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Beginnings of Judaism Lecture

Beginnings of Judaism

For thousands of years, Jews have looked to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament by Christians, for their origins, and have located in them the tenets of their faith. However, much of what is recognized today as Judaism does not appear in the Bible. How did Judaism develop from its biblical roots to the highly developed system we know today? What has changed - and what has remained constant? In this series of 24 spirited and provocative lectures, Professor Gafni investigates how the Jewish faith struggled to continually redefine itself during the first thousand years after the completion of the last books of the Hebrew Bible.
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Publisher's Summary

For thousands of years, Jews have looked to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament by Christians, for their origins, and have located in them the tenets of their faith. However, much of what is recognized today as Judaism does not appear in the Bible. How did Judaism develop from its biblical roots to the highly developed system we know today? What has changed - and what has remained constant? In this series of 24 spirited and provocative lectures, Professor Gafni investigates how the Jewish faith struggled to continually redefine itself during the first thousand years after the completion of the last books of the Hebrew Bible, tenaciously clinging to existence through circumstances that might well have torn it asunder.

The two landmark events that altered Jewish history forever were the two destructions of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This sacred place was first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., and, after having been rebuilt 70 years later, was razed once again by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the Jews waged a fierce uprising against Roman rule in the province of Judea.

The events surrounding these destructions lie at the heart of understanding Judaism. As you explore the evolution of an ancient faith into a system of beliefs, practices, and laws recognizable today as Judaism, you'll discover a tradition of vigorous and joyous debate - where reinterpretation coexists with profound acceptance of the original instructions from God regarding the practice of faith.

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

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    David United States 07-03-14
    David United States 07-03-14 Member Since 2012

    Hellicopter Man

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Four Stars Is a Reccomendation From Me"
    Would you listen to Beginnings of Judaism again? Why?

    I have re-played a number of chapters already. Lots of very good info, competently presented.


    What does Professor Isaiah M. Gafni bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Very broad historical presentation.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Mostly.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the better religious presentations.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 03-28-15
    Philip 03-28-15 Member Since 2014

    Have found audiobooks to be a great way to pass time during long car road trips for work, and Audible makes it easy.

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    "Absolutely fascinating"
    Would you listen to Beginnings of Judaism again? Why?

    Yes I will likely listen to it again. If you're at all interested in how people groups interact and how events from thousands of years ago affect life and culture today, you'll enjoy this listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Well put together, thorough and riveting. A fascinating lecture series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JD 01-12-15
    JD 01-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    Such an amazing book! Clear, entertaining and educational. Completely unbiased even though the speaker is Jewish, very grounded in the sciences of history and archaeology and does not stray too far into opinion or interpretation. No matter your own religion (or lack thereof) anyone interested in the history of the evolution of monotheism in the ancient near east must add this to their library!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy D'Angelo North Providence, RI United States 08-08-15
    Tommy D'Angelo North Providence, RI United States 08-08-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Had its ups and downs"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Pluses:
    • Covered the Maccabees revolution and other historical events well
    • Proposed an interesting theme of how the Jewish should identify themselves: is it with their land or their religion?

    Minuses:
    • The professor’s talking style was somewhat jarring since his pauses in certain areas of a sentence makes it difficult for what he is saying to be conveyed and sink in


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Dr Ibrahim Nasr
    11/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good narration of the history of Judaism"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Beginnings of Judaism to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare Beginnings of Judaism to, and why?

    The Old Testiment, as it is more authenticated than this book


    What does Professor Isaiah M. Gafni bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He made the subject alive and interesting


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither of these but I was interested to listen to the whole book without stop


    Any additional comments?

    There were some deliberate mistakes, in my opinion, but they did not affect the high level of accuracy I found in this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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