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Judaism Reading List: Introduction and General (Pt. I)

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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.

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