Now four years have passed and Judd is disillusioned. He confronts his former teacher and mentor, a Syrian Jew knowledgeable in Judaism, with a barrage of questions: Why do so many things in the Talmud seem to be just clever arguments? Doesn’t anyone care about what is really true? Did Moses really write the Torah? Why doesn’t yeshiva study ever face up to the challenges of science, of biblical criticism, and other aspects of the modern world? Most of all, where is “the reality of ha-Shem” in all this—shouldn’t that be the whole point of studying?

Their dialogue, sometimes angry, sometimes humorous, ultimately touches on the most basic issues in Judaism, as Judd and his mentor each strive to convince the other of their very different views. This is a book for people of all kinds: yeshiva students and yeshiva dropouts, the pious and the not-so-pious, and any ordinary reader eager to sit in on a seminar in Advanced Judaism.