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What’s Permissible and What Isn’t

I’m reading this book on Judaism (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/285371.Judaism), which is a part of a series on a number of world religions.

I’m beginning to wonder if this is even a good book for my purpose, which is to get a general understanding of the religion and it’s tenets. The book is mostly quotes from rabbis. I’ve heard that the other books in the series are not like this, but I haven’t read them yet, so I’m not sure. I would welcome feedback on this book if anyone here has read it, and any suggested alternatives.

Anyway, I’ve read about half the book so far–and it seems that a stunning amount of time, from antiquity to modern day, has been spent by rabbis and other authorities in Judaism trying to understand what is permissible and what is not.

Am I correct in this? What are your thoughts on this? Is this a trait unique to Judaism, due to the complexity of its rules?

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Source: Reditt