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The Jewish religion is one of the major faiths of the world yet one of the least understood. In a wide-ranging and accessible guide for the general reader Rabbi Naftali Brawer outlines the major themes and history of over 5,000 years of Jewish faith from its Abrahamic origins and the foundations of Jerusalem to the eras of exile, diaspora, and persecution. From ritual and practise to faith and politics, the theology and history of Judaism are bound together.
Brawer argues that Judaism is poised between heaven and earth. On the one hand it calls on its adherents to transcend the material world through ritual and prayer: on the other hand Judaism positively celebrates joys of food, family and society. Through this seeming paradox, Brawer explores the nature and characteristics of faith – God and Man, Torah, Mitzvah, the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. He also shows how ritual and practise punctuate Jewish existence, from daily prayers to the rites of passage that chart a lifetime.
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