Executive Editor Stream

In My Own Words: Elections and violence by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“But what is more important was that as it happened, we did not see one tank or helmeted officer in the street. A country of over 200 million people was able to change Presidents overnight, without one bayonet being unsheathed. I believe any country that can still do that can’t be all ba…

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…