The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Judaism by Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Like most Christians, I think I understand Judaism; this book showed me how much there remains to learn about this ancient and important religion. Jews believe in the Fall, but they do not believe in original sin. They believe in an afterlife, but they do not believe in a bodily resurrection. They believe in hell, but they believe no one spends more than twelve months there. They believe celibacy is a sin; it is the duty of all people, but especially Jews, to procreate. There is Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism, and Reconstructionist Judaism. There was a lot more in the way of the various Jewish traditions, and there was a lot of what I would call Jewish philosophy that isn’t strictly biblical. Judaism strikes me as a very optimistic and life-embracing religion, hardly a religion of renunciation as Christianity is supposed to be but seldom is. I sometimes wish I had had the good fortune to be born a Jew; at the very least I can be a Judeophile.

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