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Off the Shelf: Translating the Bible by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Someone once asked me how best to understand the Bible if they were unable to read the original Hebrew. I gave them the advice I’d received years earlier: read two or three different translations and note when they disagree or use a different expression. That signals a problematic word or …

Off the Shelf: Mysteries for the start of fall by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Two friends and I were discussing books during a recent lunch. (I know, you’re all shocked to learn I was talking about books.) When it comes to serious fiction, the three of us have similar tastes. When it comes to novels of other genres, we often disagree. For example, I love fantasy and…

Off the Shelf: Saving Jewish culture – and books – after WWII

After World War II, the European Jewish community was left in shambles. In addition to their attempt to exterminate the Jewish people, the Nazis sought to destroy Judaism’s heritage: the buildings, books and ritual objects that helped sustain the religion. Fortunately for the future of Jew…