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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Looking at Jewish Latin America

It was a dream of visiting his childhood home in Mexico that started Ilan Stavans on his journey through Latin America – a journey that included visits to the U.S. and Israel to learn more about Latino Jews. In his book “The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America” (Univer…

Off the Shelf: How the Talmud came to be scripture by Rachel Esserman

The Oral Torah (which contains the Mishnah and Talmud) is said to have been given to Moses at Sinai with the Written Torah. The actual process was far more complicated as David C. Kraemer, a professor of Talmud and rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary, notes in “A History of the Ta…

Off the Shelf: Finding well-being and happiness through Judaism

About a decade ago, a friend and I read “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert, a book she described as portraying most humans as too stupid to understand what would make them happy. I saw the book in a more positive light since it helped me learn more about my own path to happiness.…

Off the Shelf: Jews and war - before, during and after -part 2

The effects of World War II didn’t end when the shooting stopped and peace treaties were signed. The heroism of some was recognized, the sins of others were punished and an even larger group sought to pretend that nothing untoward had occurred. While only one of the three novels in this re…

Off the Shelf: Jews and war – before, during and after – part 1

For the past several years, I’ve written a year-end, two-part book review to catch up on the number of novels about World War II that multiply on my to-read pile. Although I was expecting to do the same for this year, something different happened. One book that I thought was about World Wa…