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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable introduction to Jewish history culture and identity
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...
Published on 3 Dec. 2012 by hbw

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of nuggets, but left me hungry
This book is basically a bullet point guide to the basics of Judaism. If that is what you're after, then this book will serve you well, but this staccato approach irritated me after a while. I found it hard to get through more than 10 pages at a time, because of sheer information overload. You don't get a rounded or in-depth view of anything, rather a series of...
Published 23 months ago by Ian Shine


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable introduction to Jewish history culture and identity, 3 Dec. 2012
By 
hbw (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick guide, 28 Mar. 2013
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pacem et amorem (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, 1 Dec. 2012
By 
Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely informative and highly readable pocket quite, 6 July 2013
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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest and interesting book, 27 Dec. 2012
By 
Peter Gordon (Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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This booklet provides a very fair and balanced guide on all things Jewish and will be of interest I am sure, to those within and outside the religion. Being jew-ish myself,I was expecting either to have my preconceived ideas on the subject confirmed [i.e.that all was good], or to see just another negative view, especially on the subject of the middle east. Here, the author has provided a very balanced explanation of what it is to be jewish, and has attempted to explain why anti-semitism exists and will continue.

The booklet provides explanation, information and humour. It is divided into short sections which asks pertinent questions. I have never really understood whether we are expected to believe in God. This question is answered, or at least to my satisfaction. It explains the various jewish sects and confirms what we all know, that Israel is a fractured and vibrant country living under what is going to be a permanent siege from its neighbours, and most of the rest of the world. It places the blame for Israels situation where it belongs - on many shoulders.

The booklet deals simply with what it means to be jewish, and how that jewishness manifests itself in everyday life. The reason why jews are famous - often regarded more as infamous, for their close involvement with finance, and why their situation in the diaspora is a permanent [for them] cause for concern. It also attempts to speculate on the future for this religion.

The book has stimulated me into seeking answers to further questions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, concise introduction to Judaism, 30 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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This was a punchy, readable introduction to Judaism - not quite what I was expecting but excellent. Generally speaking this book is more concerned with the cultural and historical aspects of Jewishness than the religious or spiritual (and I suppose this was what surprised me) yet having read it I can understand why these strands are so intertwined.

It left me with a greater understanding of Judaism, and some definite areas that I'd like to follow up and learn more about. For me, I'd have appreciated a little more on the spiritual side of Judaism - but I feel I've had a good concise introduction and the book included some good suggestions of follow up reading, so all in all it was the right place to start. And that, I suppose, is what an 'All That Matters' book should be like.

If this is a representative example of this series of books, I'm most impressed by the quality and writing style. I will look out for other books in the same series in future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars lovely book, 30 Jun. 2013
By 
David Kennard "Henry" (York, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
I had agreed to do a talk on Judaism for our local humanist group and was looking for source material. By chance I read a review in the Jewish Quarterly which compared four recent books presenting introductions to Judaism and recommended this one. It is also commendably brief. It's a lovely book, friendly, well informed, well structured, presenting a very complex subject very clearly. It is also remarkably even handed eg on controversial issues like Israel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 25 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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I learned quite a few things from this book. It is written in an engaging and quite light hearted way. It is a quick and easy read.

I would have liked a more in depth look but I know that that is outside the scope of this book series.
I tend to have the same criticism, that they are a little bit too expensive for what they provide.
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4.0 out of 5 stars NOT Judaism for Schmucks., 23 Jun. 2013
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Jack Chakotay "Ender Brazil" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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This is a strong entry for anybody wishing to know about Judaism.

Highly readable, honest enough to narrate and yet encompass the appropriate emotions that invariably come with different aspects of faith/culture/history, I was aware of a conscious effort to make sure nothing came across as propaganda. When the closing pages have Ali G and a cartoon parody of Israel Man, I would say the book is quite successful in this.

The All that Matters approach is not so clear cut in this entry, partially because there is widespread common knowledge as well as misconceptions. But reading through the entirety of the book refreshed and clarified what I knew. The things I didn't? There was plenty. And the list of references and resources at the end (like all All That Matters series) had some amusing secular entries.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet & straight to the point, 6 Jun. 2013
By 
Fabrizio Poli "Fabrizio Poli" (Chorley,Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judaism (All That Matters) (Paperback)
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If you want to find out about what makes the Jewish people tick this is a great quick read. A very useful tool especially if you are doing a lot of business with Jews.
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Judaism (All That Matters)
Judaism (All That Matters) by Keith Kahn-Harris (Paperback - 31 Aug. 2012)
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