Item description for What Do Jews Believe?: The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism by David Ariel...
Overview In this fresh and lucid study, David Ariel presents the fundamentals of Jewish thought on the profound issues of God, human destiny, good and evil, Torah, and messianism, guiding the reader toward a definition of the beliefs that shape Jewish identity. This lively exploration of Jewish ideas and beliefs provides a rationale and stimulus for anyone seeking to understand or reconnect to the rich and diverse spiritual tradition of Judaism. 290 pages, paperback from Schocken Books.
Publishers Description In this fresh and lucid study, Ariel presents the fundamentals of Jewish thought on the profound issues of God, human destiny, good and evil, Torah, and messianism, guiding the reader toward a definition of the beliefs that shape Jewish identity. This lively exploration of Jewish ideas and beliefs provides a rationale and stimulus for anyone seeking to understand or reconnect to the rich and diverse spiritual tradition of Judaism.
"A remarkably rich and useful introduction to millennia of Jewish beliefs."--Kirkus Reviews
"Brilliantly organizes the major ideas of Judaism. Anyone seeking orientation within the complex world of Jewish thought should begin with this book" --Susannah Heschel, author of On Being a Jewish Feminist "A thoughtful, informed, broad-minded overview of the most basic principles of the Jewish religion." --Robert M. Seltzer, author of Jewish People, Jewish Thought
"Ariel's lucid presentation is a perfect gift to someone rediscovering his or her Jewish roots or someone choosing to be a Jew." --Hadassah Magazine
David Ariel is president of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.06" Width: 5.14" Height: 0.61" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Jan 23, 1996
ISBN 0805210598 ISBN13 9780805210590
Availability 0 units.
More About David Ariel
DAVIDS. ARIELwas has been president of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studiessince2008. He also served as president of Siegal College of Jewish Studies (Cleveland, Ohio) for twenty-five years. He has lectured widely on Jewish subjects worldwide. Dr Ariel has written four books including Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism and What do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism.
Reviews - What do customers think about What Do Jews Believe?: The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism?
Excellent Book Mar 18, 2008
This book is excellent for those who wish to understand the heart of Judaism. For the longest time, those who are not jews have greatly misunderstood the beliefs and practices of the jewish faith, leading to blood bath after blood bath. Ariel presents the variation and beauty of jewish beliefs spanning accross many centuries all the way upto to our own. His presentation is informative and concise so that it is easy to understand. A great read for anyone who is interested in Judaism or the beliefs of of jews.
An Absolute Must for any Jewish Library Mar 9, 2008
This book was a simply fantastic read. I feel it really captures the development, and belief system of ancient and modern Judaism. Would recommend to anyone learning about Judaism.
Very informative; but somewhat dense reading Oct 23, 2006
First, I should point out that I am not Jewish; nor am I an expert on Judaism. I read this book because I wanted to learn more about Judaism. So, I am not qualified to comment on the accuracy of the information in this book; nor am I in a position to tell if the writing is objective or biased towards a particular viewpoint. All I can comment on is how informative and how "readable" the book is.
The aim of the book is to give an overview of Jewish religious doctrines, in all of their complexity and variations. And they ARE quite complex and varied. The author devotes a lot of space to discussing the various ways that Jews have understood their religion throughout history. He addresses the many doctrinal debates and competing perspectives within Judaism; and appears to do so fairly evenhandedly (though, again, I am not really in a position to judge his objectivity). The book is packed full of information. In fact, it almost has too much information (if that is possible). It's very informative; but it can be rather dense at times. I often found myself having to re-read certain paragraphs in order to fully digest the information. This is not light, casual reading for someone who is only mildly curious about Judaism. I would recommend it only for those who have a strong interest in the subject.
But it IS very informative. I feel that I have learned a lot about Judaism from reading it; so I'm glad I got the book. On the other hand, it's so densely packed with information that my brain just can't seem to process it all into an orderly framework. I'm still not quite sure I fully understand what Jews believe. But I know more than I did.
What Jews Believe And Why Nov 5, 2001
I like the book because it presents belief and history across the spectrum of Jewish thought. It doesn't say some Jews believe this.. some Jews believe that. Ariel explains why Jews believe what they believe and those beliefs evolved.
Brilliant, easily understandable overview. Mar 7, 2001
The most lucid explanation of the basic ideas of Judaism I've ever read. Reccomended for the scholar and the layman. Be sure to read the ethical will to Dr. Ariel's children.