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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

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…

Off the Shelf: Hollywood and Jewish refugees

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Before I read the press release for “The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood” by Donna Rifkind (Other Press), I’d never heard of Salka Viertel. While I knew that many Jewish and non-Jewish refugees who were act…

Off the Shelf: Novels that take place in Israel-part 1

Novels that take place in Israel tend to fall into two categories: those that talk about domestic life and those that focus on hamatzav (literally “the situation,” referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). However, it’s difficult to draw lines between domestic and political arena…