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Encyclopedia of Judaism (Encyclopedia of World Religions)

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Authors: Sara E. Karesh, Mitchell M. Hurvitz
  • ISBN: 9780816054572
  • Price: LE 136.00
  • Special Offer Price: LE 108.80
  • Number Of Pages: 602
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Categories Encyclopedia  
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Containing about 800 entries, this encyclopedia--part of the Facts On File Encyclopedia of World Religions series--covers Judaism from its origins to the present time. It is a daunting task to compress almost 3,000 years into one modest-sized encyclopedia, but the authors have performed admirably in their eclectic choice of topics, including prominent places, major personalities, historical events, ritual practices, and objects, among numerous other subjects. Each entry ranges from a few paragraphs to several pages and includes a useful bibliography with well-described citations. The index provides easy access and helpful cross-references, and the text is enhanced with 80 black-and-white photographs, a chronology, and an interesting introductory essay.

Most noteworthy: the volume provides a superb range of ready-reference entries defining some arcane terms, e.g., JUBU (the term for Jews who adopt some Buddhist practices); the 614th commandment (Jews should perpetuate their faith after the Holocaust); Grogger (the Hebrew word for a noisemaker used during the holiday of Purim); and Shuckling (rhythmic swaying during prayer popular among Ashkenazi Jews). The volume is even fun to browse.

Almost 100 general and specialized Jewish encyclopedias have been published, including The New Encyclopedia of Judaism (New York Univ., 2002) and The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (1997), but this work merits special consideration for its concise text and eclectic range of subjects. Strongly recommended for public, academic, and school libraries. Donald Altschiller.