The Jewish Media Review on The Dawn of Redemption

May 14, 2010
The Dawn of Redemption

The Dawn of Redemption

by Dov Peretz Elkins, The Jewish Media Review

The Dawn of Redemption traces the Jewish concept of individual and communal Redemption through its cosmic antecedents to the role it plays in personal experiences and struggles. Drawing on classic sources, the author melds private experiences with historical forces, personal destiny and the Divine Plan, and shows how alienation and despair are transformed into exhilaration and closeness to God. Upon the canvas of the Biblical books of Ruth and Jonah, one finds in this psychological, philosophical, and spiritual investigation a profound restatement of the redemptive idea within Judaism and its potential to satisfy and uplift the life of every man and woman.

Meir Levin is a physician, Torah scholar, and teacher who lives in Monsey, NY. A former pulpit rabbi and a popular lecturer, he is an author of Novarodok: The Movement that Lived in Struggle and its Unique Approach to the Problem of Man (Jason-Aronson, NJ, 1996), With All Your Heart: The Shema in Jewish Worship, Practice and Life (Targum/Feldheim, 2002), and The Rabbis’ Advocate: Chacham David Nieto and the Second Kuzari (Yashar Books, 2006). Many of the essays in this book had been presented as a series on torah.org.


The Kosher Bookworm Reviews The Dawn of Redemption

May 13, 2010
The Dawn of Redemption

The Dawn of Redemption

by Alan Jay Gerber

The reading of the Book of Ruth is one of the central events of the Shavuot festival. Inasmuch as this holiday commemorates the birth and passing of King David, this reading teaches us about the life and travails of David’s great-great-grandmother, Ruth.

Rabbi Dr. Meir Levin composed a fascinating commentary on the Book of Ruth. Titled The Dawn of Redemption (Urim, 2009), the work highlights, in a mature and sophisticated manner, the entire saga, though it absents some of the more legendary aspects that have placed the work into question, both historically and theologically.

The historical value and perspective can best be demonstrated by the following observations of Dr. Levin.
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Taking Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs

May 13, 2010
Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General

from Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General by Shalom Freedman

The war did not end for Rabbi Goren with the taking of Jerusalem. There were other holy places, including the Tomb of Rachel outside Bethlehem, and the Machpelah Cave, the Cave of the Patriarchs, in Hebron. Rabbi Goren was also to play key roles in the liberation of these two holy sites.

After the survey and meeting with Colonel Gur on the Temple Mount, Rabbi Goren left the Old City area. He set out in the direction of Bethlehem and Hebron only to find traffic stopped near the Talpiyot area, as there were suspected minefields ahead. He also encountered there a large force of soldiers, and was told it would be a great deal of time before the road opened. So he returned to headquarters. After a few hours, he returned to Talpiyot. The road was now open, but clogged with vehicles.
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Six Day War: Jerusalem Reunited

May 12, 2010
Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General

from Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General by Shalom Freedman

In 1948, when the fighting between Arabs and Jews finished, the city of Jerusalem was left divided. The Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and the Jewish Quarter were in Arab hands. After 1948, the Jews of Israel could not cross the line and visit their most holy places. They could only climb to high places and look with longing across the divided city. During this time, Jordan was interested in developing its capital in Amman, and largely neglected Jerusalem. Jewish holy sites were desecrated, including the cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

It is safe to say that the great majority of the people of Israel during this time lived with a great longing in their heart, a longing to return to their most sacred places. In 1961, a Jerusalem-born paratroop commander named Mordechai Gur had a conversation with Rabbi Goren that would later turn out to be of historic significance. He told him of his plan, should there be an outbreak of fighting, to retake the Old City of Jerusalem. And he promised Rabbi Goren that he would be able to join with his forces should this take place.
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The Jewish Eye Reviews Sages of the Talmud

May 11, 2010
Sages of the Talmud

Sages of the Talmud

by Israel Drazin

This is a book for everyone, Jews and non-Jews, Talmud-students and secularists, men and women, history and literature lovers. Even rabbis who have studied Talmud all their lives will gain information from reading this book and they will enjoy themselves doing so. Mordechai Judovits knows his subject and presents a host of interesting information very well.

The volume introduces readers to some 400 ancient Jewish sages, men who helped mold current Jewish life, men who lived during the pagan period and during the onset of Christianity just prior to the appearance of Mohamed, men who suffered persecution and persevered, men who made sacrifices and endured hardships so that that Judaism would endure.

