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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Will serve as the standard one-volume comprehensive Jewish reference work [...] seeks to present a balanced picture, offering current thinking among scholars in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox movements and a roster of contributors hailing from Israel, England, and the United States. While the scholarship is solid, the material is readily accessible to a popular audience, and the work is magnificently illustrated" (from the Library Journal review by David B. Levy). See also the Choice review by D. Kranzler.
3 volumes. "There are clear priorities in this work: the classical period of rabbinic times is given much more space and attention than biblical, medieval, or modern times, though the latter are served by many fine articles [...] The assumed audience consists of scholars and students religious studies, Jewish studies and cultural history" (from the Review of Biblical Literature review by Arnold Jacob). See also the Library Journal review by Paul M. Kaplan and the Choice review by D. Kranzler.
"Explores the history, doctrines, divisions, and contemporary situation of Judaism [...] Although the contributing authors are experts in their fields, they address a wide audience by not assuming any prior knowledge of the subject" (from the Journal of Contemporary Religion review by Elisabeth Arweck). Intended to be used with the Blackwell reader in Judaism. See also the Reviews in Religion and Theology review and the Choice review by J. S. Kaminsky.
"This magnificent volume will guide advanced scholars and the merely curious alike to a firmer grasp of the fundamental elements of the Jewish Religion [...] Through brief definitions, explanatory essays, and historical sketches, the Jewish religion has never been so cleanly and clearly set out" (from the Virginia Quarterly Review review). See also the Church History review by Shaye J. D. Cohen, the Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian Hellenistic & Roman Period review by A. Hilhorst, the Choice review by S. Lehmann, and the Journal of Church & State review by Mordecai Podet.
"Although this dictionary is short and has to be selective, it seems to have most of whatever one might need to know [...] For a compendium of festivals, modem and ancient Biblical mores, it is very useful indeed, and an excellent companion to Judaism by Nicholas de Lange" (from the European Judaism by Allan Sillitoe.
"In readable, entertaining prose, the author imparts the meanings, history, and origin of the core Hebrew words (149 of them, organized into eight sections) [...] no bibliographical references, and he leaves out information that other books like Philip Birnbaum's A Book of Jewish Concepts more thoroughly treat. An introductory book, this is useful as a crucial first step for those with little knowledge of Judaism's basics" (from the Library Journal review by David B. Levy). See also the Choice review by L. E. Jorbin.
"Enormously useful, with articles of varying length on the wide spectrum of ethical, doctrinal, and ritual issues encountered in the practice of Judaism [...] presentation of facts and issues is invariably clear and to the point. An indispensable resource" (from the Choice review by S. Lehmann). Abridged and updated edition available online as the Oxford concise companion to the Jewish religion
"A very handy popular encyclopedic volume about Judaism--its sacred book, codes of laws and ethics, its festivals, and other values" (from the Journal of Biblical Literature review of an earlier edition, by Morton S. Enslin).
" This alphabetically arranged work, containing approximately 13,000 entries, "is intended to provide, in a single volume, essential background and information for each and every prayer recited in the Ashkenazic and Sephardic tradition" (p. ix). Bibliographical notes follow each entry. The Encyclopedia includes a glossary, a list of prayers, a list of Hebrew first lines, an index of Biblical verses, and an index of names." (From the Judiaica Librarianship review by Charles Cutter and Micha Falk Oppenheim)
"Offers a comprehensive and state of the art introduction to and assessment of the thriving field of Early Jewish studies. EDEJ is made up of two main parts with thirteen keynote essays prefacing 520 dictionary entries in alphabetical order". (From the Dead Sea Discoveries review by Charlotte Hempel)
Identifies journal articles and chapters from essay collections on all aspects of Religious Studies. Indexing for some journal titles extends back into the 19th century. Indexes publications from 1949-present.
