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Publisher's Summary

What is the essence of Judaism? Is it the Ten Commandments, given by God to Israel at Mount Sinai? Or is it the totality of teachings in the Hebrew Bible? Or is it symbolized by something outside the Bible? Find out with this illuminating 12-lecture investigation of the fundamental concepts, beliefs, issues, and themes in the ever-changing, 4,000-year-old saga of Judaism, one of the world's most ancient and influential faiths. Throughout the lectures, you'll study Judaism from within - as it was understood by its adherents in the past and by those who practice or identify with Judaism today. This series covers the critical stages of Jewish history; the centrality of such books as the Torah, Talmud, Midrash, and Mishna; the manner in which the Jewish calendar and Jewish law, or Halakha, define daily life; and much more. It also illustrates how Judaism reinvented itself by embracing the rabbinical tradition after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and considers the thinking of such philosophers as Philo of Alexandria and Moses Maimonides.
Here are just a few of many fascinating facts and insights you'll glean from learning with these lectures. Among many Jews today the Hebrew Bible is known by the Hebrew acronym TaNaKH, which is composed of the first Hebrew letters in each of the three component parts of the Bible. Judaism's calendar is arguably the most important unifying factor in what is otherwise a frequently fragmented religious community (the key to the calendar is that it is both lunar and solar). Judaism has no dogma or creed in the Christian sense.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2003 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2003 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 stars
By SAMA on 12-03-13

The Oldest Religion of the Book Explained

This course opened my eyes on the belief system of Judaism. The professor is probably the most qualified in this course than all the other Great World Religions courses, because it seems that he is a devout practitioner.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By DebiA on 04-10-18

THE AUTHORITATIVE TEACHING ON JUDAISM

This course covers Judaism from the very beginning through history up until today. The course covers the Jewish Bible, the prayer book, and all other major Jewish analyses and important literature. The most important Jewish leaderships and changes as a result of the 2nd temple destruction by the Romans in 70 CE are covered in depth. The relationship between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the importance of common sacred space, namely Jerusalem, as well as other commonalities are addressed in depth. So much more is learned from this course that there isn't time or space to before specific.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Omar on 10-10-17

Good overview

Very interesting, exactly what I thought the book would be about. I phased out in certain sections but overall the narrator is pretty good. I am happy to recommend this book.

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