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Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

By Norman Solomon (Author)
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Item description for Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Norman Solomon...

Norman Solomon's succinct book is an ideal introduction to Judaism as a religion and way of life. In addition to surveying the nature and development of Judaism, this Very Short Introduction outlines the basics of practical Judaism -- its festivals, prayers, customs, and various sects. Modern concerns and debates of the Jewish people are also addressed, such as the impact of the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, the status of women, and medical and commercial ethics.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged,   Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.51" Width: 4.88" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   0.44 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Oct 31, 2004
Publisher   Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN  9626343222  
ISBN13  9789626343227  

Availability  0 units.

More About Norman Solomon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Richard Harries was Bishop of Oxford and is a popular speaker and broadcaster. Rabbi Dr Norman Solomon is a member of the Oxford University Unit for Teaching and Research in Hebrew and Jewish Studies., and was previously Director of the Centre for the Study of Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations in Birmingham. Tim Winter is Lecturer in Islamic Studies at University of Cambridge, UK.

Norman Solomon currently resides in the state of California. Norman Solomon was born in 1933.

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism

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Reviews - What do customers think about Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)?

Solomon's good judgment  Feb 3, 2008
The PBS series The Jewish Americans happened to be showing, while I was reading this book, and the two complemented each other very well. I wholeheartedly recommend both. World Jewry numbers around 13 million, maybe as many as 18 million, depending on whom and how you count. More than 6 million live in the US, more even than in Israel itself.

Being British, Solomon presents a somewhat Eurocentric view, but not to the extent that it is a problem, and I don't think American readers are for the most part troubled by the occasional British spelling or usage.

It must be a daunting prospect for a scholar, having to condense a vast store of knowledge into one of these little books, deciding what to include and what must go, but Solomon judges this well. He emphasizes the diversity and continuing evolution of Judaism, correcting common misconceptions about how ancient or orthodox certain aspects of Judaism are. He also lays special stress on the importance of the Holocaust and of modern Israel in shaping contemporary Jewish thought.

There are plenty of basic facts - descriptions of festivals, etc - included here, as you would expect. It also raises a great many issues and cites a number of authors, making this an excellent place to begin a more detailed study, if you wished.

Solomon writes well, with a light, sometimes even humorous touch, where appropriate. He was a lecturer at Oxford when this book was first published in 1996, but is now retired, I believe. A revised edition wouldn't go amiss. Perhaps he is too busy working on his Penguin Classics Talmud, which is due out soon and should be worth reading. He is not to be confused with the American activist of the same name, although this site does exactly that, so that if you click on either author, you get a list of books by both of them. Take it from me, they are very different!
Complete with fine remarks and introductory tutorials, Norman Solomon exerted accurate perceptions in this pamphlet.
"Judaism: A Very Short Introduction" gave a run-through of every aspect of (ancient and modern) judaism. Its time-saving structure is neat: without omitting any of the vital issues which concerned the religion and its followers. This book is well-blended. It maintained proportionate dispositions towards religious practices, cultural heritage, and evolutionary anthropology. There is hardly any weakness in its presentations.
Anybody who needs an insight into the 'dos' and 'don'ts' of judaism would find it useful. Its summarized contents included all the transformations, which the ancient religion has undergone.
Excellent Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism for Christians  Feb 2, 2002
Christians tend to believe they know all they need to know about Judaism because their Old Testament consists of the Hebrew Scriptures. This book does an excellent job of showing Christians (and others) that Judaism today is more than Abraham, Moses and David. With the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, Judaism was forced to adapt and in many ways redefine itself. This easily read book explains the development of Rabbinic Judaism as opposed to Biblical Judaism. Anyone who claims to be a student of world religions should read it. Any Christian who wants to develop a better understanding of what was happening to Judaism in the early days of Christianity should also read it.

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