Beginnings of Judaism : The Great Courses: Judaism

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Isaiah M. Gafni
  • Series: The Great Courses: Judaism
  • 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

For thousands of years, Jews have looked to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament by Christians, for their origins, and have located in them the tenets of their faith. However, much of what is recognized today as Judaism does not appear in the Bible. How did Judaism develop from its biblical roots to the highly developed system we know today? What has changed - and what has remained constant? In this series of 24 spirited and provocative lectures, Professor Gafni investigates how the Jewish faith struggled to continually redefine itself during the first thousand years after the completion of the last books of the Hebrew Bible, tenaciously clinging to existence through circumstances that might well have torn it asunder.
The two landmark events that altered Jewish history forever were the two destructions of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This sacred place was first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., and, after having been rebuilt 70 years later, was razed once again by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the Jews waged a fierce uprising against Roman rule in the province of Judea.
The events surrounding these destructions lie at the heart of understanding Judaism. As you explore the evolution of an ancient faith into a system of beliefs, practices, and laws recognizable today as Judaism, you'll discover a tradition of vigorous and joyous debate - where reinterpretation coexists with profound acceptance of the original instructions from God regarding the practice of faith.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very engaging and interesting

A fascinating course with an excellent teacher. Often in these Great Courses you get tired of hearing the same voice over the 24 lectures, but this was not the case here. The lecturer was engaging, humorous and a pleasure to listen to.
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- Amazon Customer

Very good narration of the history of Judaism

Would you consider the audio edition of Beginnings of Judaism to be better than the print version?


What other book might you compare Beginnings of Judaism to, and why?

The Old Testiment, as it is more authenticated than this book

What does Professor Isaiah M. Gafni bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He made the subject alive and interesting

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Neither of these but I was interested to listen to the whole book without stop

Any additional comments?

There were some deliberate mistakes, in my opinion, but they did not affect the high level of accuracy I found in this book

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- Ibrahim955

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses