Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: Exploring history through objects by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

History is defined as “the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.” But what parts of history tell us the most about the past? Should its focus be great events – for example, wars and revolutions – and the biographies of those who made them happen? Or should we be studyi…

In My Own Words: Both sides of an issue by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’m having a hard time getting my head around an issue that’s been featured in recent news reports and opinion pieces. My problem? I can understand both sides of the issue and, while I think each side makes good points, I can also see when their choices are problematic. This might make m…

In My Own Words: The new not-so-normal normal by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Zoom meetings, social gatherings with separate tables, masks worn in stores or when visiting friends, numerous protocols in order to enter buildings: this is the new not-so-normal normal. Some of us are adjusting better than others; some of us are luckier than others financially or socially.…

Off the Shelf: Righteous and evil men by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

According to the website Masterclass (www.masterclass.com), “thrillers are dark, engrossing, and suspenseful plot-driven stories.” Why was I looking for a definition of the thriller genre? Well, the two books featured in this review –”The Accomplice” by Joseph Kanon (Atria Books) a…

Off the Shelf: Imagining and re-imagining biblical characters

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

One answer to the question of why there are so many different interpretations of the biblical text is that people are intrigued by the gaps in the stories – the parts that are either not clear or left out. Everyone from the ancient rabbis to contemporary novelists…