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Selected Sources for Additional Reading on Judaism Part I: Introduction, General Sources, Torah, Talmud, and Mishnah [Last Change: $Date: 1995/11/13 19:07:22 $ $Revision: 1.4 $] [Last Post: Mon Feb 9 11:07:12 US/Pacific 2004] There is nothing more uniquely characteristic of the style of Jewish religious life than the great love Jews have for holy books. [Str73] This message is intended to provide the readers of the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups, as well as those interested in learning more about Judaism, with suggestions for books discussing various Jewish topics, especially the subject of Jewish law and practice. While no book can substitute for a formal course of instruction guided by one's Rabbi, these books are useful as reference material for the knowledgeable, and as an introduction for the not-yet-knowledgeable about Judaism. It is difficult to separate what is now termed "Orthodox" judaism from the collective term "Judaism". The practices of Orthodoxy tend to be the traditional practices. Furthermore, Orthodoxy is not organized as a movement in the same sense as Reform or Conservative; although Orthodox organizations exist, congregations do not need to join them to be considered Orthodox. This list is by no means intended to be exhaustive, and it is designed to lean toward traditional Judaism, although some of the sources included under the GENERAL headings include references to liberal movements. In general, throughout the reading lists, North American (US/Canada) terms are used to refer to the movements of Judaism. Outside of North American, Reform is Progressive or Liberal Judaism; Conservative is Masorti or Neolog, and Orthodoxy is often just "Judaism". Even with this, there are differences in practice, position, and ritual between US/Canada Reform and other progressive/liberal movements (such as UK Progressive/ Liberal), and between US/Canada Conservative and the conservative/Masorti movement elsewhere. Where appropriate, these differences will be highlighted. The reader is also referred to the excellent chapter on "Creating a Jewish Library" in the first volume of The (First) Jewish Catalog.