This time of year, there is little pleasure greater than cozying up with a good book. The problem is, of course, that there is a lot to do.
I am from the generation that never saw or heard the Rav but lived in his shadow, feeling his recently departed presence in his students' lectures. My poverty in this sense pales in comparison to that of the next generation, who have only a distant notion of who this great man was and his sprawling impact.
Rabbi Dr. Natan Ophir (Offenbacher) has just written a blockbuster magnum opus about Reb Shlomo that is sweeping in scope and destined to become the definitive biography of a unique personality whose influence on Jewish prayer as expressed musically may be more far-reaching than that of anyone since King David.
August 1937, Cheyenne Wyoming – Sally Levin, an Orthodox Jewish teenager has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and her family is preparing to institutionalize her.
The sefer opens with the origins of the kaparot custom. Readers may be surprised to learn that kaparot – at least in some form – might date back to the Talmudic era, with Rashi testifying about a custom to use a plant for kaparot.
On the one hand, Rashke tells the political story about the motives behind the U.S.‘s welcoming of war criminals onto its land. On the other hand, he successfully balances it with the emotional story of the Holocaust.
Geller, a mother of five who made aliyah from Monsey last year, offers a glimpse – with lots of photos – into her busy family life.
Rambam sets forth no less than 15 chapters specifically devoted to the topic of prayer. He includes its laws in numerous other chapters in his magnum opus work, the Yad Hachazakah. The Tur, the Mechaber and the Rema devote no less than 45 simanim to this topic. Notwithstanding, many of our present day practices will not be found in their works. Yet, as these are ingrained in our prayer service, we question why and where. That is, many of these practices seem to have no reason and no obvious source.
A while back I inducted a new rabbi into office. It’s something I do often, and there is a certain predictability to the proceedings. I give the new rabbi my blessings and encouragement. He in reply thanks those who have helped him through the years, and sets out his aspirations as a spiritual leader and his vision for the future of the congregation.
Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the noted speaker, mohel, and author who has delighted hundreds of thousands of people as “The American Maggid,” has produced The Maggid at the Podium, a collection of speeches originally delivered to live audiences and subsequently published in Zman Magazine. Covering a wide spectrum of topics, the articles touch on such subjects as the proper ways to do bikur cholim, nichum aveilim, and kiruv, to name just a few. Rabbi Krohn also discusses human relationships as well as timely topics connected to the Jewish calendar.
Tzirel Rus Berger is a woman who is in love with her Judaism. But she wasn’t always Tzirel Rus Berger and she wasn’t always a Jew. In fact she began life as Sheryl Youngs, the daughter of a devout Christian pastor in Southern California, before marrying John Massey and following him to the Appalachian backwoods. There she raised their ten children, living a life so impoverished that she didn’t even have indoor plumbing.
Cooking and kids – there’s a very special connection between the two. For busy parents and their even-busier children, working together in the kitchen to prepare a Shabbos meal or a weekday dinner can be a terrific bonding time.
Rabbi Dr. Sperber has just added another outstanding volume to his always-interesting and thought-provoking collection of books. In stating the purpose and thesis of this newest book, On the Relationship of Mitzvot Between Man and his Neighbor and Man and his Maker, Rabbi Sperber attempts to show the superiority in Judaism of man to man mitzvot over man to G-d mitzvot.
The world can sometimes seem like a very dark and cold place. If you ever feel that way, or are looking for a good dose of inspiration, you must read Stories That Light Up Your Heart. When you read stories of people around the globe who had their prayers answered, who saw that indeed Hashem was with them every step of the way, or who experienced a moment when heaven touched earth, it will light up your heart as well.
Once you pick up To Mourn a Child, you will not be able to put it down, but not for the usual reasons. There is no suspense here, as we know from the outset the sad end of each story. It is rather the searing emotional intensity of this book that will grab you and compel you to keep reading.
A unique multivolume collection of English letters by the Lubavitcher Rebbe has just been released, shedding new light on one of the greatest Jewish leaders of modern times.
All the books reviewed in this supplement can serve as great gifts; the books reviewed briefly below do as well.
Admit it; when Chanukah comes we all become kids again. But still, the actual kids get pride of place on this holiday, as they do for all holidays. Anyway, they’ll certainly be the ones clamoring for gifts. Whether it’s for your children, or relatives’ or friends’, why not treat them to the gift of a good book?
While we know a lot about our greatest forebears from the Chumash and later biblical generations, even if there are often gaps in their life stories, we know considerably less about the Sages of the Mishnah (the Tennaim) and of the Gemara (the Amora’im), collectively known as Chazal – our Sages, of blessed memory.