Jacob Neusner offers a clear and useful interpretation of the three major periods of Jewish history from the time of the Bible up to the present. It is a view from the inside, a description of actual practice and thought of three epochs: The time of the Jerusalem temples, The Judaism of any place (the dispersion), The modern period. The inner dynamics of each period are capsulized in terms of three meals: the priest's meal with god in the temple, all Israel's meals with God in no paticular place, and all is rael's meals at home on the special occasion of the gather- ing of the family. This book offers a distinctive solution to the problem that all teachers of the study of religion face: how to relate the religion described in books to the same religion as it is lived in the world. What emerges is a captivating account of the life-forming nature of a dynamic religion in vastly differing historical contests. Included are maps, illustra- tions, photographs, and a glossary.