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Off the Shelf: Light, fire and fathers

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I have an eclectic taste in books. Sorry, eclectic was a high school vocabulary word that I fell in love with: it’s just a fancy way of saying I like to read a wide variety of books. Years ago, there was bookstore on Washington Avenue in Endicott. The salesman an…

Off the Shelf: Unexpected consequences

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Any choice a person makes can result in unexpected consequences. After all, no one can predict the future. But some choices are more fraught than others, for example, surrogate motherhood or having an affair. Those actions occur in two recent novels: Jacqueline Fri…

Off the Shelf: Math, drawings, time travel and family

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should... You might be able to change the past, but does that fix it? What will you lose?” – “Atomic Anna”

What would you change if you could go back in time? Would major historical events be your prio…

Off the Shelf: Developing traditions and variations

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

All religions change and develop over time. That can mean new interpretations or reimaginings of a specific aspect of the tradition, or a major break occurring over theological or legal differences. These variations can be seen in two new works: “Becoming Elijah:…

Off the Shelf: Romance, fantasy or a combination of the two: Part two

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I wrote in part one of this review that I was looking for light reading after having read some very serious fiction. Once again, I found two books in this review had more serious themes than I expected, although there was a great deal of humor in the romance novel.…