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Off the Shelf: Righteous and evil men by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

According to the website Masterclass (www.masterclass.com), “thrillers are dark, engrossing, and suspenseful plot-driven stories.” Why was I looking for a definition of the thriller genre? Well, the two books featured in this review –”The Accomplice” by Joseph Kanon (Atria Books) a…

Off the Shelf: Imagining and re-imagining biblical characters

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

One answer to the question of why there are so many different interpretations of the biblical text is that people are intrigued by the gaps in the stories – the parts that are either not clear or left out. Everyone from the ancient rabbis to contemporary novelists…

Off the Shelf: A biography, a memoir and a history by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Courage and determination: that’s what ties the stories found in the three non-fiction works in this review. Whether it’s fighting for the right of workers to unionize, helping the French resistance, or using a road race to symbolically represent a defeat of fascism, each character or na…

Off the Shelf: Using Jewish ideas to parent by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

There are numerous books on how to raise children, including several with Jewish themes. For Rabbi Amy Grossblatt Pessah, the seder (Jewish prayer book) gave her the tools she needed to become a better parent. In “Parenting on a Prayer: Ancient Secrets for Raising Modern Children” (Ben Y…

Baseball’s all-time Jewish all-star team by Bill Simons

By Bill Simons

When Esquire magazine named all-time baseball all-star teams for various ethnic groups, sarcasm preceded its Jewish selections: “There haven’t been many Jewish ballplayers, let alone Jewish ballplayers of quality, and this creates problems; anyone who is left off the team…