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Judaism: All That Matters Paperback – 31 Aug 2012

30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (31 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444156721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444156720
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 966,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a London-based writer and sociologist. I've written a lot about heavy metal and Jews as well as religion, politics and music more generally.

If you want to find out more about me, check out my blog/website at http://www.kahn-harris.org

Product Description

Review

The first impression is visually attractive and the layout of chapters, spiced with photographs and summary paragraphs, inviting to the reader. It has lighter elements and is well written, informative and thought-provoking and the excellent reading list whets the appetite for more in-depth study. (Jewish Renaissance)

This book provides a most helpful compendium of basics about Judaism and Jewishness. (Times Higher Education)

Judaism:All that Matters really does cover everything. (TES)

Kahn-Harris has produced a stimulating read that covers the very breadth of Judaism, no mean feat in such a compact work; he shies away from nothing, controversies, divisions and conflicts.

There are so many introductions to Judaism, but for those who want an up-to-date, honest and informative volume then this is as good a place to start as anywhere.

(Methodist Recorder)

His understanding of the contemporary Jewish work is often spot on, and he communicates this understanding in a clear and engaging way. (Jewish Quarterly)

Book Description

All that matters about Judaism. 'All That Matters' is an exciting new series from Hodder, with authors that matter writing about subjects that matter.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Judaism, as the author points out, has had an enormous impact on the world considering the number of people who practise it. This 'All that matters' book opened my eyes to what Judaism is really about, made me aware of the differences between Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Liberal Jews, introduced me to a number of practices I've often seen referenced but never seen explained, and gave me a flavour of the key issues within the Jewish community.

I've read several All That Matters books now, and this is the one which told me the most which I didn't know. The most important part, I think, starts in chapter 4 with 'Living Jewishly'. Author Keith Kahn-Harris introduced me here to something I had completely failed to grasp -- that Judaism is a continuum of practices, rather than defined by belief. This is not to say that Judaism is inexact in its beliefs, but, rather, living Jewishly is more important than adhering to a particular set of doctrines.

There is a wonderful section of Jewish literature, music and films at the end which I may, in time, dip into. In the mean time, this was a hugely enlightening book which I enjoyed reading and would recommend.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hbw VINE VOICE on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jonathan Miller's famous quotation about being "not Jewish, but Jew-ish" might well apply to "Judaism - All that Matters". Despite its title, this book goes well beyond Judaism as a religion to cover many, if not all, aspects of Jewish history, culture and identity.

Despite its length (150 pages) and user-friendly format, author Keith Kahn-Harris manages to cram this book with an impressive amount of information, taking the reader from Biblical origins, the complex question of "Who are the Jews?", through the Diaspora, anti-Semitism, Jewish responses to the Enlightenment, the Shoah, Zionism, Israel and the place of Jewish people in the modern world.

As with all the "All that Matters" series, there is a list of 100 ideas for exploring topics covered by the book in greater depth including books, songs on YouTube and films that aren't "Fiddler on the Roof" or "Schindler's List".

My only real quibble with the book is that Hebrew and Yiddish terms are explained in the text, but not necessarily the first time they are used - a glossary at the back might have been useful.

I think that "Judaism - All that Matters" pretty much achieves its objectives and would recommend it to anyone who wanted an introduction to all things Jewish or to the background of the Israel-Palestine question.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pacem et amorem VINE VOICE on 28 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a nice, concise and quick guide to the main points of Judaism. Whilst not giving the in-depth detail that some people might want or require, it never promises this. It gives you the lowdown on key points of Judaism and could be very handy for people interested in understanding more about this often complex faith which has such a long history. I know that when I studied GCSE (quite a number of years ago) I would have found this very useful, interesting and enlightening.
Perfect for a quick, crash course in the history of Judaism and current practice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cartimand TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 July 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This pocked-sized book of just 156 pages belies its diminutive size by providing a vast amount of fascinating information about Judaism and the Jewish people.

Clearly and concisely indexed, it's very easy to find what you're looking for. An explanation of the events leading to the foundation of the modern state of Israel is particularly well covered and described in a refreshingly balanced manner.

It's illustrated by plenty of fascinating black and white photos of everything from historical events, satirical cartoons and even Sasha Baron-Cohen.

If you're looking to learn more about the Jewish people, their history, culture and, of course, their religion, then Judaism All That Matters is a highly recommended initial source of reference.
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By Sebastian Palmer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At the time of writing this is the third 'all that matters' title I've read. To my mind, it's also easily the best. As well as conveying in a simple manner much basic detail on Jewish history, tradition, religion and identity, Kahn-Harris gives welcome breadth to his account by including a more secular and sceptical notes, in addition to detailing mainstream and orthodox ideas. Another very attractive facet of this book is the inclusion of humour. The 'how many [insert whatever Jewish sect] does it take to change a lightbulb?' jokes did make me smile!

Whilst these elements make for an improved book, there are still some issues common to the other titles I've read in this series, with obscure terms introduced without necessarily being defined (the index will sometimes help you find a definition, but not always), the occasional lapse of editorial finesse, with oddly constructed sentences slipping through ('have started to rethinking [sic] the idea...' p.107, is jut one example), or what appear to be factual errors. In ref. to the destruction of Ashkenazi Jewry in the holocaust, Kahn-Harris makes a statement about Jews already ('by then') being in Israel when much of European Jewry was wiped out in the 'Shoah' (holocaust). But modern Israel was founded after (and in no small part as a response to) the holocaust, in 1948. Perhaps he meant the increasing population of Jews settling in the area. But that was then Palestine. Such clumsiness seems odd, especially in regard to such a sensitive issue.
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