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Publisher's Summary

As a religion, culture, and civilization, Judaism has evolved in surprising ways during its long and remarkable history. In this series of 24 lectures, Professor Cherry explores this rich religious heritage from biblical times to today.

The many topics you will learn about include: the oral Torah (the Mishnah) and its commentary (the Gemarahow), which constitute the Talmud; the three pillars of the world defined more than 2,000 years ago by Shimon the Righteous: Torah, worship, and deeds of loving kindness; the calendar of Jewish holidays, from the most important, the Sabbath, to the key holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, and Pentecost (Shavuot); and to historically minor celebrations such as Chanukah, which is now a more visible holiday; and the many mysteries of Jewish thought and ritual, such as why the first day of the seventh month (Tishrei) is the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). In addition, Professor Cherry devotes several lectures to complex issues such as the problem of evil and suffering, the Zionist movement, the role and status of women in the Jewish world, and how Judaism understands Christianity.

From the first lecture on the Torah to the last on the Jews as the Chosen People, this course is packed with truly fascinating information.

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

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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This lecture series is amazing

Where does Introduction to Judaism rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened to dozens of great courses lectures and I would rank this among the top three

What was one of the most memorable moments of Introduction to Judaism?

This series traces and explains a rich tradition that is not only ancient, but is able to adapt as the world changes. For non-jewish person such as me, the course effectively explains the origins of Judaism and it's evolution over millennia as well as helps in understanding the current forms of Judaism practice today. I would imagine that this course would be highly informative to most jewish people as well.

What does Professor Shai Cherry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Professor Cherry speaks from a deep understanding of this faith and is able to give insights that would otherwise be lost on a non-jewish lecturer. He is dynamic and makes the ancient texts come to life in a way that can be understood as relevant to the modern person.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

My prior ignorance in thinking that judaism is a faith rooted in ancient laws and practices with diminished relevance today was completely blown away by the knowledge that this faith leaves space for debate and for the evolution of the interpretation of it's sacred texts over time.

Any additional comments?

This course moved me one step closer to a place of understanding humanity. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to grow from this incredibly important series

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Superb!!!

Any additional comments?

This was a comprehensive, understandable course. The presenter covered so much material in an open non-biased way regarding the different types of Judaism and the historical background. There was so much material that I will have to listen to it again to gain an even better understanding. I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Engaging and informative

What made the experience of listening to Introduction to Judaism the most enjoyable?

Professor Cherry gave just the right amount of background information and concrete examples to keep things engaging. I was so curious to learn more that I finished the whole course in less than a week!

Any additional comments?

The course is probably best for someone with a little background knowledge about the basics of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Western history. That being said, it should appeal to wide variety of audiences. I know a lot about Christianity and the course was a perfect way for me to expand my knowledge of Judaism.The author also did a great job dealing with controversial topics that arise in the course, sharing his own view in a gentle way, while also acknowledging other sides of the issues.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • EJ
  • 04-06-16

Very engaging, fun and in the same time critical

What about Professor Shai Cherry’s performance did you like?

Dr. Shai Cherry is very engaging and explains things very clearly. Despite his obvious love for the Judaism he stays critical and gives different perspectives. The mixture of stories and 'theory' is perfect. Absolutely loved the book, listed to some sections twice. I had so much fun.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Listened through it a second time.

Shai Cherry eloquently and articulately communicates the multifarious aspects and development of Judaisms with warmth.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly crafted and delivered

Dr. Cherry does a fantastic job covering the basics and the complexities with engaging presentation, excellent and relevant examples, and an unmatched passion for the subject of Judaism studies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing course

As a Christian I wanted to know more about the Jewish faith and people. From the first lecture you'll be learning so much and the Professor's style is engaging and informative. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very nice

Would you listen to Introduction to Judaism again? Why?

Yes, lots of information , you must listen to it more then once to retain it all.

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

No, more like a course in college, has many lectures.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in religion this book is very good. I learned many things I k we nothing about. I would highly recommend this book.loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Introduction!

I've always wanted to know something more about Judaism and this was the first "study" of Judaism that I've done and I'm glad I did it. I learned a lot and felt that this was a great introduction to the subject. Professor Shai Cherry did a great a job and I really enjoyed listening to his lectures. Thanks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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enlightened

I gained a better understanding of Judaism, history, and the books. I found this educational, enlightening, and spiritual.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lelibug
  • 02-09-16

very good

Speaking as a non jew who has listened to many of the great course lectures on religion, this is one of my favourite.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-07-17

Introduction to Judaism - a review by I Waine

Clear, practical and mostly non partisan introduction to Judaism, especially to one who had no idea. Will be a book that I reread, I suspect, many times.

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  • L. Taylor
  • 09-29-16

Interesting

Worth listening to. A good intro to Judaism. Clear, balanced, interesting. Professor Cherry did a good job with this.