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Graphic works for all ages by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When a writer offers long descriptions of people and places, my mind rarely forms a visual image from the text. Instead those words create an emotional mood – one that may not be completely faithful to the author’s intent. That’s one reason I enjoy books with …

Religion, money and hate by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Are houses of worship built to celebrate the glory of God or the glory of humans? That question would not have been asked of synagogues in medieval Europe because of the many restrictions limiting the size and height of those buildings. Other laws restricted where J…

The war and its reverberations by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The never-ending number of novels about World War II and/or the Holocaust amazes me. It’s so easy to get behind because numerous new ones are published each month. In fact, I decided not to ask for review copies of six recent works because I already had five novel…

Defining religion by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Many Jewish professionals believe that contemporary American Jews are uninterested in Judaism, as seen by their lack of engagement with traditional American Jewish organizations such as the synagogue and Jewish Federations. Rachel B. Gross, on the other hand, thinks…

Searching the past for answers by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Scholars and historians study documents and photographs, visit meaningful sites and interview people connected to the events. Family members search for answers to questions they were too young to have asked when their parents or grandparents were still alive. No mat…