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What Do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Foundations Of Judaism

What Do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism looks at key questions and answers from the Hebrew Bible, Talmud and Midrash, Jewish philosophers, the Kabbalah, and Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform Judaism. The topics include: What are the Jewish beliefs about God, human nature, and destiny? What do Jews believe about the Written and Oral Torah, the significance of prayer, and the performance of mitzvot? What do Jews believe about the Messiah? What is the chosen people concept and how has it been misunderstood and misinterpreted? Finally, the book will help answer the question – why be Jewish today?

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Reviews of What Do Jews Believe?

“A powerful and learned book”
– Moment, December, 1995
“One of the clearest and sincerely honest attempts to clarify our concept of God”
– St. Louis Jewish Light, March 29, 1995
“Ariel brilliantly organizes the major ideas of Judaism with attention to their development and debates within the tradition… Anyone seeking orientation within the complex world of Jewish thought should begin with this book.”
– Susannah Heschel, author of On Being a Jewish Feminist
“Ariel has given us a clear and valuable guide to the convictions and vision of Judaism. Anyone who seeks to know what Judaism is really about will be in his debt.”
– David Wolpe, author of Healer of Shattered Hearts
“This book is a lovely, thoughtful, informed, broad-minded overview of the most basic principles of the Jewish religion. Knowledgeable in Jewish history and thought, Ariel guides the reader gracefully through the whole continuum of Jewish theological fundamentals. It should be of great value for every Jew or non-Jew who wants a lucid response to the question, why he Jewish now?”
– Robert M. Seltzer, author of Jewish People, Jewish Thought
“The most lucid explanation of the basic ideas of Judaism I’ve ever read.” 
– An Amazon.com reviewer

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Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest In Judaism

In the wake of the renewed interest in Kabbalah comes David Ariel’s Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism, a thoroughly updated edition of his classic best selling book, The Mystic Quest. Ariel beautifully presents the complex elements of Jewish mysticism’s major ideas in clear, understandable, and accessible language for Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike. Hailed as brilliant by Publishers Weekly, the book has a completely revised Introduction that sets a contemporary context for understanding Jewish mysticism. Concluding with how Kabbalah can be incorporated into our daily lives, Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism, is an intellectually sophisticated yet straightforward book studded with deep insights on what Jewish mystical thought is all about.

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Reviews of Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism

“Ariel’s brilliant study is the first comprehensive history of Jewish mysticism to make its ideas accessible to the non-specialist. Readers, Jewish or non-Jewish, with an interest in mysticism will find much knowledge here.”
– Publishers Weekly
“David Ariel reveals the secret of Kabbalah with masterful clarity.”
– Daniel Matt, author of The Zohar Pritzker Edition
“This is the first book in the post-Kabbalah-is-chic era that does not sacrifice personal meaning for intellectual depth. David Ariel has found that very special place from which to teach Kabbalah. He is analyst and participant, objective scholar and passionate believer and thus speaks to our minds and hearts.”
– Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

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Spiritual Judaism: Restoring Heart And Soul To Jewish Life

Spiritual Judaism is for seekers who wish to rediscover the spiritual teachings and customs of traditional Judaism and incorporate them into modern practices. It presents an enlightened view of Judaism as a leading source of inspiration that draws on the past but looks boldly to the future.

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Reviews of Spiritual Judaism

“Dr. David Ariel’s book is a bold and exciting blueprint… by following his prescription, we can all enrich and enoble our quest for the sacred and finding meaning in the every day.”
– Rabbi Wayne Dosick, author of Living Judaism
“With the gentle reassuring voice of a masterful teacher David Ariel analyzes the problem of contemporary Jews seeking spiritual nourishment from their own tradition and clears the path of a deeper and richer inner experience of God, Prayer and Torah. Full of practical suggestions and guidance based on his experience as a teacher, Spiritual Judaism will be a shining key for all who want to open the doors of an inner Jewish life.”
– Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus
“Spiritual Judaism offers the reader a rich treasury of wise and perceptive understanding of spiritual exploration in everyday life. Ariel is clearly experienced in the nuances of the inner voyage and he guides us on this path with clear and practical advice.”
– Rabbi David Cooper, author of God is a Verb
“David Ariel has created a beautiful book. It fulfills the deep need of our Jewish community today- a vision of spirituality that is unselfish, engaged in the world, deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and yet open to all the wisdom of the world.”
– Barry Shrage, President of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston
“According to Ariel, many Jews are alienated from their faith and find it difficult to incorporate their Jewish heritage into everyday life. While Jewish spirituality follows an inward path, Ariel contends, the externals of the Jewish traditions can be made a part of daily life. For example, Ariel argues that we can connect our own personal spirituality to the Torah. The voice of God resides in the sacred texts of Judaism, and we can become an ear that hears what the universe is saying to us. Ariel also describes the stages of human development as steps on the way to growing into the image of God.”
– Publishers Weekly

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