Read This is My God: A Guidebook to Judaism by Herman Wouk Free Online
Book Title: This is My God: A Guidebook to Judaism|
The author of the book: Herman Wouk
Loaded: 1889 times
Reader ratings: 6.1
Edition: Christian Large Print
Date of issue: December 31st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780802726438
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 869 KB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
This is the perfect starting point for anyone-Jew or Christian -who wants to learn about Judaism. It is thoughtful, insightful, entertaining and sensitively explains Judaism to a broad readership
This is not simply a guide to the Jewish religion .Herman Wouk-a well known novelist and playwright - is clearly a man of the world but is also an observant Jew
He speaks about his own illuminating insights and experiences
Written in 1959 it is still equally relevant today as then . He points out the contradiction of leftwing secularists who claim that their rejection of religion is a result of the conformity in inherent therein , when their own entire ways of life and thought processes are based on conformity
He explains a conversation he had with a radical young student thus:
`She had been reading sociology and was full of terms like anomy , other-directedness , acculturation and similar jaw-breakers which she got off with athletic ease. The burden of her tale was that Judaism meant ritualism , and ritualism meant conformity which was a great evil.
`The interesting thing about my charming enlightener while she delivered her polemic against conformity , was dressed in a garb as ceremonious as a bishop's from the correct wrinkles in her sweater sleeves to the prescribed smudge on her saddle shoes. She spoke her piece for autonomy in a vocabulary of the teens as rigid , as circumscribed , as repetitious , as marked in intonation , as a litany'
His social commentary is one of observation rather than of judgement and he states for example that while his preference is for Orthodox Judaism he is unable to join the wringing chorus of denunciation of Reform and Conservative Judaism of some fellow Orthodox Jews.He also refuses to pass judgement on the 'assimilators' while fully voicing his grave concerns about the threat of assimilation to Judaism
He also points out the common roots of Christianity and Judaism and in a discussion .A good example is his discussion of the Jewish Festival of Lights : Hanukkah , which falls in the same month as Christmas and is often celebrated so that Jewish children do not have to feel that they are missing out on the Christmas enjoyed by their Christian peers
Hanukkah is observed in remembrance of the defeat by the Israelites of the Greek and Syrian overlords led by Antiochus who aimed to obliterate the Jewish faith.
Wouk reminds us what the real point of contact between the two festivals is :
' Had Antiochus succeeded in obliterating Jewry a century and a half before the birth of Jesus , there would have been no Christmas .The feast of Nativity rests on the victory of Hanukkah'
Overall this is an explanation of the religion for anyone interested to learn whatever their faith or orientation.
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Read information about the authorHerman Wouk is a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning Jewish American author with a number of notable novels to his credit, including The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.
Herman Wouk was born in New York City into a Jewish family that had emigrated from Russia. After a childhood and adolescence in the Bronx and a high school diploma from Townsend Harris High School, he earned a B.A. from Columbia University in 1934, where he was a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity and studied under philosopher Irwin Edman. Soon thereafter, he became a radio dramatist, working in David Freedman's "Joke Factory" and later with Fred Allen for five years and then, in 1941, for the United States government, writing radio spots to sell war bonds. He lived a fairly secular lifestyle in his early 20s before deciding to return to a more traditional Jewish way of life, modeled after that of his grandfather, in his mid-20s.
Wouk joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater, an experience he later characterized as educational; "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans." Wouk served as an officer aboard two destroyer minesweepers (DMS), the USS Zane and USS Southard, becoming executive officer of the latter. He started writing a novel, Aurora Dawn, during off-duty hours aboard ship. Wouk sent a copy of the opening chapters to Irwin Edman who quoted a few pages verbatim to a New York editor. The result was a publisher's contract sent to Wouk's ship, then off the coast of Okinawa. The novel was published in 1947 and became a Book of the Month Club main selection. His second novel, City Boy, proved to be a commercial disappointment at the time of its initial publication in 1948.
While writing his next novel, Wouk read each chapter as it was completed to his wife, who remarked at one point that if they didn't like this one, he'd better take up another line of work (a line he would give to the character of the editor Jeannie Fry in his 1962 novel Youngblood Hawke). The novel, The Caine Mutiny (1951), went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. A huge best-seller, drawing from his wartime experiences aboard minesweepers during World War II, The Caine Mutiny was adapted by the author into a Broadway play called The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, and was later made into a film, with Humphrey Bogart portraying Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg, captain of the fictional USS Caine. Some Navy personnel complained at the time that Wouk had taken every twitch of every commanding officer in the Navy and put them all into one character, but Captain Queeg has endured as one of the great characters in American fiction.
He married Betty Sarah Brown in 1945, with whom he had three sons: Abraham, Nathanial, and Joseph. He became a fulltime writer in 1946 to support his growing family. His first-born son, Abraham Isaac Wouk, died in a tragic accident as a child; Wouk later dedicated War and Remembrance (1978) to him with the Biblical words, "He will destroy death forever."
In 1998, Wouk received the Guardian of Zion Award.
Wouk is still alive as of March 2014 and living in California.
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