"A remarkably comprehensive and accessible layman's guide to Judaism [...] devoted half to Jewish practice (prayer, calendar and holidays, life-cycle, and daily observances) and half to classical Jewish literature and thought (Bible, Talmud, mysticism, philosophy, modern movements) [...] author speaks with the modern authority of the professional journalist who has done research 'in the field' as participant-observer, has read widely in the scholarly and general literature, and has thought through each of the topics in its factual, historical, and ideological dimensions" (from the Shofar review by Leonard Levin).
"A comprehensive and clear guide to Conservative Jewish religious practice [...] author has used extensively the classic works on Jewish law, the Talmud, the various codes and commentaries" (from the Library Journal review by Maurice Tuchman).
"An authoritative yet accessible foundation text for students of Judaism and for anyone with a serious interest in the Jewish tradition and way of life [...] has already proved to be a useful reference book for students working in a variety of areas of study and research and should be a valuable source book for some time to come" (from the Religion review by Elizabeth Ramsey). See also the Journal of Jewish Studies review by Julia Neuberger, and the Reviews in Religion review by Jacob Neusner.
"Introductory text aimed at students of religion [...] A strength of the author's approach is the frequent citation of sometimes lengthy passages of source texts, giving a flavour of the Jewish intellectual tradition [...] wholeheartedly recommended for reading lists of introductory undergraduate courses. Students will particularly benefit from the source texts embedded in the first two parts of the course, but will need much guidance to contextualise the information in the historical part of the book" (from the Journal of Jewish Studies review by K. Hannah Holtschneider).
"Author manages to direct his discussion to the absolute novice without being boring or insulting his readers' intelligence. He also manages to cover a remarkable range of material regarding the nature of the Jews as a historical group, the history of Judaism's religious tradition, the origins of Christianity, and aspects of historical and contemporary piety and practice" (from the Religion Studies Review review by of first edition by Martin S. Jaffe, 24.3 (1998) 316).
"Author is rightly regarded with some awe as the editor and translator of Random House's 22-volume edition of the Talmud. This new volume, a thorough guide to Jewish prayer, should only enhance his reputation [...] addresses the history and nature of Jewish prayer, prayer in every major and minor festival, and the role of the synagogue, music, and accessories in prayer" (from the Library Journal review by Graham Christian).
"A monumental and massive volume [...] In general the articles are easy to read, and some are very well written, even moving. They cover virtually every concept of importance to contemporary Judaism and many that once had significance but do so no longer" (from the Journal of Religion review by Michael L. Morgan). See also the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion review by William Kluback.
"Each Jewish holiday is treated in a special chapter which contains an overview, a detailed description of pertinent religious laws and customs, a section on new approaches and interpretations, and a discussion of underlying key themes [...] a storehouse of information" (from the Library Journal review by Carol R. Glatt).
Reviews of vol.1 in American Historical Review by John H. Marks, Classical World by Shaye J. D. Cohen, Journal of the American Academy of Religion by Jacob Neusner, Vetus Testamentum by H. G. M. Williamson, and Journal of Biblical Literature by John J. Collins.
Reviews of vol.2 in Vetus Testamentum by W. Horbury, Classical Review by Joseph Geiger, Jewish Quarterly Review by A. Wasserstein, and Journal of Hellenic Studies by Brian McGing.
Reviews of vol. 3 in Journal of Religion by John J. Collins, Vetus Testamentum by Margaret Barker, and Shofar by Hayim Lapin.
"Originally published in Germany in 1913 and long known as a classic [...] This in-depth study has finally arrived in the English language through the skillful translation of Raymond P. Scheindlin, Professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America" (from the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion review). See also the Journal of Religion review by Philip V. Bohlman, the Journal of Semitic Studies review by Ruth Langer, and the Choice review by M. Scult.
"This is the first general account of the (almost) complete Jewish hymnography in English, written by a scholar who has previously edited many Hebrew liturgical poems of diverse origins, and is thus well qualified to offer this broad perspective [...] A practical glossary and 40 pages of indices complete this book and make its use easier [...] an excellent English introduction to the topic, the most complete that we have today, and a clear pedagogic manual that can be used fruitfully both by teachers and by advanced students" (from the Jewish Quarterly Review review by Ángel Sáenz-Badillos). See also the AJS Review review by Ruth Langer, the Journal of Semitic Studies review by Debra Reed Blank, and the Journal of Jewish Studies review by Wout Jac. van Bekkum.
