January 16, 2018
Daniel Keren • The Jewish Connection
In my last column, I discussed a book (“180 Degrees” by Abraham Leib Berenstein) that foucsed on the profiles of 25 Baalei Teshuvah, Jews from secular or assimilated backgrounds who were inspired to make a major life change and embrace a lifestyle based on Torah-true values. The subject of this week’s column is a book that deals with Jewish law for those who were born gentiles and against greater odds and often opposition from family and close friends to convert to Judaism.
Rabbi Michael J. Broyde, a professor of law at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion has published a book that paints an intriguing explanation of how gairim or converts to Judaism are treated by Jewish law.
Rabbi Broyde brings to this sefer his experience of many years as a dayan (religious judge) in the Beth Din of America and as its director; as well as Read the rest of this entry »
January 10, 2018
Abigail Klein Leichman • JPost
Originally created as an online project to support national food bank program Leket Israel, From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey comprises short essays on gustatory themes in each weekly Torah portion.
A scholar or educator contributes the “main course,” if you will, while Diana Lipton – an adjunct lecturer in Bible at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School – adds thoughtful “side dishes” to round out every chapter’s meal.
Digging into Read the rest of this entry »
January 4, 2018
Rabbi Ari Enkin • Torah Book Reviews
There is nothing worse for our bodies than…food. Yes, between the additives and preservatives, combined with the inexcusably large portions which we eat –that our bodies do not need or want– we are literally destroying our health one meal at a time.
Add to this equation the fact that we are Orthodox Jews, making the situation even more alarming. We can’t get away from food. Whether it’s pat shacharit, three meals on Shabbos, Melaveh Malka, a vort, a bris, a wedding, a l’chaim, a Kiddush, a Friday “to’amei’ah” session, or a yartzeit tikkun, we are seemingly trapped into eating. And here’s my favorite: “I’m not sure if I had a kezayis, so please pass me some more [fill in a carbohydrate and fat saturated food] so that I can be sure I can say a bracha achronal…” And I didn’t even comment on the near total disinterest and disregard for exercise in the Orthodox community. (“…because it’s bittul Torah”)
As one who has lost about 50 pounds over the last number of years, I was extremely excited to get my hands on “Am I My Body’s Keeper?” Read the rest of this entry »
January 2, 2018
Diana Lipton • The Times of Israel
Food is at the heart of Jewish life and culture, the subject of many recent studies — popular and academic — and countless Jewish jokes. From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey: A Commentary on Food in the Torah spotlights food in the Torah, where it’s used to explore such themes as love and compassion, commitment, character, justice, belonging and exclusion, deception, and life and death. Originally created as an online project to support the innovative food rescue charity, Leket Israel, From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey comprises short essays on food and eating in the parasha by 52 internationally acclaimed scholars and Jewish educators, as well as my commentary. Proceeds from sales of this book will go to Leket Israel, Israel’s national food bank.
The Torah offers a variety of ways to internalize its words. We can hear Read the rest of this entry »
January 1, 2018
Steven Klein • Haaretz
A new book by biblical scholar Diana Lipton not only adds insight into the biblical role of food but also benefits Leket Israel – the National Food Bank, which salvages healthful food for Israel’s needy. “I had come from living in London, and previously New York – places where Jewish food is in excess, to where lots of people in our country go hungry,” Lipton told Haaretz of the biggest shock she felt moving to Israel in 2011. A reader in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at King’s College London, Lipton decided to do something practical in Israel – compile a book comprising short essays on food and eating in the weekly Torah portion. The result is “From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey,” the proceeds of which go to Leket Israel. She said she recruited dozens of contributors “from completely secular to pretty religious.”