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More About Stephen M. Wylen
Wylen, author and teacher, is the rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Wayne, New Jersey.
Reviews - What do customers think about Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism?
Greatest experience ever Mar 4, 2006
Reading this book give so much information, you get closer to judaism as its possible. I was enjoying so much reading this book, it is a great selection if anybody is going to convert to judaism.
Excellent - until Zionism enters the equation Jun 18, 2005
'Settings of Silver' contains many beautifully written, lucid descriptions of Jewish beliefs, customs, holy days, and religious practices. It is an invaluable, easy-to-use guide for either a non-Jew who wants to explore one of the world's oldest monotheistic faiths or a potential convert to Judaism. (If you are already a practising Jew, this will be a little too basic for you - try reading one of Blu Greenberg's excellent books instead.)
However, the author then makes the fatal mistake of writing a chapter on Israel and Zionism. This is a volatile topic that deserves a full book to itself. Wyler has crammed thousands of years of history into one short chapter that is crawling with bias. At one point he even calls Israel an innocent baby whilst labelling the Gulf Arab states as 'bullies'. Impartial historical analysis or what?
He tells no outright lies, but - to the observant Jew at least - giving only half the truth is as bad as telling a full lie. Wyler seems to suggest that Judaism is synoymous with Zionism, which - as any Chasidic Jew will tell you - is not the case. As a history and politics student, I was so outraged by his bias and oversimplifications that 'Settings of Silver' slipped right down in my estimation. There is no such thing as black and white or right and wrong in politics. Given the number of traumatised (and destitute) Palestinian refugees I have met, modern-day Israel is not the land of milk and honey that Wyler would have you believe.
Religious content: exceptional. Political content: dubious to say the least.
This is the one! Mar 3, 2002
If you are interested in converting or would like to know more about the jewish way of life, then this is the book to read. Rabbi Wylen explains it all in a very understanding way. I loved it.
Amazing Nov 13, 2001
A great book for adults who have forgotten a lot since gradeschool, or for those looking to convert. In-depth discussion of a wide range of topics.