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Thursday, September 24, 2020

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Something for Everyone in ‘Night Archer’ Stories

We first came to know Michael Oren as a historian and the author of best-selling history books such as “Power, Faith, and Fantasy” and...

‘New Jewish Canon’ Provides Much Food for Thought

Some of the very best Jewish learning does not happen in seminar rooms, synagogues or online, but at home, on the couch.

One Israeli Soldier’s Psyche Comes to Light in ‘The Drive’

A principled critic of the IDF comes in the form of one its soldiers in a new book.

Chasidism Taught Through a Modern Lens in Two-Volumes

Judaism will be much enhanced by such adaption as has been this reader.

Playwright Pulls Back the Curtains of His Life in New Memoir

Award-winning playwright David Adjmi (“Stunning,” “Marie Antoinette” and “The Evildoers,” among others) is a shining exemplar of the American Dream.

Author Says Hitler Is Not the Only One to Blame for Atrocities

Historian Robert Gellately asks, how did ordinary people become Nazis?

Rabbi Donin’s Trilogy Speaks Volumes About Jewish Life

Donin himself conceived of his work as “a practical handbook on how to live a Jewish life,” but he also acknowledges that the overarching goal of the three books in the series is “to answer the constant query, ‘Why?’

Lithuania’s Hidden Holocaust and the Writers Who Revealed It

“Our People: Discovering Lithuania’s Hidden Holocaust” is a powerful, poignant and painful exploration of the murder by bullets of Lithuanian Jews by Lithuanian nationalists...

New Book Remixes Judaism for Secular Jews

The challenge that Roberta Rosenthal Kwall confronts in “Remix Judaism: Preserving Tradition in a Diverse World” is summed up at the outset of her...

Author Lifts the Veil on Her Family in ‘Concealed’

Although we are cautioned not to judge a book by its cover, more than one reader of Esther Amini’s memoir will fall in love,...

‘Disciple’ Finds the True Rabbi Schulweis

Harold M. Schulweis was one of America’s most revered rabbis. He was succeeded in the pulpit of Valley Beth Shalom by Rabbi Edward M....

What We Really Mean by Free Speech

The First Amendment does not protect the person who falsely cries “Fire!” in a crowded theater, according to the classic words of Supreme Court...

‘Hitler’ Stands Out as New Definitive Biography

“Do not forget what Amalek did to you,” or so we are commanded in the Book of Deuteronomy. If we must remember an enemy...

How Refugees Influenced Hollywood

Salka Viertel was the highest-paid screenwriter at MGM during the 1930s. She was Greta Garbo’s lifelong best friend. And, thanks to the social gatherings...

Influential Jews Share in ‘Genius & Anxiety’

A certain buzz has attached itself to “Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947” (Scribner), by London-based author, journalist and broadcaster Norman...

Rosove Shares His Progressive Take on Israel and Its Future

The key to understanding why Rabbi John L. Rosove wrote his latest book, “Why Israel (and Its Future) Matters: Letters of a Liberal Rabbi...

‘Tech Shabbat’ and the Benefits of Unplugging

If you are already keeping the Sabbath, then you’re on the way to fulfilling the challenge issued by Tiffany Shlain in “24/6: The Power...

Digging Into the Roots of Religion

“Religion As We Know It: An Origin Story” by Jack Miles (Norton) is modest in length, only 152 pages, but literally cosmic in its...

Dreifus’ ‘Birthright’ Poems Come Straight From the Jewish Heart

Erika Dreifus is one of our brightest literary lights.  She was born in Brooklyn and educated at Harvard, where she earned a doctorate in history...

Advice in ‘Getting Older’ Never Gets Old

Those of us in the baby boom generation used to warn one another not to trust anyone over 30. Now that many of us...

‘Chutzpah’ Explains Israel’s Spirit of Innovation

Amid the dire headlines out of the Middle East, we sometimes lose sight of the good news about Israel. That’s exactly what we find...

Wisdom Learned at the Feet of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

The late Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan is best remembered as the father of Reconstructionism, a movement that regards Judaism as “the evolving religious civilization of...

Insights from the Rabbi Who Wrote the Book on ‘Open Orthodoxy’

“Orthodoxy” with a capital “O” is a misunderstood and misused word in Judaism. Modern Orthodoxy is used to identify the mainstream of strictly observant...

A Late Comer to Her Jewish Roots

Every kid who goes to Hebrew school learns the story of the man who came to Shammai and then to Hillel and asked the...

Author Goes Beyond the Myth of David Ben-Gurion in New Book

David Ben-Gurion and Tom Segev are consequential figures in the history of Israel, one of them for making it and the other for writing...

Saga of First Responders’ Never-Ending Battle Told in ‘9/12’

Only rarely does a single date on the calendar mark a tipping point in history. Dec. 7, 1941, is one example, and Nov. 22,...

Dershowitz Makes the Case in Defense of Israel

Alan Dershowitz is a familiar name in media coverage and public conversation on an astounding variety of topics, but the subtitle of his latest...

Author Widens the Lens to Capture ‘Narrow Waist’

The evocative title of “At the Narrow Waist of the World: A Memoir” by Marlena Maduro Baraf (She Writes Press) is a reference to a...

Middle East the Subject of Many Teaching Approaches

Imagine you are standing in the front of a classroom — not at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion or American Jewish University, but...

Scenes From a Long-Term Relationship With the Talmud

Daf Yomi, the daily study of the Talmud in its entirety, one page at a time, is an undertaking that lasts 7 1/2 years....

Latest news

Jewish MSNBC Commentator: ‘What Is the Difference Between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump?’

"I’m not saying there’s a Holocaust, but when you look at the tactics, that is where we are right now.”

NYC’s Jewish Museum to Reopen Oct. 1 Following 6-Month Closure Due to Coronavirus

(JTA) — The Jewish Museum in New York City said it will reopen on Oct. 1, more than six months after it closed due...

Facebook, YouTube Shut Down SFSU Leila Khaled Event

A day earlier, Zoom said its platform couldn't be used for the event.

UN Ambassador Says Another Peace Agreement With Arab Nation Is Coming in ‘Next Day or Two’

She also said that "others are going to be following.”

Rabbi Takes on L.A. County Over High Holy Days

The county had implemented a coronavirus health order that specifically called out having dinner with extended family and friends “to honor the high holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).”
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