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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

The war and its reverberations by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The never-ending number of novels about World War II and/or the Holocaust amazes me. It’s so easy to get behind because numerous new ones are published each month. In fact, I decided not to ask for review copies of six recent works because I already had five novel…

Defining religion by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Many Jewish professionals believe that contemporary American Jews are uninterested in Judaism, as seen by their lack of engagement with traditional American Jewish organizations such as the synagogue and Jewish Federations. Rachel B. Gross, on the other hand, thinks…

Searching the past for answers by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Scholars and historians study documents and photographs, visit meaningful sites and interview people connected to the events. Family members search for answers to questions they were too young to have asked when their parents or grandparents were still alive. No mat…

Off the Shelf: Parasha and prophet by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

There are many different ways to contemplate and study words of Torah. We can study the intricacies of the Chumash, the first five books, mining them for how best to live our lives. Or we can focus on the prophetic writings, which speak to ethics beyond ritual. Fortunately, we don’t have t…

Off the Shelf: Searching for paradise by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Pardes, paradise, the orchard: the opening epigraph of David Hopen’s novel “The Orchard” (Ecco/HarperCollins) quotes from the Talmud, telling the story of four rabbis who visited paradise. One dies, the second becomes insane, the third becomes an apostate and only the fourth emerges wh…