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Title: Dating Smart: Navigating the Path to Marriage

19 Av 5773 – July 25, 2013
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.

You Can Tell This Book By Its Covers

12 Adar 5773 – February 21, 2013
You can tell Rabbi Yossy Goldman’s book From Where I Stand: Life Messages from the Weekly Torah Reading by its covers. The front cover is a photograph of a rabbi in a shul that is full of light.

Title: A Neuropsychologist’s Journal: Interventions and “Judi-isms”

11 Adar 5773 – February 20, 2013
I was recently invited to review A Neuropsychologist's Journal: Interventions and “Judi-isms.” Normally this wouldn't take me long as I would get the gist of the book by quickly skimming through it. Instead I found myself engrossed in reading this book word by word, cover to cover. The short chapters had me hungrily turning the 459 pages for more, and at times, I just could not put it down.

NY Book Takes Top 2012 National Jewish Book Award

10 Shevat 5773 – January 21, 2013
A history of New York Jewry took Jewish book of the year honors in the 2012 National Jewish Book Awards.

Title: Harry Fischel: Pioneer of Jewish Philanthropy: Forty Years of Struggle for a Principle...

6 Shevat 5773 – January 16, 2013
The Jewish people have been blessed with a plethora of biographies and memoirs about our rabbis, educators, philanthropists and community leaders. Unfortunately, many that were published in previous generations have been lost to history, and the impacts that many noteworthy individuals had on our people have been largely forgotten.

Title: Lexical Studies in the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Inscriptions: The Collected Essays...

29 Tevet 5773 – January 10, 2013
This excellent, delightful and lucid collection represents some of the best in academic research. Philological, lexicographical, linguistic, epigraphical, cultural, mythological, ritualistic, and historical knowledge are informed by virtuosity in comparative ancient Semitic languages. These erudite studies by the high-powered academic scholarship of Hayim Tawil – a professor of Hebrew languages and literature at Yeshiva University – shed light on Biblical Hebrew, the whole field of Ancient Near Eastern studies, medieval exegetical traditions, and the reception history of the Biblical text from antiquity to the present day.

Title: The Rarest Blue

I’ve always had an interest in the intersect between halacha, history, and archaeology. It is this interest that led me to research and write about the status of Purim in modern-day Israeli cities that are adjacent to ancient cities that had a wall around them in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun. I concluded, in regards to Beit Shemesh at least, that there is much merit in observing a second day of Purim, on the 15th of Adar.

Title: Between 10 and 5 with Dad – Keeping the Fifth Commandment

No one likes to dwell about loss, or delve into the nitty-gritty issues and emotions that come along with losing a loving parent to a horrible illness. However life happens, and the sad truth is that many people every day lose parents to illness or age. It's the facts of life.

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