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The Big Jewish Book for Jews  By  cover art

The Big Jewish Book for Jews

By: Ellis Weiner,Barbara Davilman
Narrated by: Ellis Weiner,Barbara Davilman,Yuri Rasovsky,Lorna Raver
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Publisher's Summary

If both Ike Turner and Isaac Bashevis Singer are Jewish, what does “being Jewish” even mean? The assimilated Jews of today are lost, and they need to relearn the old ways so their identity comes to mean something other than laughing knowingly at Curb Your Enthusiasm and being ambivalent about AIPAC. What they need is The Big Jewish Book for Jews, a hilarious compendium of instruction, handicrafts, and lore that will help them rediscover the traditional wisdom, skills, and recipes, going all the way back to Moses and the original Exodus from Egypt, when God was the only GPS you needed.

The Big Jewish Book for Jews brings together Jewish wit, inspiring tales, classic skills, and even pickle recipes, for the instruction and edification of the modern Jew. Listeners will learn how to sacrifice a lamb unto the Lord, the rules of Canasta, how to build a pyramid (both the Bernie Madoff and the Egyptian kind), and how not to accept the first table you are shown to in a restaurant. Through this funny and informative reference, listeners will build a connection to their ancestors and finally understand what it takes to be the Jew-est Jew of all.

©2010 Ellis Weiner, Barbara Davilman (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Big Jewish Book for Jews

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to Hear

This books reads as if it had been written by 3 people who do a poor job at blending the 3 texts. It reads as if one of them was funnyt, one liked making fun of Jews and the other really, really, really like typing.

The book has many funny moments, but many others are not. Someone once told me a great joke: "A Jew goes to an Orthodox Rabi and asks he put a Mezuzah in his Ferrari, the Rabi asks 'what's a Ferrari?' and when he finds out it is a car he refuses, so the guy goes to a reform Rabi and ask him to put the Mezuzah in the Ferrari and the Rabi says: 'what's a Mezuzah?'. In this book the joke includes 3 Rabi, very slow speech from the narrator, very, very long pauses, and they repeat many, many times the whoe thing. They kill the punch line. They really kill the joke. I only use this as an example, of course.

Even though the book is not meant as a Hebrew Language Course, they pronounce many of the Hebrew words wrong, which makes no sense if they are trying to suggest ways to "be more Jewish". They say MezUzah instead of MezuzAh, iOmkeeper istead of iom kippUr, and so forth. That, to me, made the whole book "funny".

At the beginning of the book the volume goes up and down. Then they play music between chapters at what sounds like twice the volume of the one used for speech, so make sure you are ready to turn the volume down on your MP3 or car stereo.

They book could be good, but they need a second edition, a new editor to leave out the stuff that adds nothing to the book and a new director for the audiobook, someone who will take into account the proper pronunciation of foreign words, speech tempo, pausation, and, of course, an engineer who'd monitor the volume lever properly.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is satire.

Guys. I threw this on bc I thought it looked fun. But first I read the reviews and thought for this book must have surely be written by ignorant antisemites. Listen I understand if you think these authors are being literally seriously. They’re not. This couldn’t be more satirical if it tried. And it’s hilarious if you’ve shared these experiences.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Borderline Offensive

This book reads like someone who has never met a Jewish person writing a book based solely on stereotypes. Obviously it’s meant to be light hearted but it’s lazy at best. At times it’s flat out expensive. There’s a comment about how a sure fire way to make Jew happy is by any situation that promotes financial gain and something to complain about. Really? Thats not funny. That’s offensive and trite.

2 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly Enjoyable

This book is as entertaining as it is informative. I heartily recommend the audio version.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, funny, humbling and interesting.

I laughed out loud several times and shed a tear or two as well. A few times I was even shocked. The only bothersome things are the readers' (yes, all of them) stunning capacity for mispronouncing "Israel." That bugged me to no end. Also, their obvious irritation with Christendom was almost offensive because the chapter on Islam wasn't as intolerant. Weird. In any case, a great listen and worth the price.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Negative

Read this as a secular Jewish person raised in NY. At first it was kind of funny but I found all the things together was a negative and disrespectful book . Not sure of the audience it was aimed at but there was just too much of it

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Delightfully charming

This book is filled with so many cute anecdotes. It's altogether amusing and fun. I enjoyed it very much.

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    4 out of 5 stars

nice overview.

great overview, easy skimming, with nice light humor. the content seems to be restricted to the Ashkenazi experience in the US,; would have been even better if it had infused with some Ashkenazi, especially some equivalent recipes.

thanks to the authors for adding this book to th
e Jewish American modern experience.

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Insult to Judaism

The author has little respect for the Jewish Holy Scrptures, Tanakh and perhaps Jewish people in general.

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    1 out of 5 stars

This book has very Self hating vibes.

I didn’t like this at all. At first I thought it was supposed to be funny but soon realized it’s very hateful and sarcastic, but not in a good way.

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  • Swing Swang
  • 10-14-13

Kosher laughs all round!

Funny and informative. I took a Bible, a Hebrew phrase book and this book to Israel. This book got listened to the most, but it's so un-PC in places that we had to listen to it quietly just in case we gave offence to other residents in the hotel. As a non-Jew I got an interesting insight into American-Jewish culture, rather than Jewish culture in general, however there were also some themes that transcended cultures. For example the chapter on 'too much food' will ring bells with anyone whose social upbringing has conditioned them to over-cater for their guests. Think 'instructions on how to throw a Big Fat Greek Wedding' - or in my case Portuguese family gathering. Nicely narrated by the authors too.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-23-22

funny and informative. worth reading at least once

i really liked the book. it presents the information in a funny and acessable way. i am the literal target demographic, if not american, but my goy friends enjoyed the chapters i shared with them as well, altho this may vary with other goy friends who are not my goy friends. its good to take it seriously rather than literally and some of the advise and information is genuinly implementable and informative. i think it threads the needle of entertaining without interfering with the facts.

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  • Michael Dunn
  • 07-17-18

Excellent insight into Jewish life

An excellent detailed look into Jewish life. The humor enhances the points being highlighted. Loved every minute of it. Thanks so much Learnt a lot.
Ian