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This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Bicycles, magic and new gods: three novels

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman


On a bicycle built for one

Annie Cohen Kopchovsky’s life was like that of many 20-something Jewish women in Boston during the late 19th century: an arranged marriage, a husband who spent most of his time at the synagogue or reading, and three young children.…

Teens, in the present day and times past

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Contemporary America 
What does that word mean? What are those initials for? And that game, how do you play it? Those were some of my thoughts when reading two recent novels that take place in contemporary America. Fortunately, an internet search answered my quest…

Jewish sages and Jewish wisdom

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Jewish sages
When people discuss the Talmud, they usually speak about its legal (halachic) aspects. However, its pages are also filled with aggadic material – stories about the ancient rabbis that were used to teach lessons or illustrate a point. In “The Snake a…

Off the Shelf: Exploring the Biblical Text

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“Turn it and turn it again, for everything is in it.” These words by Ben Bag Bag in Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) refer to the Torah. The study of Torah is never ending because there is always something new to learn, at least for those who are open to nove…

Off the Shelf: Sewers and Sanitariums

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Even when I promise myself I’ll take a break from World War II novels, there are always some that grab my interest. For example, I’ve enjoyed Pam Jenoff’s work and, when I saw that her latest novel “The Woman with the Blue Star” (Park Row Books) was gettin…