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Rachmana Latzlan

19 Kislev 5774 – November 21, 2013
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.

From The Rebbe’s Pen

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.

Briefs And Gift Guide

All the books reviewed in this supplement can serve as great gifts; the books reviewed briefly below do as well.

Titles for Children

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?

Great Men; Great Writers

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.

Title: From Day To Day: Young Scholar’s Daily Calendar & Encyclopedia

19 Av 5773 – July 25, 2013
This rediscovered treasure was the project of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, which he compiled in 1943 as a calendar and in 1944 as an encyclopedia, as instructed by his father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneerson, the sixth Chabad Rebbe, whom he later succeeded as Rebbe in 1950.

Title: Dating Smart: Navigating the Path to Marriage

The dating world is a daunting place. Working with shadchanim, deciding about potential dating partners, and navigating through the dating process can leave even the most put-together person feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Title: To Mourn a Child: Jewish Responses to Neonatal and Childhood Death

11 Av 5773 – July 17, 2013
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.

Title: The Return of Israel and the Hope of the World

Abraham Livni’s book is a masterpiece of historical insight which encompasses the entire history of mankind, from the time of creation until today. It is based on the philosophy of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook as taught by his son Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda. The thesis of this book is that the redemption of the Jews as it is manifested in the creation of the modern State of Israel is the culmination of meta-historical processes, which will lead to the healing of the moral state of the world. The completion of this process is the ultimate goal of creation.

In The Absence Of Proof

19 Tammuz 5773 – June 26, 2013
For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, Jewish thinkers have tried to prove God’s existence and the veracity of the Torah. That endeavor is no longer in vogue. Indeed, many educated Jews today believe the attempt an exercise in futility.

Title: The Jerusalem Formula

This is a remarkable book to assist those of us – and that means everyone – who are trying to find our way in life, with all its setbacks and pain, as well as for people who want to help people.

Think About It

21 Sivan 5773 – May 29, 2013
When Yankie Schwartz e-mailed me an advance copy of his new book Contemplations: Wisdom for Living (published by Menucha Publishers) for review, I decided to print out 50 pages to read over Shabbos. After all, I reasoned, 50 pages of mussar and hashkafah essays would be enough for me to form a first impression. Boy, was I wrong.

The Ups and Downs of Life in Israel (Book Review)

6 Iyyar 5773 – April 15, 2013
Choosing Life in Israel evinces what it means to be emotionally, spiritually, and viscerally drawn, as a Jew, to the siren song emitted by Israel.

Title: Jewish Identity: Who is a Jew?: Modern responses and opinions on the registration...

25 Nisan 5773 – April 4, 2013
Published originally in 1965, this reissue of a classic is now more relevant than ever. Jewish law legislates that a child is Jewish if the mother is Jewish, or one who had converted to Judaism according to specific halachic requirements. Jewish identity is thus not merely sociological and demographic (if Jews live in the land of Israel) nor ethnic (differences in customs, folkways, and liturgy and practice of Ashkenazi Jews vs. Sephardic Jews), but rather determined by a maternal hereditary religious blood covenant.

Title: Movers & Shakers

10 Nisan 5773 – March 20, 2013
You’ll never get anything you need or want if you don’t ask. You have to ask the questions. Treasure this advice, because it’s one of the best you’ll get in life. At times it’s thorny and complicated to ask another for something – what if he says no and your request is rebuffed. Rejection is hard to take. And what if you’re imposing or the requestee has a hard time saying no? But you’ll also never get a “yes” without first asking.

Book Reviews

5 Nisan 5773 – March 15, 2013
It might still be two weeks to Pesach, but is never too early to start thinking about Afikomen presents.

A Chassidic Classic For Readers Of All Backgrounds

3 Nisan 5773 – March 13, 2013
Reading Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein’s Essays On the Weekly Parsha Based on Nesivos Shalom I could not help thinking of the old warning that “a young man who wishes to remain an unbeliever cannot be too careful of his reading.”

Title: Without Red Strings Or Holy Water: Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah

19 Adar 5773 – February 28, 2013
Rabbi Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) was a halachist par excellence, philosopher, physician, and a political leader of the Jewish community at the ibn Ezra Synagogue of Egypt. Born in Cordovero, Spain and caused to flee a fanatical Muslim sect, the Rambam travelled to Morocco, Eretz Yisrael, Alexandria, and then served as a physician in the court of the Sultan in Cairo Fostat.

Title: In One Era, Out the Other A Memoir of 20th-21st Century Jewish Life

Each one of us finds ourselves at the center of six generations of history. We hear the echoes of our grandparents’ era and see the beginnings of that of our grandchildren and we hope and endeavor to be the fulfillment of the hopes of one and the inspiration of the other.

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