This companion explores the history, doctrines, divisions, and contemporary condition of Judaism. It organizes and places into context the history of Judaism from ancient through modern times, identifies and expounds some of Judaism's principal doctrines, introduces the more important forms of modern and contemporary Judaism, and takes up topics of special interest in contemporary Judaic life. The 27 contributions to this book and the selections in the associated Blackwell Reader in Judaism illustrate important points, with primary sources complementing the exposition. In this way, the editors talk about Judaism and let Judaism speak for itself. All the contributors, experts in their field, address a broad audience, assuming an interest in the subject but no prior knowledge. They present introductions for any reader interested in the subject, and do not take partisan or sectarian positions. This volume should guide those curious about the past and present of a vital religious tradition that has exercised influence far beyond its own community.