Kaytek the Wizard – Recognition Award

October 17, 2018

Kaytek the Wizard

Kaytek the Wizard (written by Janusz Korczak in 1933 and translated into English by Antonia-Lloyd Jones) first premiered as a puppet play in 2016 (BriAnimations Living Entertainment).  This production has been performed across the U.S., from Tennessee to Maine to California, at festivals, schools and performing arts centers.

Image by Erika Chambers www.facebook.com/erikachambersphotography

At the August 2018 International Korczak Conference in Seattle, Washington, the production won a recognition award for introducing audiences to this man who is often referred to as “The King of Children”.

jkaward

 

A short preview of the puppet play can be seen here.

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A Pioneer of the Jewish publishing Industry – Bernie Scharfstein z”l of Ktav

October 14, 2018

The New York Times

SCHARFSTEIN–Bernard, passed away peacefully at home in the loving embrace of his family on October 4, 2018 at age 92. Bernie devoted his professional life to Jewish scholarship and education. In close collaboration with his late brother, Sol, he published Jewish scholarly books and educational material at KTAV Publishing House, which was founded by his parents, Asher and Fannie in the 1940s. He was recognized for his impact on Jewish scholarship and learning with an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University in 1997.

Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Bernie attended Yeshiva College, where he starred on the basketball team, which in its day competed against leading college teams. He graduated from New York University and received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He was an avid reader of The New York Times, where many of his letters to the editor were published. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, to whom he was devoted for 59 years and their three sons, David (Sarah), Jonathan (Suzanne) and Daniel (Julie). He is also survived by nine loving grandchildren (Allison, Rebecca, Michelle, Benjamin, Julia, Kayla, Eliza, Ava and Nadia). It gave him great joy that all of his children and grandchildren were educated at Jewish day schools, where they learned from many KTAV books, and that they continue to have a deep appreciation for Judaism.

Contributions may be made to the Fannie and Asher Gemilus Chessed Fund at Yeshiva University c/o Rabbi Dr. Herbert Dobrinsky, 500 W. 185th St., BH312, NY, NY 10033.

 


New Review: Six Days of Cosmology

October 5, 2018

Alan Jay Gerber • The Jewish Press

Six Days of Cosmology.jpgNew Beginnings

It is a new year with new reviews for your reading and learning pleasure.

One of our nation’s oldest Jewish publishers, Ktav Publishing, recently brought to the Jewish reading public a fascinating literary work, “Six Days of Cosmology and Evolution: A Scientific Commentary on the Genesis Text With Rabbinic Sources” by Daniel Langer, with an endorsement from astrophysicist Dr. Amitai Bin-Nun.

With the upcoming Torah readings from the book of Genesis this timely work should serve as a unique literary experience tailored to both our religious and intellectual needs.

The method employed by the author utilizes a verse by verse analysis of the Genesis narrative of the story of the world’s creation through the use of both scientific and rabbinic “lenses”.

In his introduction the author details for us his goals in what has in previous generations proven to be a daunting literary experience.

“The aim of this book is to demonstrate that the Torah’s account of Creation is not in conflict with the sciences of cosmology, geology, or evolution. This requires an understanding of the nature of time, the overlapping character of the six days, and the use of homonyms in the Bible.”

Further on the author details the following very candid sentiments:

“This approach will be criticized from the left and from the right. Fundamentalists who hold a literal reading of Scripture may object to the suggestion that words in the Torah can mean different things to different generations, or that passages can be reinterpreted in ways that conform to empirical data and scientific theory. Scholars on the left hold that the Torah is not a science text: treating it as such distorts its message.”

The author concludes his introductory thesis with the following teaching from that great scholar Rabbi Elie Munk, zt”l, from his classical commentary, “The Call of the Torah” where he teaches us the following:

“The Torah does not stipulate as an absolute act of faith that G-d exists. Indeed, the existence of G-d is presupposed throughout, but it is not the object of a proof, nor even of a doubt. But the word order in the initial verse of the Torah [The word “God” appears after “created”] discreetly suggests that we seek out G-d in Creation, and so progressively acquire with our intelligence that which faith puts forward to us at the beginning of our human experience. For faith is crowned by knowledge.”

