Receiving a difficult medical diagnosis can easily spell trauma, anguish, and hopelessness for a patient and his loved ones. Yet even amidst the dark skies of such a situation, Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein affectionately known simply as YY assures us that there is still hope.
Sadly, Dr. Zvi Faier, the gifted Torah scholar, theoretical physicist and poet, passed away in 2009, on the 10th of Tevet 5769, after a long illness borne with dignity and courage. There recently appeared the first of two posthumously published works that show the amazing breadth of his knowledge, insights and interests.
Work-life balance has been in the media a lot lately. Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor who served as the first female Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department, wrote a groundbreaking article in The Atlantic entitled “Women Can’t Have It All.” Slaughter writes about her struggle with balance—parenting and working, and the importance of being present, as well as the importance of absolute boundaries between work and parenting. As evidence—both of the compartmentalizing men are capable of and as an example of the type of behavior women should engage in more, Slaughter writes about Orthodox men she has worked with: “Come Friday at sundown, they were unavailable because of the Jewish Shabbat.”
Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future Author: Michael Kaufman Publisher: Targum Press, 2012
Rabbi Yehuda Loewe of Prague, known as Maharal, was one of the greatest lights that G-d has given to the Jewish people. Halachic authority and active communal leader, linguist and grammarian, philosopher and mystic, master of the totality of rabbinic literature and conversant in the arts and sciences as well, Maharal revealed new depths to the words of Chazal and uncovered layers of meaning that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
The poems in this collection, Explaining Life: The Wisdom of Modern Jewish Poetry, 1960-2010 – some written originally in Yiddish and Hebrew – do “pierce the heart,” and educate it as well. These are poems about major issues in daily life – love, loss, alienation, family relationships, the after-effects of war, death and renewal – which help us reflect on how we are living and suggest possible ways to cope with and to improve our lives.
Many conservative pundits write and lecture on the threat of radical Islam. Almost none, however, possess political power. Geert Wilders is an exception. Head of the Netherlands’ third largest political party – the Party for Freedom – Wilders is on a mission to halt Islam’s advance in the West.
Baseless Hatred: What It Is and What You Can Do About It, a new book by Dr. Rene Levy, tackles a problem that has plagued the Jewish people from very early on in their history; the destructive aspects of which have been responsible for some of their greatest historical calamities and continue to threaten the unity of the Jewish people today.
In the 1880s, a substantial immigration of Jews poured into New York from all parts of Europe, Russia, and Galicia. They were eager to escape the hard life of poverty and lack of peace back home, but the reality in America was not as they had expected it to be. It was hard to find work; it was a struggle for mere existence.
There are two primary forms of measuring when it comes to cooking, and our goal is to wean you away from both of them to the greatest extent possible. (There is also a third form of measuring, but doing without it can be risky and, based on my own disaster-stories, I don’t advise it.)
Humanity, Liberty, Rationality: A Review of the Collected Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch:...
Looking for inspiration? Read Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch. This is my general rule of thumb, which is why I was thrilled when the ninth (and presumably last) volume of the Collected Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (Feldheim Publishers) came out a few weeks ago.
It’s refreshingly rare to welcome a new compendium on the targum of Megillas Shir Hashirim and Ruth (in one volume), just released by Rabbi Henoch Levine. This is the tenth volume in a series by the author, acclaimed for his expertise in targumic studies in general, and for his works on Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel Al Hatorah, in particular.
Title: Biblical Beauty: Ancient Secrets and Modern Solutions Author: Rachelle Weisberger Publisher: Anbern Press
Title: The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine Author: Irving Langer Publisher: Gefen
Breathe deeply. You’ll need maximum physical and spiritual power to absorb the uplifting lessons in this book. Page 249 explains why some Jews are praised as “fish on dry land,” a phrase that describes Moshe Rabeinu. Am Yisrael began to appreciate his depth of character at kriat Yam Suf, realizing that “he lived in the revealed world as though he were in the concealed world.”
Author Irving Langer provides his own look at wine-making as well as the nature of the storage barrels used to age wines for taste perfection. He intersperses the book with Jewish historical facts and figures, a few jokes and photographs, and advice on how to pair wines with specific foods.
Unlike formulaic biographies from popular publishing houses in the Orthodox Jewish world, Beyond Politics is not predictable. The vignettes of individual men and women who trekked through Ethiopia and Sudan, flew in from Austria, India, and Algeria, or were born on Israeli soil are gritty, adventurous, and heartwarming.
The OU Press has brought out two very significant books on the thought of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
The book Here Comes Shabbos! is about a family baking, cooking, polishing silver, shining shoes, shopping and cleaning for Shabbos. The activities begin on Friday morning and only conclude shortly before lighting the Shabbos candles. During that time span, it covers everything you need to do in order to get ready for Shabbos.
This book is very riveting. It is a comprehensive biography of the Mirrer Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt’l. It starts out telling us about the Mirrer Yeshiva escaping to Shanghai from Lithuania during World War II because of the invading Germans. It then describes Rabbi Finkel’s family, and then Rabbi Finkel himself. It is important for young adults to see our gedolim as role models, and Rabbi Teller’s biography provides just that. Also, Rabbi Finkel is a relatable role model, because he grew up as a typical American Jewish kid.
Bird’s Head Haggadah Revealed The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative & Religious Imagination By Marc Michael Epstein, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2011
Title: When General Grant Expelled the Jews Author: Jonathan Sarna Publisher: Schocken
Title: The Koren Ethiopian Haggada Journey to Freedom: Celebrating Ethiopian Jewish History, Traditions &...
Title: The Koren Ethiopian Haggada Journey to Freedom: Celebrating Ethiopian Jewish History, Traditions & Customs Editor: Rabbi Menachem Waldman Publisher: Koren Publishing
The Hebrew-English haggada provides a wealth of photographic evidence of the lives led by Ethiopian Jews. The pottery, the unembellished homes, school, and synagogues, the gaunt Jews in modest clothing and head coverings portray dedication to Torah values despite harsh political and topographical conditions.
Rabbi Norman Lamm wrote and preserved the hundreds of eloquent and inspiring sermons he had delivered as a pulpit rabbi in Manhattan for 25 years prior to becoming president of Yeshiva University,