Executive Editor Stream

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…

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…