Book Reviews

CJL: Disconnections

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

*Images are pages from Leela Corman’s “Victory Parade” (Graphic credit to Leela Corman/Reprinted with the permission of Schocken Books).

Some experiences can permanently affect people’s lives. That often causes a disconnection with their family and frien…

CJL: Israelis in the U.S. and Israel

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

There’s been a backlash against Israeli authors recently, everything from leaving negative reviews on websites because the authors are considered Zionists to the cancellation of readings and book signings. Refusing to read these authors, though, would mean missing…

CJL: Jewish mystic or psychological breakdown

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The essence of some novels is open to debate. Even when readers learn about the character from several viewpoints, there are questions that may never be fully answered. To be fair, some readers of Toby Lloyd’s “Fervor” (Avid Reader Press) will feel confident t…

CJL: Dark and funny Jewish humor

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman 

Confession: I’d never heard of actor/comedian Brett Gelman before learning about his book “The Terrifying Realm of the Possible: Nearly True Stories” (Dey Street Books). I also didn’t remember seeing its title on any list of upcoming books with Jewish them…

CJL: Exploring Leviticus

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Commentaries on the Bible are rarely page turners. Even the most interesting are more likely to make people nod their head in agreement than encourage them to eagerly continue reading. This is especially true for works on the biblical book of Leviticus, which, with …