Living Judaism by Wayne Dosick
The history of the Jewish religion (Judaism) and the Jewish people is inseparable. However, the understanding of Judaism is a challenge since Judaism is presented by different religious views on particular religious matters. The main task remains to interpret Judaism in the unity with the history of the Jewish people. In this regard, the book Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick is of particular interest. The author makes every effort to help the reader to get an overall and accurate picture of the development of the Jewish religion and the Jewish people. As a result, he pays special attention to the numerous Jewish terms and concepts as this approach allows him to explain the origin and characteristics of the Jewish understanding of religious terminology.
Jewish Religion (Judaism)
Believing that “God, Torah and Israel …together form Judaism’s three-pillared foundation,” (p. 6) Dosick is trying to give a structured and holistic approach to the interpretation of the Jewish religion. The author divides the book into nine chapters, each of which is designed to review the main aspects of Judaism.
- The first chapter is devoted to Jewish beliefs. Dosick gives an overview of the Jewish idea of ??God and distinguishes several theories on the nature of God presented in Judaism.
- The second chapter is dedicated to the history and development of the Jewish people.
- In the third chapter, the author gives an overview of the most important Jewish religious texts such as the Torah, the Talmud, and Haddagah.
- The fourth chapter provides detailed information about Jewish holidays and days.
- Features of Jewish worship are analyzed in the fifth chapter of the book.
- In the sixth and seventh chapters, the reader can obtain the data about Jewish living and questions of births, registration of marriages, divorces and funerals.
- The last two chapters discuss the theoretical and practical issues in relation to the Jewish land.
By analyzing this book, one can ascertain that the author provides a holistic approach to the issues regarding the Jewish religion and the history of the Jewish people. The reader has the great opportunity to learn not only about the Jewish religion from the moment of its inception but also to get acquainted with the Jewish religion in its practical part. In this regard, the description of the features of Jewish life plays quite an important role.
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The information that is presented in the book seems to be quite convincing and reasonable. In his study, the author uses not only fragments of the scriptures, but also historical data in respect of particular concepts, events, etc. In other words, Dosick has combined research approach that ultimately makes this book not only useful but also interesting for the reader. No less important is the fact that the author pays attention to the large number of Jewish religious terms and concepts. He explains their etymological and historical significance that helps the reader to receive clear and accurate understanding of them. In particular, Dosick applies this method to consider the question of the Jews as the God's chosen nation. The author expresses the position that “the concept of chosen people means not that Jews were chosen for special privilege, but for sacred responsibility: to be or la’goyim, a “light unto the nations.” (Dosick, 2010, p.19)
To conclude, the main feature of this book is that it gives a complete picture about the history of Judaism. The author uses a large amount of material including historical and etymological analysis of many different Jewish religious terms. The reader has the opportunity to become acquainted with Judaism since its inception till the present day. In general, this book deserves to be called the complete guide to Jewish belief, tradition, and practice as it gives comprehensive knowledge about Judaism.