Books inspired by the laws and lives of the Jewish people are truly something. Are you familiar with Philip Roth? A Jewish Pulitzer Prize recipient from New Jersey? He wrote the struggles and misadventures of the Jews in the past.
Speaking of New Jersey, many of the novels written about Jews originated from this state. If you are interested in learning more about the Jews, here are some great reads for you.
Talmud is Judaism’s religious text containing the religion’s laws and theological teachings. It is a comprehensive text that dates back toancient times. The scripture has been written in different versions and titles, but the content did not change.
One section in the Talmud we recommend your read right now is their take on gambling and betting. There are no written rules that Jews are not allowed to gamble but Judaism is not a big fan of the activity.
Any form of gambling and betting is considered risky and evil. For example, betting on dog racetracks. Despite their scripture describing dogs as ill-tempered and that they can’t be trusted, Judaism is not in favor of dog or greyhound racetracks.
According to some Jews, dog or greyhound racing is animal cruelty and to add the element of betting is beyond evil. Some Jewish organizations are encouraging people to shun dog racing and betting completely.
They argue their position suggesting that greyhounds, (main participants in dog racing) are docile and that they are actually forced to race.
The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History – Patricia Ard
This book by Patricia Ard paid tribute to the Jewish community who has been calling New Jersey home since the seventeenth century. The book is a collection of stories of Jewish people who witnessed the transformation of the Jews in the state for many years.
The book sheds light to insightful and touching stories of factory workers, farmers, activists, Holocaust survivors, children and more throughout history. The book narrates the joy, the struggle and the pain of being a Jew in the Garden State.
This book was published on November 15, 2001, and it was followed by a number of novels and other reading materials years after to continue telling the story of the Jews.
Goodbye, Columbus – Philip Roth
Philip Roth as mentioned above is a renowned author back in the 1990s and his work resulted in a Pulitzer Prize back in 1997 for “Operation Shylock,” “The Human Stain” and “Everyman.”
“Goodbye, Columbus” is actually a compilation of five short stories that talks about middle-class Jewish-Americans. The five stories are “The Conversion of the Jews,” “Defender of the Faith,” “Epstein,” “You can’t tell a man by the song he sings,” and “Eli, the Fanatic.”
Each story talks about the struggle of the Jewish community as they tried to co-exist with other races and communities.
The book received both good reviews, bad reviews and even controversies. Some critics were not happy how the book satirized Jews’ materialism and complacency. However, the book touched other themes such as drama too.
There are dozens of books telling not just stories but milestones and culture transformation about the Jewish community. There are also books narrating the lives of Jewish people today and how they embraced modern technology and the status of politics.