"26 articles on Judaism from the Encyclopedia of Religion appear under 5 headings: roots of the tradition (2), postbiblical Judaism and classical texts (5), the Jewish people and its identity (7), traditional patterns of Jewish life (6), and Jewish movements and issues (6)" (from New Testament Abstracts).
"In seven short well-written chapters the author describes the emergence of Judaism up to 650 CE [...] In the second half of the book there are maps, illustrations and lists, biographies of literary and historical figures, a set of primary sources, a brief glossary, and a valuable annotated bibliography of recent relevant works in English, mostly by Jewish scholars [...] An excellent introduction" (from the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament review by G.J. Brooke).
"A selection of documents, well known and less-known, from the time following the completion of the Talmud up until the emergence of secularized Jewry [...] Given the complications of the concept of Judaism in practice, it is a great strength of the anthology that it exposes the reader to the concept without necessarily defining it [...] a valuable text for students and educators, and also for the general reader seeking contact with primary texts of the Jewish Tradition" (from the Shofar review by Serguei Dolgopolski).
"A seminal and explicative volume [...] a tightly argued scholarly analysis in six chapters, a Preface, Bibliography of about 200 selective entries, and a highly useful index. It is no hyperbole to say that this volume is profound" (from the Journal of Psychology & Christianity review by Rodney L. Bassett). See also the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament review by B.S. Jackson, the Review of Rabbinic Judaism review by Gunter Stemberger, and the Journal of Ritual Studies review by Harvey E. Goldberg.
"It will be equally useful to religious ethicists and to members of the Jewish community, indeed to anyone in search of clear, succinct presentations of the methods that distinguish Jewish ethics [...] Its appearance is a landmark event that both showcases the richness of Jewish ethics and highlights the ongoing vitality of Jewish ethical discourse in our time." (From the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics review by Louis E. Newman)
"A gem that admirably fulfills the promise of its title and more [...] a methodical overview of the major doctrines and theoreticians of the Jewish mystical tradition [...] an engaging and accessible introduction to the Kabbalah that is consistently informative, insightful and very worthwhile for a general readership" (from the Shofar review by Mark Verman). See also the Commentary review by Benjamin Balint, and the Journal of Religion and Health review by Claude Barbre.
"Contains entries for terms, concepts, history, philosophy, and practices relating to the literature of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah [...] does an admirable job of simplifying and clarifying an extremely complex and fascinating subject" (from the Booklist review by Ann Cohen.
"Much of the book is an explication and explanation of the main ideas in the Zohar and how these ideas were received, transformed, and then emerged as central tenets of sixteenth-century kabbalah [...] Few other books in English, or, for that matter, in any language, have thus far successfully described and mapped the intricacies of this kabbalistic tradition in such a lucid manner" (from the Jewish Quarterly Review review by Shaul Magid).
"Written as a companion piece to Matt's Zohar translation, this book performs its task with erudition, clarity, and elegance. The author is a scholar of Jewish mystical texts, teacher of Jewish spirituality, and a stylist, all of which combine to make this book eminently readable and useful [...] if at times the author strays towards a neo-Hasidic reading of the text, it is in service of a larger goal of opening up a text that has received much fanfare but a fairly narrrow readership. Moreover, the pleasure in the prose and the distillation of decades of scholarship is impressive" (from the Hebrew Studies review by Joel Hecker, 47(2006): 403-31).
"Ever since Gershom Scholem published, some 60 years ago, his pioneering bibliography of kabbalah (Bibliographia Kabbalistica) there has been a need for an updated bibliography of this subject [...] It is therefore with great satisfaction that we greet Spector's work, even though it is limited to material written in English [...] the author has provided a detailed subject index to her excellent work, including authors of classical kabbalistic texts and, of course, modern authors in general" (from the Jewish Quarterly Review review by Jacob I. Dienstag).