Jewish Books FAQs

What can you tell me about Jewish books?

A Jewish book is not a book of Jewish jokes, a book about Judaism or any Jewish-related subject, although many Jewish books are just that. A Jewish book is a book that captures in print, in any language, any authentic concept of the Torah. Whether it’s an accurate English translation of the Torah, a volume of Talmud in the original Aramaic, a Jewish professor’s erudite analysis of medical ethics and Jewish philosophy, or a copy of the Torah itself in the original Hebrew, there are thousands of Jewish books.

A Jewish book is not just another book. Sure, it’s got pages and words and a front and back cover (unless baby got to it), but because it contains words or concepts of Torah, it must be treated with respect. Here’s the thing: it’s not the paper and glue you’re respecting—it’s the concepts and beliefs. You’re respecting the things Judaism represents. You respect the Jewish book almost the same way you would treat a person. Never let it fall to the floor. Don’t treat it frivolously by tossing it around or handling it haphazardly. And don’t sit on it.

Jews live in most civilized countries and even some uncivilized ones, so Jewish books today come in dozens of languages, from Arabic to Yiddish, and of course, Hungarian. They don’t call Jews the “People of the Book” for nothing. So when you get those books, study them. Learn them. Live what they say.


Where do I get Jewish books?

Offline Get thee to your local bookstore, Jewish or not. Barnes and Noble and other biggies have some good Torah material on their religion/spirituality/self-help/inspirational shelves.

On-line Don’t bother getting out of your chair—go to AOL Keyword: Jewish books. Or go straight to the publishing source: You can spend yourself silly without even touching your wallet! Imagine that. And with delivery, you don’t even have to leave your house. Don’t forget to check out our very own Moses Bookshelf for our latest recommendation in Jewish literature.

House of Books Just having the books in the home brings the home up a few notches on the spirituality level. Also, if the books are there, there’s a good chance some studying is going to take place. So build your own respectable library, one book at a time. Then read them all.


Who wrote the books of the Torah, Prophets and Writings?

Every letter and word in the twenty-four books of the Bible is of Divine origin. However, G-d’s message contained in these books was penned by different scribes:

Five Books of Moses—Moses. Joshua—Joshua (except for last couple of verses that speak of his death, which were written by Phineas). Judges—Samuel. Samuel—Samuel wrote up until Samuel I 25:1. The rest was written by Gad and Nathan. Kings—Jeremiah. Jeremiah—Jeremiah (and completed by the Men of the Great Assembly*). Ezekiel—Men of the Great Assembly. Isaiah—published by the School of King Hezekiah. Twelve Minor Prophets—published by the Men of the Great Assembly in one scroll. Psalms—David (but includes psalms from others such as Adam, Abraham and Moses). Proverbs—Solomon. Ecclesiastes—Solomon. Song of Songs—Solomon. Job—Moses. Ruth—Samuel. Lamentations—Jeremiah. Esther—published by the Men of the Great Assembly. Daniel—published by the Men of the Great Assembly. Ezra and Nehemiah—Ezra. Book of Chronicles—Ezra (and by Nehemiah from Chronicles II 21:2 and on)


What is Tanach?

Tanach is a Hebrew acronym for Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim.

In “TaNaCh,” “Torah” is the Five Books of Moses, a.k.a. the Chumash; “Neviim,” Hebrew for prophets, is the collected books of the Prophets; and “Ketuvim,” Hebrew for writings, are Scriptures, the remaining books.

The purpose of Tanach is as manifold as its parts: the Torah is G-d’s ideas on how to live life in book form. The Torah is the Jew’s Life Manual. Neviim represents the blood and sweat and tears of the Prophets’ leadership over a period of 920 years, beginning with Joshua and ending with Ezra. Though the last of these recorded Prophets died long ago, their prophecies still apply today. While many of their prophecies were immediately applicable, many are about Moshiach, the most fundamental Jewish belief. And Ketuvim are the collected writings of Moses (the Book of Job), Kings David (Psalms) and Solomon (Proverbs, the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes), the prophets Samuel (the Scroll of Ruth) Jeremiah (the Scroll of Lamentations) and Daniel (the Book of Daniel), and the Men of the Great Assembly (the Scroll of Esther).

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