps even a non Jew The Hassid was telling the persons I don t do this on the Sabbath and I don t do that on the Sabbath I thought that was an awful way to present the beauty of Shabbat After the person left, I commented to the Hassid that to me Shabbat was a time when we emulate HaShem by ceasing all creative activities so we can sit back and celebrate the HaShem s creation and share the time with our community, family, and friends It gives me the time to take a time out from my busy life to appreciate what I have Had I been introduced to Shabbat as a list of what I could not do, I think I would have never continued my journey.It is these sorts of sentiments that Rabbi Telushkin is missing from certain topics On other topics, I found that he does an exemplary job This includes balancing his discussion of Judaism and observance between Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Orthodox He does cover the major personalities of many of the movements Even though Rabbi Telushkin was ordained by Yeshiva University, a Modern Orthodox institution, he took the time to include the history, personalities, and practices of all movements He resists the urge, with one exception, to proscribe action or observance.This book is clearly written from the perspective of a Jew who has lived in the United States his entire life Not only have I made Aliyah, but I have spent my entire adult career traveling conducting international business I have spent Shabbat in many foreign places across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa Rabbi Telushkin s writing clearly is targeted towards a North American audience which is probably not a drawback however, he does spend a section praising Rabbi Steinsaltz s efforts to reach Israelis with his translation of the Talmud to Hebrew There are many jews around the world that could benefit from such a Primer who might not appreciate it as much because it is written for an American audience.Would I recommend this book to a neophyte looking to learn about Judaism, Jewish History, culture, and Israel I would say that depends I hope I would be as wise as my Rabbi was for me to assess the needs of the person and recommend what is best for the particular situation This book is definitely a candidate for a specific type of person looking for a general overview


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Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History[Download] ✤ Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History ➸ Joseph Telushkin – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk All the answers are here Jewish Literacy, written by an esteemed rabbi, is a compendium of short chapters on the essential trends, concepts, and personalities of Jewish history, religion, and culture All the The Most ePUB ☆ answers are here Jewish Literacy, written by an esteemed rabbi, is a compendium ofshort chapters on the essential trends, concepts, and personalities of Jewish history, religion, and culture.


About the Author: Joseph Telushkin

Joseph Telushkin The Most ePUB ☆ born is an American rabbi, lecturer, and best selling author Histhan books include several volumes about Jewish ethics, Jewish Literacy, as well as Rebbe , a New York Times best seller released in June Telushkin was raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Solomon and Hellen Telushkin He attended Yeshiva of Flatbush where met his future co author Dennis Prager While at Jewish Literacy: MOBI :Ú Columbia University, they authored Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism and Why the Jews The Reason for AntisemitismWhile at University, Telushkin was an active leader of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry As part of his position, Telushkin visited the Soviet Union where he met with dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov He was eventually listed by the KGB as an anti Russian agentAn Orthodox rabbi by training, Telushkin Literacy: The Most PDF/EPUB ✓ serves as a spiritual leader of Los Angeles Synagogue for the Performing Arts, founded in by Rabbi Jerome Cutler He is an associate of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and a former director of education at the non denominational Brandeis Bardin Institute Telushkin is also a Senior Associate with CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and is a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Book Council He has been on the Newsweek s list of the most influential Rabbis in America since Telushkin is the author of sixteen books on Judaism His book, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal, inspired Senators Joseph Lieberman s and Connie Mack s Senate Resolution to establish a National Speak No Evil Day in the United States, a day in which Americans would go for twenty four hours without saying anything unkind or unfair about, or to, anyone His book, Jewish Literacy The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History, is one of the best selling books on Judaism of the past two decades More than two decades after its publication, the book remains a foundation text for Jews, non Jews, and prospective converts alike The first volume of A Code of Jewish Ethics, entitled A Code of Jewish Ethics You Shall be Holy, which Telushkin regards as his major life s work, was published in The second volume, entitled, A Code of Jewish Ethics Love Your Neighbor, was released in In , Telushkin was invited by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ant nio Guterres to speak before the commission in GenevaIn , Telushkin released Rebbe The life and teachings of Menachem M Schneerson, the most influential Rabbi in Modern History which appeared on all the major best seller lists including New York Times Best Seller list, Wall Street Journal and Publishers WeeklyTelushkin tours the United States as a lecturer on Jewish topics, and has been named by Talk Magazine as one of the fifty best speakers in the United States He wrote the episode Bar Mitzvah on Touched by an Angel guest starring Kirk Douglas.