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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Family and finding a home by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

How do people determine what city or country feels like home? This question was raised by two recent memoirs: “I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir” by Esther Safran Foer (Tim Duggan Books) and “I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family’s Story of Exile and Return…

Off the Shelf: Music, dragons, alternate worlds and time travel

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to reading. That’s a fancy way of saying I like many different types of novels. If a book is good, it doesn’t matter to which genre it belongs. In most genres, it’s easy to find novels with Jewish content. That’s not…

Off the Shelf: Wine, beer and other beverages by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When you hear hoof beats, do you think of horses or zebras? Unless you live in Africa, the answer for most people is horses. Yet, according to Jordan D. Rosenblum, the ancient rabbis were more interested “in the anomalous rather than the mundane. In short, when they hear hoof beats, they t…

Off the Shelf: Prayer and nature by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

People find peace and comfort through different activities. Take, for example, two recent books, one of which looks at prayer and the other at gardening. Rabbi Dov Singer gives suggestions to help people have meaningful prayer experiences in “Prepare My Prayer: Recipes to Awaken the Soul…

Off the Shelf: Novels that take place in Israel – part two

Part one of this review focused on the more domestic aspects of Israeli life. This review speaks to the complex issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While politics are involved, all three authors focus on the personal side of these issues, which allows readers to see how they…