9780684842981

What is a Jew

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780684842981

  • ISBN10:

    068484298X

  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/1/1996
  • Publisher: Touchstone

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Summary

With over 400,000 copies sold, What Is a Jew? is the classic guide that answers 100 of the most commonly asked questions about Jewish life and customs.

Completely revised and reorganized, this guide to the traditions, beliefs, and practices of Judaism—for both Jews and non-Jews—tackles a wide range of subjects in a question-and-answer format. Ideal for conversion students, interfaith couples, and congregants seeking answers to essential day-to-day issues.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Edition xi
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
Introduction to the First Edition xvii
Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer
The Saga of the Jew xviii
A Road Map of Jewish Community, Past and Present
1(32)
What Is a Jew?
7(2)
What Are Orthodox Jews?
9(1)
What Are Reform Jews?
10(3)
What Are Conservative Jews?
13(2)
What Are Reconstructionist Jews?
15(2)
What Is a Chavurah?
17(1)
Who Were the Pharisees?
18(1)
Who Were ``the Rabbis''?
19(1)
Who Are the Chasidim?
20(3)
What Are Ashkenazim and Sephardim?
23(2)
What Are Zionists?
25(3)
Who Speaks with Authority for the Jews?
28(2)
What Is the Relationship between the Jewish Community and the Larger Community in which Jews Live?
30(3)
The Way to God: A Life of Torah
33(30)
What Is Torah?
39(2)
What Is the Jewish Bible?
41(3)
Do Jews Believe Literally in the Bible?
44(2)
Do Jews Still Follow All the Biblical Laws, Even the Harsh Ones Like ``An Eye for an Eye''?
46(1)
What Is the Talmud?
47(3)
What Is Midrash?
50(2)
Is There a Single Book of Jewish Law?
52(1)
What Is Halachah?
53(3)
How Do Jews Read the Bible?
56(1)
What Is Kabbalah?
57(3)
Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Music?
60(1)
Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Art?
61(2)
Rituals and Customs: The Warmth of Tradition
63(38)
What Is a Mitzvah?
71(1)
How Do Jews Decide What Rules to Keep?
72(2)
Are Some Jewish Customs Just Superstition?
74(2)
What Are Rabbis and What Do They Do?
76(3)
What Is a Cantor (a Chazzan)?
79(2)
Is There a Priesthood in Judaism?
81(2)
What Are the Most Important Prayers that Jews Recite?
83(3)
What Is a Minyan? Are Some Prayers Said Only if Ten or More People Are Present?
86(1)
What Is ``Keeping Kosher''?
87(3)
What Special Clothes Do Jews Wear?
90(4)
Are There Special Jewish Foods?
94(2)
Do Jews Have Their Own Language?
96(2)
What Jewish Meal Rituals Are There?
98(3)
Basic Jewish Beliefs: ``God, Torah, Israel''
101(28)
What in General Do Jews Believe?
107(3)
What Are the Principal Tenets of Judaism?
110(1)
What Do Jews Believe about God?
111(2)
Do Jews Believe that Judaism Is the Only True Religion?
113(1)
Do Jews Consider Themselves the Chosen People?
114(1)
What Is the Jewish Concept of Sin?
115(2)
Do Jews Believe in Life after Death?
117(1)
Do Jews Believe in the Coming of the Messiah?
118(2)
Do Jews Believe Literally in Satan?
120(1)
Do Jews Believe in Fate?
121(1)
Do Jews Believe in Prophecy?
122(2)
Do Jews Believe in Being Saved?
124(1)
Do Jews Believe in God's Grace?
124(1)
Is Judaism a Spiritual Religion or an Ethnic Identity?
125(4)
Making Hard Decisions: A Guide to the Moral Landscape
129(34)
What Is the Basis for Jewish Moral Decision Making?
137(2)
Does the Jewish Religion Allow Birth Control or Abortion?
139(2)
Do Jews Favor Capital Punishment?
