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03-06-2009, 03:39 PM #1
Encyclopedia of Judaism (RS Link)
Paperback: 602 pages
Publisher: Checkmark Books (October 30, 2007)
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-This alphabetically arranged compendium of approximately 800 entries of varying length offers definitions, explanations, and descriptions of aspects of Jewish life, from the birth of the religion to the present day. There are also brief biographies of historically significant persons who happen to be Jewish, as well as discussions of the Jewish presence in a number of countries, including the Arab nations of Iran, Iraq, and Egypt. Thoroughly cross-referenced and indexed, the entries are clearly and simply written and carefully neutral. Practices observed and beliefs held by the different branches of Judaism are explained matter-of-factly, even when the topic is potentially controversial. Articles pertaining to Arabs, Palestinians, and events, such as the Intifada, are equally unbiased in tone. Each entry is followed by suggestions for further reading. The black-and-white photographs are sparse, and the selection somewhat random. While libraries owning Geoffrey Wigoder-™s The Student-™s Encyclopedia of Judaism (New York Univ., 2004) can pass, this is a solid addition that collections with healthy budgets will want to consider.-Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
05-30-2009, 06:15 AM #2