Books on Judaism and Hebrew?
February 16, 2014 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Books on Judaism and Hebrew?

asking for a friend - she has a great rabbi who sends her books on the topics, but she's interested in going more in depth. she especially is interested in books that will help further her knowledge of the hebrew language (she can already read and write some, thanks to basic hebrew school teachings). she also is interested in more in depth studies of jewish history (all time periods).

any suggestions you can provide would be awesome - i know i can scan amazon, but i thought y'all might have some really good specific suggestions.

posted by unlucky.lisp to Religion & Philosophy (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
She may already have a copy, but The Jewish Book of Why is a fantastic resource.
posted by griphus at 9:09 AM on February 16, 2014

I thought The Five Books of Miriam was interesting and very well-done.
posted by honeybee413 at 9:32 AM on February 16, 2014

I've recently become interested in Judaism as well, and I've been looking for books to help me understand more about the religion/culture. If your friend has a Rabbi sending books this may be too basic for her, but I'm reading How to Read the Bible and it's pretty interesting so far.
posted by bluespark25 at 9:42 AM on February 16, 2014

Judaism is hugely diverse. There are non-theistic strains of Judaism and strains of Judaism in which every aspect of life is governed to conform with what is believed to be the revealed word of God. There is mystical Judaism, cultural Judaism, and social justice Judaism (such as Workmen's Circle). What flavor is she interested in -- or is she looking for a meta view?
posted by Wordwoman at 10:33 AM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

@wordwoman, i have noooooo idea. i'll have to ask her about that one. i know that she is not a strict conformist, but she may still be interested in reading about it. maybe a meta view to give her more of an idea of what's out there if she wants to be more specific?
posted by unlucky.lisp at 12:11 PM on February 16, 2014

Quite like books by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. In particular Jewish Wisdom and Jewish Humour. Jewish Literacy is also good as a reference but found I enjoyed reading the first two straight through.
posted by terrortubby at 2:24 PM on February 16, 2014

When you say she wants to further her knowledge of the Hebrew language, do you mean something like a Hebrew equivalent of The Joy of Yiddish or does she actually want to learn Hebrew? And do you know whether she's interested in Modern Hebrew or Biblical Hebrew?
posted by phoenixy at 4:11 PM on February 16, 2014

she actually wants to learn hebrew. she's got enough knowledge to read a lot of it, but would like more education on that and definitely on writing.
posted by unlucky.lisp at 8:31 AM on February 17, 2014

I have a pretty extensive home library on Judaism, please feel welcome to PM for more specific recommendations.
posted by blue_and_bronze at 9:38 AM on February 17, 2014

Well in that case, if it isn't too self-promotey (a family member worked on it), I'd recommend this textbook for self-study -- the cool part is that all the text is from the Bible; there's no made-up "la plume de ma tante est sur le bureau de mon oncle" kind of exercises and you read actual Bible verses from day one.
posted by phoenixy at 3:10 PM on February 17, 2014

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