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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Jews and war - before, during and after -part 2

The effects of World War II didn’t end when the shooting stopped and peace treaties were signed. The heroism of some was recognized, the sins of others were punished and an even larger group sought to pretend that nothing untoward had occurred. While only one of the three novels in this re…

Off the Shelf: Jews and war – before, during and after – part 1

For the past several years, I’ve written a year-end, two-part book review to catch up on the number of novels about World War II that multiply on my to-read pile. Although I was expecting to do the same for this year, something different happened. One book that I thought was about World Wa…

Off the Shelf: Family joys and pains by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The source of our greatest joys and our deepest sorrows can be one and the same: our families. Our love makes us far more vulnerable to slights, rejection and criticism when it comes from a family member. Acknowledgment and acceptance of our true selves – the good and the bad – is not al…

Off the Shelf: Revisiting a biblical tale by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’m always fascinated to discover new interpretations of biblical tales. One source of inspiration has been comments made by members of a study group or class I’m teaching. Other new ideas have been found in some traditional formats: books of essays about the parasha or d’var Torah col…

Off the Shelf: Romance, contemporary style by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

One reason people like reading traditional romance novels is that they’re guaranteed to have a happy ending. That’s not necessarily true of literary romance novels because, unlike traditional romances, there’s no guarantee that all will end well. That thought occurred to me when readin…