“Judaism Straight Up: Why Real Religion Endures” by Moshe Koppel— Explaining Traditional Judaism

Koppel, Moshe. “Judaism Straight Up: Why Real Religion Endures”, Maggid, 2020.

Explaining Traditional Judaism

Amos Lassen

Moshe Koppel’s “Judaism Straight Up” explores the central differences between traditional societies, including traditional Judaism, and contemporary cosmopolitan ones. We get an explanation of traditional Jewish morality, tradition and belief and understand how these surpassed cosmopolitanism by advancing cooperation, fairness, and freedom. For those of us who wrestle with Judaism and our commitment to it while still living a modern life, there is a lot to be learned here. As we well know, reconciliation between the two can be difficult because of  certain norms and belief that are part of both. While the main focus is on tradition, other topics are also considered through witty prose and the author’s scientific sensibility.

Koppel maintains “that Torah living fits universal and western values far better than much that is associated with modern, secular, “liberal,” politically correct lifestyles.”  He takes is back to the sources — both Jewish and general and we get an enjoyable read in just 195 pages. Here is a study of religious life in a society that is fragmented and his defense of Judaism is very real and very well thought out.


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