Jewish Resources: Books, Newspapers, Magazines, and Organizations
How to Buy This Book
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Other Great Books
Here's a list of a few of our favorite books about Judaism, the sort of books that we think should be part of any Jewish persons library. You should be able to find these at any local bookstore (especially a bookstore that specializes in Judaica), or you can buy them online through our partnership with Amazon.com.
- The Bible (Tanach, Stone Edition), Many people think that if you've seen one Bible you've seen them all. Not so. We recommend the Stone Edition of the Tanach (the Hebrew Bible; see Chapter 3), published by Artscroll. It contains both Hebrew and a very readable English translation as well as some helpful commentary.
- The Big Book of Jewish Humor, by William Novak and Moshe Waldoks: This collection of Jewish jokes, stories, and humorous essays has become a classic. There are dozens of other Jewish humor books on the market, but here's the first one you should buy.
- Entering Jewish Prayer, by Reuven Hammer: Prayers and blessings are important elements of Jewish practice (see Chapter 4). This wonderful book offers a deeper consideration of the inner and outer dimensions of Jewish worship, including an introduction to the liturgy.
- God Is a Verb, by David A. Cooper: Jewish mysticism (see Chapter 5) is all the rage these days, and for good reason it provides a deeply satisfying approach to life. Unfortunately, there are many books on the market that simply make mysticism more mystifying. Not so with this gem, which explains things clearly and makes the esoteric relevant to each person's life.
- Jewish Literacy, by Joseph Telushkin: When writing this book, we've often been frustrated that we couldn't (because of the nature of this book) delve more deeply into a topic. Telushkin's book is a great "next step" down the Jewish path.
- Jewish Meditation, by Aryeh Kaplan: If you found the idea of Jewish meditiation intriguing in Chapter 5, rush out and get a copy of this excellent introductory book.
- Jewish Spiritual Practices, by Yithak Buxbaum: We love leafing through this large collection of traditional and Hasidic stories and quotations on a wide variety of topics.1568212062
- The Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten: We've included many of the most important Yiddish words in Appendix A, but Rosten explores and explains Yiddish idioms better than anyone. This is a must-have.
- The New Jewish Wedding, by Anita Diamant: Don't buy this book as a wedding gift, give it to the couple on their engagement! Diamant offers a wonderful vision of weddings and how they can be deeply meaningful events (for Jew and non-Jew alike).
- The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel: Like all of Heschel's writing, this book is dense. But even if you have to read a paragraph over two or three times, his poetic and deeply spiritual message is worth the effort.
- Seasons of Our Joy, by Arthur Waskow: Want a deeper understanding of the history and interpretations behind the Jewish holidays? We find ourselves refering to this book throughout the year, finding good reminders and great lessons.
- A Short History of the Jewish People, by Raymond P. Scheindlin. Jewish history is so long and rich that most Jewish histories are overwhelming and take months to digest. This book lays the history out in significantly more detail than we were able to in Chapters 10 through 15, but in an easy-to-read and to-the-point manner.
- This Is My God, by Herman Wouk: Most people know Wouk as the award-winning author of The Caine Mutiny and The Winds of War, but he also wrote this great book detailing his beliefs as an Orthodox Jew.
- To Be a Jew, by Hayim Halevy Donin: While we might not agree with all of Rabbi Donin's Orthodox interpretations or beliefs, his book is a valuable reference for anyone who wishes to explore Judaism more deeply. It combines a large number of practical details with his teachings.
- A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, by Nathan Ausubel: We don't know anyone who has read this classic (and enormous) collection of Jewish stories and humor from cover to cover, but it provides a great opportunity for browsing and reading out loud to children and partners.
On the Newsstand
- Commentary. This magazine offers a wide range of political articles and opinion pieces with a Jewish slant. (165 East 56th Street, New York, NY 10022 USA. Telephone: 800-829-6270)
- International Jerusalem Post. Keeping up with the news in Israel is a challenge without getting the news directly from the inside. (Suite 334, 401 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Telephone: 312-321-3247)
- Lillith. With a focus on womens issues in Judaism, this magazine takes a feminist approach to lifecycle rituals, holiday celebrations, and religious interpretation. (250 West 57 Street, Suite 2432, New York, NY 10107 USA. Telephone: 800-783-4903)
- Moment. Each issue of this bi-monthly magazine seems to include something to rejoice in, something to get upset about, and something to learn. What more could you ask for? (4710 41st Street NW, Washington, DC 20016 USA. Telephone: 800-777-1005)
- Sh'ma. This independent-minded journal has been publishing articles on a wide variety of religious, social, and political issues since 1970. (PO Box 1019, Manchester, NH 03105-1019 USA. Telephone: 877-568-SHMA)
- Tikkun. This bi-monthly journal of culture, politics, and social issues also delves deeply into the importance of spirituality in everyday matters. (2107 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94109 USA. Telephone: 800-395-7753)
Note that the "For Dummies" series is a trademark of Hungry Minds. The authors make no representation other than they are the authors of Judaism For Dummies, published 2001 by Hungry Minds, Inc.