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6 years ago  ::  May 11, 2012 - 10:06PM #1
Posts: 6
Hi there,

I'm not sure if anyone even visits these forums anymore, but I thought I'd try. The last two times I've taken the belief-o-matic, reform Judaism has come up in the top 3. Despite being raised Christian, I realize that I know next to nothing about Jewish beliefs. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good beginners site or a good book to learn. I'm not even sure if my Old Testament is even considered Jewish, so pardon my ignorance, please.

Thank you in advance for your help.
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6 years ago  ::  May 12, 2012 - 10:02PM #2
Posts: 2,356

for general information you might want to look at and

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6 years ago  ::  May 14, 2012 - 3:43PM #3
Posts: 2,795

Hi Briwen - yes people still do check this forum, and answer questions - we just don't usually chat in here, so it looks 'empty', that's all.

A good intro to what it is like to BE Jewish (as well as some info on things like observance and holidays) is Kushner's book To Life: a Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking. You can get if used at Amazon for under $10.

Another book that is a good intro - it's older but stays in print and stands up reasonably well - is Basic Judaism, by Milton Steinberg - also under $10 at Amazon.

A decent, all round website is

Your 'Old Testament' - if it is a Protestant version rather than Roman Catholic - contains all the same books as a Jewish Tanakh (Bible, or Hebrew Bible). However, they are not in the same order (which makes a difference) and a few of the chapter/verse annotations are different. You might want to pick up a copy of the Tanakh. The JPS version is the best, most recent English translation, and probably a good buy for you would be the Oxford Jewish Study Bible, which uses the JPS translation, and has footnotes and some commentary (not a whole lot).  That will set you back around $30, but I'm pretty sure a lot of libraries have a copy, so you could just check one out for a while.

There are also a variety of good 'introductions for Christians' on various topics in a set of books available from Jewish Lights in the 'interfaith resources' area - here's the link:

You want to check out the 'The Jewish Approach To...' books - they are specifically designed to explain aspects of Judaism that are important to Jewish-Christian dialog.

The Jewish Approach to God, Jewish Ritual, Jewish Spirituality, and Jewish Holidays are probably the most relevant to your search at this time.

If you have specific questions, feel free to post them here - somebody will be along within a few days!

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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6 years ago  ::  May 18, 2012 - 3:04PM #4
Posts: 6

Thank you SO much. You're both a huge help. I'm curious, but I hadn't really realized that I have absolutely no clue about the Jewish faith. Have a lovely weekend. <3

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