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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.…

Off the Shelf God in body and metaphor

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

What is the true nature of God? That’s a question that has been explored and debated over the centuries. There seems to be no satisfactory answer for everyone, even among believers, atheists and agnostics. Two recent books discuss this issue in very different way…

Off the Shelf: Collectors and the war, in fact and fiction

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The Oxford Languages English Dictionary defines the term collector as “a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby,” and uses the phrase “art collector” as an example. Jewish art collectors were of particular interest to Na…

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

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

After some serious literary reading, I decided it was time for something lighter. On my review copy pile were six books that I thought would be perfect for this: romance and fantasy novels. Well, some of the works were more serious than I expected, although others m…