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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Summer Novels

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Summer can be a wonderful time – filled with vacations, fun and romance. People travel to the beach or fancy resorts to escape their everyday lives. Yet, not everyone has enjoyable feelings about summer, as shown in two recent novels. A mostly light-hearted look a…

Off The Shelf: Memoir, Poetry, and a Woman Rabbi

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I wracked my brain to come up with an opening that would tie together the three books in this review, but had no luck. You may be asking, “Then why did she decide to review them together?” Well, they were next on my to-read pile and didn’t fit with other revie…

Off The Shelf: Finding and Creating Families

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The exploration of family relationships – the families we are born into and the ones we create on our own – forms the basis of three recent novels. Each shows how those relationships form the core of our lives, even while noting how every family has its unique c…

Off the Shelf: Injustice and Ethel Rosenberg

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

During my childhood, I was taught that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were innocent of spying. For those unfamiliar with the case, the Jewish couple was convicted and executed for passing U.S. atomic secrets to the U.S.S.R. Both proclaimed their innocence and my father …

Off the Shelf: Reviewing the Past

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” – L. P. Hartley

L. P. Hartley’s statement came to mind after reading Cynthia Ozick’s short novel “Antiquities” (Alfred A. Knopf) and Edmund De Waal’s musings in “Letters to Camondo…