Judaism’s 10 Best Ideas

Judaisms Ten Ideas front cover.indd

I have a new favorite “First Book about Judaism.” I like it so much, I’m going to add it to the required reading for my Introduction to the Jewish Experience students this fall.

Judaism’s 10 Best Ideas, by Rabbi Arthur Green, is a wonderful guide to the most important aspects of Judaism. All else: the holidays, the mitzvot, the life cycle events, the institutions – all of that! is a vehicle for learning and living these essentials. And frankly, without these ten, the rest of it is theater. Living Judaism may take many different forms, but it always begins and ends with these ten ideas.

What are they? I can give you Rabbi Green’s chapter titles, although the book will flesh it out for you:

  1. Simchah – Joy
  2. Tzelem Elohim – Creation in God’s Image
  3. Halakhah – Walking the Path
  4. Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World
  5. Shabbat – Getting off the Treadmill
  6. Teshuvah – Returning
  7. Torah – The People and the Book
  8. Talmud Torah – “Teach Them to Your Children”
  9. L’Hayyim – To Life!
  10. Echad – Hear, O Israel!

Lay hands on a copy if you can. Split the cost with a friend if need be (at less than $10, it’s a bargain.) Read it and find someone to chat with about it. It will stir up your heart and your mind and you will know where you want to go next: learning, doing, action, something.


Published by


Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi based in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, mom, poodle groomer, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at https://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ as the Coffee Shop Rabbi.

4 thoughts on “Judaism’s 10 Best Ideas”

      1. Hi Rabbi Ruth, I like the book because the author presents the most important aspects of Judaism in a concise but well explained manner. The “10 best ideas” are really great! Most of them can be applied even by followers of other religions. We start the reading with a big momentum – Joy is the subject of chapter 1. And the same rhythm is kept throughout the other chapters.


Comments or Questions? Speak up!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s