The Encyclopaedia of Judaism, edited by Geoffrey Wigoder
What is a Jew? Yet another chance to tackle this thorny old question beckons with the publication of the massive one-volume Encyclopaedia of Judaism. By definition such a book is a prisoner of the alphabet, and hence darts all over the place: does it nevertheless end up with a single identifiable theme?
Thanks to its distinguished editor, Geoffrey Wigoder, who also served as editor-in-chief of the 16-volume Encyclopaedia Judaica, and to his supporting cast of nearly 80 scholars, one can be confident that this work will provide authoritative answers to the particular, sporadic questions for which one turns to a reference book of any kind. Thumbing the pages of this particular reference book, one is also rewarded by the great range of colorful illustrations that make it pleasing aesthetically as well as informative on intellectual grounds. Most heartening of all is the strong hint in the preface that a deliberate effort has been made here to be precise in deciding what, in fact, is a Jew.
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