The timely publication of this work beginning with the reading of Sefer Bereishis makes for a very fortunate religious literary decision.

Do read and enjoy this new literary contribution.


New Review: Scholarly Man of Faith

October 4, 2018

Ben Rothke • Jewish Press

Scholarly Man of Faith

For someone whose educational career spanned over 50 years, the number of books from Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik is rather scant. While there are a number of articles from him, the number of books he wrote is few.

Rabbi Jonathan Ziring quotes Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein and explained the reason why there are relatively few books from Rav Soloveitchik and from his father Rav Aharon Lichtenstein (Rav Soloveitchik’s son-in-law). He explained that in Europe, there were many great European rabbis who lived in very small towns and the entirety of their creative enterprise was based in writing. They did this as their rabbinic duties didn’t take up much of their time, or demand much of their intellectual energies. But as these figures become roshei yeshiva, their creative enterprise was with their students, and their writings become much less.

Read the rest of this entry »


Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah

August 29, 2018

Midwest Book Review • The Judaic Studies Shelf

Maimonides.jpgCompiled and edited by Lawrence J. Kaplan (Professor of Rabbinics and Jewish Philosophy in the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University in Montreal), “Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah” is the first and only comprehensive study of the philosophy of Maimonides by the noted 20th-century rabbinic scholar and thinker, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Based on a complete set of notes, taken by Rabbi Gerald (Yaakov) Homnick, on R. Soloveitchik’s lectures on Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and edited by Professor Kaplan, this work constitutes a major contribution to our knowledge of both Maimonides and Rabbi Soloveitchik.

In these lectures Rabbi Soloveitchik emerges as a major commentator on the Guide. In a wide-ranging analysis he eloquently and incisively explores such diverse topics in Maimonides’ philosophy as his views on prophecy, the knowledge of and approach to God: normative, intellectual, and experiential; divine knowledge; human ethics and moral excellence; the divine creative act; imitation of God; and the love and fear of God. He also undertakes an extensive and penetrating comparison and contrast of Maimonides’ and Aristotle’s philosophical views. Over the course of these lectures develops a very profound and challenging overall approach to and interpretation of the Guide’s central and critical issue: the relationship between philosophy and divine law. This work sheds a bright light on the thought of both Maimonides and Soloveitchik — two great philosophers and rabbinic scholars. Simply stated, “Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah” is a significant and enduringly valued contribution to personal, rabbinic, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections in general, and Maimonides supplemental studies lists in particular.

 


Dirty Jewess – Book Event

August 19, 2018

Consulate General of Slovakia in New York

and

Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews

cordially invite you to a book presentation

 

DIRTY JEWESS BY SILVIA FISHBAUM

with Andrea Coddington

9789655242775

Author Silvia Fishbaum translated and adapted her memoir to English language from its original version Židovka, a platinum bestseller in Slovakia. Both authors, Silvia and Andrea, will be happy to answer all your questions and sign your copies.

When: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Where: 6 E 67 st, New York

RSVP by Friday, August 24 at rsvp.cgnewyork@mzv.sk

Special gratitude to the Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the UN

H.E. Ambassador Michal Mlynár for providing his Residence


Rabbinic Authority 4: The Halakhic Family, the Child’s Welfare, and the Agunah

July 31, 2018

The Plight of the Modern-Day Agunah

JLNJ Staff • Jewish Link of New Jersey

Rabbinic Authority 4

“Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality” is the fourth in a series of volumes that deal with the family, the child’s welfare, halachic divorce in general and the workings of the institution of the beit din (rabbinic arbitration) dealing with the modern-day agunah in particular.

In the event that a Jewish husband fails to give a get to his Jewish wife, in eight rulings Rabbi Warburg addresses in the following scenarios whether a wife can be freed without the giving of a get by her husband: Is there halachic validity of the marriage of a woman to a mumar, an apostate? If a husband is infected with HIV and the sexually transmitted disease is transmitted to his wife and knowingly she continues to remain intimate with him are there grounds to be mevatel the kiddushin, to void the marriage? Read the rest of this entry »