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Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History

One of the most respected and widely used reference books on Jewish life, culture, religion, and tradition. Easy to read and filled with fascinating insights for Jews and non-Jews.

Judaism, Jewish Religion, History and Beliefs

Judaism is the religion and culture of the Jewish people and one of the earliest recorded monotheistic faiths. The tenets and history of Judaism constitute historical foundations of many other religions, including Christianity and Islam.

Judaism does not easily fit into common Western categories, such as religion, race, ethnicity, or culture. This is because Jews understand Judaism in terms of its 4,000-year history. During this stretch of time, Jews have experienced slavery, anarchic self-government, theocratic self-government, conquest, occupation, and exile; they have been in contact, and have been influenced by ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenic cultures, as well as modern movements such as the Enlightenment and the rise of nationalism. Thus, Daniel Boyarin has argued that "Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity, because it is not national, not genealogical, not religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension."

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