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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Life in the Catskills by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Jewish life in the Catskill Mountains during the 20th century took a variety of forms. Some people lived in the villages all year-round, while others came only for the summer. Some visitors spent their vacations in fancy hotels that catered to their every whim, while others owned small vacat…

Off the Shelf: Exploring the Torah with Mussar principles

There are many lenses through which to view the Torah. Over the years, a variety of commentaries have appeared focusing on specific viewpoints – from feminist to LGBTQ to men’s issues – in order to challenge our ideas about the biblical text. One recent work offers a different approach…

Off the Shelf: Short stories pack powerful punch By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I usually prefer novels to short stories. It’s extremely difficult to create interesting characters and an absorbing plot in just a few pages. I often find myself feeling dissatisfied – wanting to know more or wishing the stories had a real beginning and ending. Fortunately, some writers…

Off the Shelf: Bookstores, historians and Nazis by Rachel Esserman

The range of books about World War II and the Holocaust allows readers with very different interests to learn something new about what occurred before, during and after the war. Take two recent books: “A Bookshop in Berlin” by Francoise Frenkel (Atria Books) and “Citizen 865: The Hunt …

Off the Shelf: Three short novels by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

As much as I love sinking into a long novel, there is something satisfying about a short work. In addition to the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a book, a short novel usually has a more narrow focus, which surprisingly can allow the author to write in more depth about so…