Executive Editor Stream

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…

In My Own Words: Symbols by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When the U.S. Veterans Affairs first received complaints about gravestones with swastikas and references to Hitler in U.S. military cemeteries, it originally refused to remove the inscriptions, which are on the gravestones of German prisoners of war. Only after it received more complaints an…

Off the Shelf: Using Jewish ideas to parent by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

There are numerous books on how to raise children, including several with Jewish themes. For Rabbi Amy Grossblatt Pessah, the seder (Jewish prayer book) gave her the tools she needed to become a better parent. In “Parenting on a Prayer: Ancient Secrets for Raising Modern Children” (Ben Y…

Off the Shelf: A biography, a memoir and a history by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Courage and determination: that’s what ties the stories found in the three non-fiction works in this review. Whether it’s fighting for the right of workers to unionize, helping the French resistance, or using a road race to symbolically represent a defeat of fascism, each character or na…

In My Own Words: Remembering Larry by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

July 2020 marks the 10th yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of my little brother Larry. He was six-and-a-half years younger than me and a very important part of my life from the time he was born until the day he died.

Larry was born with a hole in his heart and developmental disabilities, in h…