Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: Two sides of World War II – part 1 by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’ve written so many reviews of novels about World War II and its aftermath that I sometimes wonder if there is anything new to say. However, there are as many aspects of the war to explore as there were people affected by what occurred, and each offers something different. These stories m…

In My Own Words: Responsibility and illness by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

As a person who’s faced health challenges, I dislike blaming people for the illnesses they suffer. Over the years, I’ve heard everything from “personality types that lead to cancer” to “we don’t know what’s wrong so it must be your own fault.” Sometimes our bodies malfunction…

Off the Shelf: Feline Jewish wisdom by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Is there a special connection between Jews and cats? I have plenty of Jewish friends who have dogs, but I don’t recall any book written connecting Judaism and canines. That’s not true of cats, though. There is the delightful graphic novel “The Rabbi’s Cat” by Joann Sfar, which feat…

Off the Shelf: Major life changes by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The two memoirs seemed to have little in common at first glance. Yet, underlying the authors’ very different lives is a similar theme: the need to adjust to a major life change. In “Becoming Eve: My Journey From Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgendered Woman” (Seal Press), Abby Chava Stei…

In My Own Words: Rediscovering music of the past by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Without her voice, I don’t know if I would have made it through high school. That’s not totally accurate: it was both her music and lyrics combined with that awesome voice that made it possible. But I do remember the very first time I heard her sing. I bought her album after looking at i…