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Off the Shelf: A thoughtful detective

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Some detective novels are filled with actions and dialogue. Descriptions are at a minimum and the focus of the detective’s thoughts is on “whodunnit.” Anyone looking for that type of mystery can skip the rest of this review because one of my notes on “One M…

Off the Shelf: Stories of love and sacrifice

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The desires of the human heart are difficult to define, whether their focus is religion, politics or love. Trying to fulfill these desires is not always easy, especially if someone or something must be sacrificed in order to make them a reality. Two recent novels p…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: Making Esther come alive

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman


Pages from the “The Koren Tanakh Graphic Novel: Esther (The Magerman Edition).” (Photos used with the permission of Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.)

Biblical commentaries offer us new ways to look at the Torah text. However, there are limitations to using…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: What objects can teach us about the past

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When discussing what might be learned about the past from found objects, our first reaction might be to think of archeological sites. Scholars study the remains of former cultures to learn how people behaved and to hypothesize what life might have been like during t…

CJL: Archeological, historical and literary views of the Bible

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Scholarly works about the Bible can approach the text in a variety of ways. Some are interested in when the work, as we know it, came into being. Others are fascinated by the various strands they see in the text and attribute them to different authors. Two recent wo…