JUDAISM FOR EVERYONE: Renewing Your Life Through the Vibrant Lessons of the Jewish Faith

Shmuley Boteach, Author . Basic Books $27.50 (464p) ISBN 978-0-465-00794-3

The next thousand years will usher in a "Jewish millennium" in which both Jews and non-Jews will adopt core Jewish spiritual practices, predicts Boteach (Kosher Sex; etc.). He offers this book as a "beachhead where all can land safely" during the coming Jewish wave. Judaism is not a better religion than the world's other great faiths, he claims, but it is more suited to our times because it melds the spiritual and material in order to create heaven on earth. Boteach covers everything from gender to anti-Semitism in five rather arbitrary divisions: the elements of Judaism, the Jewish faith, festivals and holy days, the world at large and the future of Judaism. His creative viewpoints are often refreshing; he argues, for instance, that to experience the reality of God, men need to "harness their inner feminine energy," reducing their aggressiveness in order to focus the divine. But the book's uneven tone veers between bold sound-bytes ("The essence of Judaism is this: Take God very seriously and never take yourself seriously") and off-putting lectures ("modern-day men and women... end up squandering their free time on insubstantial pursuits like watching television, sunbathing, reading trashy novels and obsessively discussing their local sports teams"). Boteach quotes both Orthodox and non-Orthodox thinkers, but offers little proof for his pronouncements, presenting them simply as "Judaism." While Boteach's great faith in Judaism as a source of inspiration shines through, his ability to translate that passion is less evident. (May)

Forecast:Although this is a less, well, sexy title than his earlier bestseller Kosher Sex, Boteach has a strong sales base and reputation.

Reviewed on: 04/29/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 450 pages - 978-0-465-00795-0
Open Ebook - 481 pages - 978-0-7867-2357-7
Paperback - 672 pages - 978-1-4587-6032-6
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