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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Revisiting a biblical tale by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’m always fascinated to discover new interpretations of biblical tales. One source of inspiration has been comments made by members of a study group or class I’m teaching. Other new ideas have been found in some traditional formats: books of essays about the parasha or d’var Torah col…

Off the Shelf: Romance, contemporary style by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

One reason people like reading traditional romance novels is that they’re guaranteed to have a happy ending. That’s not necessarily true of literary romance novels because, unlike traditional romances, there’s no guarantee that all will end well. That thought occurred to me when readin…

Off the Shelf: FDR, Rabbi Wise and the truth by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When I was young, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was spoken of highly by members of my family. As the years passed and more information about FDR – particularly the way he manipulated people and the media – was revealed to the public, my feelings about him changed. A new book offers…

Off the Shelf: Messy lives by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

They strove to do something great, something meaningful, but, objectively, the results were a disaster. That loosely describes the main characters in two recent novels: “Revolutionaries” by Joshua Furst (Alfred A. Knopf) and “Donna Has Left the Building” by Susan Jane Gilman (Grand C…

Off the Shelf: Tech Shabbat by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

If we want, we can stay connected 24/7 to our electronic devices. While that may seem wonderful, researchers are debating not only whether all this screen time is healthy, but the fact that always being connected may actually make us less productive. Does working seven days a week really hel…