141(1)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward Suicide and Euthanasia (Mercy Killing)?
142(2)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward War?
144(3)
What Are Some Jewish Guides to Sexuality?
147(2)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward Feminism?
149(3)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward Homosexuality?
152(2)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward Money?
154(2)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward the Environment?
156(2)
According to Judaism, Do Animals Have Rights?
158(1)
Why Do Jews Persist in Remembering the Holocaust?
159(4)
The Shape of Sacred Space: Jewish Homes and Homeland
163(34)
Why Do Some Jews Maintain Jewish Homes but Rarely Attend Synagogue Worship?
169(1)
What Is a Mezuzah?
170(1)
What Are Some Jewish Symbols that Jews Keep in Their Homes?
171(1)
How Did the Synagogue Begin?
172(1)
What is the Difference between a Synagogue, a Shul, and a Temple?
173(1)
Does the Six-Pointed Star of David Have Any Religious Significance?
174(1)
What Are the Most Important Symbols in the Synagogue?
175(3)
How Are Synagogues Organized, and Why Do You Have to Pay to Belong to Them?
178(1)
Why Is Israel Sacred for Jews?
179(1)
Why Does Israel Welcome So Many Immigrants?
180(2)
Is the State of Israel Controlled by Religious Authority?
182(3)
What Is an Israeli Kibbutz?
185(2)
How Is Israel Governed?
187(2)
Is an American Jew's First Loyalty to Israel or to America?
189(2)
Can American Jews Disagree with Israel's Policies?
191(1)
Why Is Jerusalem So Important to the Jewish People?
192(2)
Why Do Jews Say, ``Next Year in Jerusalem''?
194(3)
The Shape of Sacred Time: Festivals and Fasts
197(34)
Why Does the Jewish Day Begin at Sunset?
205(1)
Why Do Jewish Holidays Fall on Different Days Each Year?
206(2)
Why Do Jews Fast on Certain Days?
208(1)
What Is Shabbat?
209(4)
Why Do Some Jews Keep Only One Day of a Holy Day, While Others Keep Two?
213(1)
What Are the High Holy Days?
214(5)
What Is Sukkot?
219(2)
What Is Simchat Torah?
221(1)
What Are Chanukah and Purim?
222(3)
What Is Passover?
225(2)
What Is Shavuot?
227(1)
What Are the Rest of the Feasts and Fasts that Mark the Jewish Calendar?
228(1)
Are There Modern Holidays in Judaism?
229(2)
Growing Up and Growing Old: The Shape of a Jewish Life
231(36)
Is Having Children Valued in Judaism?
239(1)
Why Do Jews Practice Circumcision? What Parallel Ceremony Is Used for Baby Girls?
240(3)
How Is a Baby Named in Jewish Families?
243(1)
Do Jews Always Name a Child after a Deceased Relative?
244(1)
What Is Pidyon Haben?
245(1)
What Are Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah?
246(3)
Do Jews Have Confirmation Services?
249(1)
How Do Jews Get Married?
250(4)
Do Rabbis Perform Weddings When a Jew Marries a Non-Jew?
254(1)
What Is the Jewish Attitude toward Divorce?
255(2)
How Are People Buried in Judaism?
257(1)
What Mourning Customs Do Jews Follow?
258(2)
Do Jews Have a Confession, Deathbed or Otherwise?
260(2)
How Can Friends Appropriately Extend Comfort to a Jewish Family in Mourning?
262(1)
How Do People Choose to Become Jewish?
263(4)
Judaism and Christianity: The Double Helix of Western History
267(20)
What Do Jews Believe about Jesus?
275(2)
Do Christianity and Judaism Agree on Anything? On What Points Do They Differ?
277(3)
Does Judaism Accept Converts?
280(1)
If Christians Can Pray in Synagogues, Why Can't Jews Pray in Churches?
281(3)
Can Jews Celebrate Christmas?
284(3)
Glossary 287(14)
Index 301

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