Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: Morality versus Divine command by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“Thou shalt not murder” is one of the Ten Commandments. Yet, twice a year – during Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat Vayera – Jews read the Akedah, the binding of Isaac, which could also be called “the attempted murder of Isaac.” God tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his son. …

In My Own Words: The summer of 2020 by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The title of the article was not meant to be ironic. At the time the magazine was written (usually six months before it appears), it was still possible to imagine we could have “(the) Best Summer Yet.” The article asked readers to list answers to the following: “it wouldn’t be summer…

Off the Shelf: Children and parents by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Tales of intergenerational conflict fuel novels and memoirs. The majority of these works focus on bad parenting and/or the inability to accept a child’s differences. Both are true of two recent works: Ilana Masad’s novel “All My Mother’s Lovers” (Dutton) and David Adjmi’s memoir …

In My Own Words: Red or Blue, all are American by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When a natural disaster occurs in the United States and I receive a request for help, I don’t ask for specifics about whose lives are in danger. It doesn’t matter their age, skin color, ethnicity, religion or political viewpoints. Americans reach out and give each other a helping hand. I…

Off the Shelf: Revisiting World War II and its aftermath

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

During my years as book reviewer for The Reporter, I’ve read more World War II and Holocaust themed novels than I can count. What amazes me is that there are still so many stories to tell and so many different ways to relate them. Some of the novels in this review…