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Judaism isn’t a race or even a particular culture or ethnicgroup. There are about 13 or 14 million Jews spread around theworld, including about 6 million in the United States and about 5million in Israel – so Judaism clearly isn’t“a nation.” So what does it mean to be Jewish?Here are the basics:

  • Being Jewish (being “a Jew”) meansyou’re a Member of the Tribe (an M-O-T). The tribe startedwith a couple named Abraham and Sarah about 4,000 years ago, itgrew over time, and it’s still here today. You can becomepart of the Jewish tribe in two ways: By being born to a Jewishmother or joining through a series of rituals (calledconverting).
  • Judaism is a set of beliefs, practices, and ethics basedon the Torah. You can practice Judaism and not be Jewish, and youcan be a Jew and not practice Judaism.

Whether you're interested in the religion or the spirituality,the culture or the ethnic traditions, Judaism For Dummiesexplores the full spectrum of Judaism, dipping into the mystical,meditative, and spiritual depth of the faith and the practice. Inthis warm and welcoming book, you'll find coverage of

  • Orthodox Jews and breakaway denominations
  • Judaism as a daily practice
  • The food and fabric of Judaism
  • Jewish wedding ceremonies
  • Celebrations and holy days
  • 4,000 years of pain, sadness, triumph, and joy
  • Great Jewish thinkers and historical celebrities

Jews have long spread out to the corners of the world, so thereare significant Jewish communities on many continents. JudaismFor Dummies offers a glimpse into the rituals, ideas, and termsthat are woven into the history and everyday lives of Jewish peopleas near as our own neighborhoods and as far-reaching as across theworld.

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