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This will sound strange, but I’m looking for a book to learn about the basics of Judaism…even though I grew up in a Jewish community, went to an (Orthodox) synagogue my entire childhood, keep somewhat kosher, speak Hebrew fluently & know Jewish history extensively.

Title should explain it, but for more context:

Born and raised Jewish, lived a Jewish life since I was born. I keep (kind of) kosher and though I don’t fully observe Shabbat I don’t work on the day and don’t do shopping/work/etc. I know Jewish history very well and many things about Judaism.

My point is – I’m not a beginner.

However…I didn’t get a real Jewish education, and this means I don’t know anywhere near as much as I’d like to about how Jewish texts, principles, rabbis, holidays, rationale behind things etc etc.

When my dad would take me to beit kneset, he would be davening and I would just sit there for hours listening but not knowing what was going on. I would stand when everyone else did and mumble like I knew what was happening, but really I didn’t. I would hang out with my friends who went to Jewish schools and they would talk about doing classes for so many different texts/subjects and I was like 😐 I literally had no idea what they were. But when I’d ask my relatives for help they’d assume I was either joking or they’d get kind of annoyed that I didn’t know. So I stopped.

So I’m basically in a position where I observe things and know the essential element of Judaism and our history and culture, but I’m extremely ashamed to say that I don’t even know a thing about the Talmud, Neviim, Ktuvim, Mishna, Gemara…I don’t even really know what they are. I don’t know how Jews came to be a people, what the difference is between Jews/Israelites/Hebrews etc.

That’s not to say that I don’t know the basic stories of our holidays and famous figures etc, because I observe holidays. I hope this makes sense lol.

Of course I could go to a synagogue and ask, or to Chabad or something. And I may in fact do that. However, I’d really appreciate a book so that I can learn in my own time and get a place to start.

All recommendations appreciated. For reference, I’d like Orthodox-oriented material.

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