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What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism

Jewish Press
July 28, 2004 Book Review
Aharon ben Anshel • Thursday July 29, 2004

Title: What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism
Author: Robert Schoen
Publisher: Loyola Press, Chicago, IL

In our multi-cultural society who among us has not had to explain Jewish law and customs to non-Jews or to non-observant Jews?

Dr. Robert Schoen (his degree is in optometry) and his wife reside in Northern California and have been active in the efforts of promoting Judaeo-Christian understanding. His book explains the significance of many of our laws and customs and how they and we are viewed by our non-Jewish neighbors.

What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism

What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism
“What is truly remarkable about this compendium is its thoroughness and lucidity. [...] Although Schoen says he wrote the book as a manual for Christians, Jews can also benefit from this masterful overview of their religion, either as a refresher or as a quick source of new information.” – Publishers Weekly

By Robert Schoen

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A blurb on the back cover asks: “What is the significance of bar and bat mitzvahs? Is Chanukah really The `Jewish Christmas?` What can you expect if you are invited to a Passover Seder? Is a Rabbi simply a Jewish priest? “The book covers everything from Jewish ceremonies, holidays and festivals to religious texts, symbols, and kosher food.

Plaudits for the book come from many directions, including Monsignor Tom Hartmann (of “The G-d Squad”), Rabbi Daniel Lapin (of the Alliance of Jews and Christians) and Dr. Eugene Fisher (of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) among others.

Schoen explains Zionism, Jewish history, differences of observances of members of the various “branches” of Judaism, “life-cycle” events such as weddings and brissen, Jewish beliefs, anti-Semitism, the Shoah, and Jewish belief in tikkun olam.

This 270-page paperback is reasonably priced so that one could readily purchase several for friends and associates who may have expressed an interesting in becoming more knowledgeable about all things Jewish. Schoen writes in a clear expository voice that informs without attempting to persuade.

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