Judovits answers many questions in his introduction. What is the Talmud and why is it important? What does it contain? Who were the sages who are mentioned in the Talmud and when did they live? Why are their lives and their efforts and their teachings valuable? What events made it impossible for many of them to be unable to be ordained in the traditional manner? He shows us that the talmudic rabbis who devoted their lives to study and to preserving Judaism were frequently working in arduous occupations like other Jews and were not similar to present day pastoral clergy.
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Notes from Mishkenot Sha’ananim: Montefiore and Oz

May 10, 2010

By Bob Goldfarb

An amiable chat between historian Simon Sebag Montefiore and novelist/essayist Amos Oz ended the first evening of the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Writers’ Conference. The pair would probably have been just as genial and entertaining no matter what they talked about, but their topics were the historian’s area of expertise and the novelist’s birthplace: Russia and Jerusalem.

“I love Jerusalem even when I don’t like it, even at times when I cannot stand it,” said Oz. “That is the situation right now. The Jerusalem of my childhood was filled with fanatics, and Jerusalem now is filled with fanatics. Then everyone was obsessed with the future; now everyone is obsessed with the past.”

On today’s Jerusalem he elaborated, “Everyone is obsessed with the idea of restoring some glorious past or other. It is in the nature of fanatics to view the future as a repetition of some glorious past – the past will come back, there will be a restoration of the glorious past, and then there will be an everlasting present, and no history, one everlasting plateau of happiness.” He mused that it might help normalize the city if the holy places could be sent to Scandinavia for 100 years.
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New book stirs controversy about British chief rabbi

May 9, 2010
Another Way, Another Time

Another Way, Another Time

by Winston Pickett

A new book that criticizes Britain’s chief rabbi is opening old wounds and sparking a new debate about whether the institution of the British chief rabbi has outlived its usefulness.

“Another Way, Another Time” examines the tenure of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, known formally as chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth.

Author Meir Persoff, who has written two academic studies on the Chief Rabbinate, argues that despite Sacks’ pledge at the onset of his tenure to be inclusive – Sacks is Orthodox – the position has become divisive in an increasingly diverse Jewish community.
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Pulpit Rabbinate and Halachic Diversity

May 7, 2010

by Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen

The prophet Amos warns the Jewish people, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will send a famine in the land, not a hunger for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the word of God… and they will run about to seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it” (Amos, 8:11,12). Rav Shimon Bar Yohai commented: “Heaven forbid that Torah will ever be forgotten from Israel.” If so, then what is the meaning of the above verse? It means that a time will come when Halakha will not be monolithic. There will be no definitive Halakha. There will be diversity (Shabbat 38b–39a).

The Maharal of Prague makes the following incisive comment: “Israel and Torah are one. Each impacts the other. The status of Israel – the Jewish people – is reflected in the status of Torah. Just as Jews are not physically united but scattered throughout the world, so too is Torah not monolithic. It too is not unified. (Tiferet Yisrael, Chapter 56, see also Pahad Yitzhak Purim, No. 31). As such, Galut – the exile – has a spiritual component. As long as Jews are not physically united in Israel, diversity is a normal feature of the halakhic process. As long as the Galut exists, so too does diversity.
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Yiddishlands by David G. Roskies

May 6, 2010
Yiddishlands

Yiddishlands

by Catherine Madsen

Eminent scholar and editor, anthologist of destruction, professor of Yiddish literature and culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and chairman of the Center for Yiddish Studies at Ben-Gurion University, David Roskies is a presence in contemporary Yiddish studies. With his sister Ruth Wisse, he is one of the architects of the academic study of Yiddish literature. His books blend scholarly, cultural, and personal knowledge to create an authoritative picture of a vanished world.

Behind every eminent scholar of Jewish disaster stands… his mother.
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A New Book by Chaim Walder

May 5, 2010
Advice for Life

Advice for Life

by SPG

From Feldheim.com:

As an experienced educational counselor and prolific author, Rabbi Chaim Walder has dealt extensively with relationships between children and parents, students and teachers – as well as a person’s relationship with himself. Drawn from the author’s vast knowledge and flavored with his engaging literary style, this book bursts with a wealth of information, ideas and advice, along with practical suggestions for applying them. Culled from more than a thousand articles written during the author’s almost two decades as a Yated Ne’eman columnist, Rabbi Walder tackles the issues that are foremost on people’s minds. Also included are the author’s opinions on a variety of topics, from mental health issues to money matters – all easily referenced in a convenient, concise index.

I always associate Chaim Walder with his great story books, namely the true life stories in People Speak and Kids Speak. Another favorite of mine is his novel That’s Me, Tzviki Green. So I guess this is going to be a bit of a break in a tradition of story books from Rabbi Walder, with what appears to me to be his first English book on Parenting. I’m curious whether there will be any more stories in this new release. To find out I guess we’ll just have to check out the book when it comes out. Feldheim lists it for release tomorrow, April 27th. If you happen to take a look give me an update on how it compares to the older Chaim Walder books and the style of the book format.

From The Jewish Book World

The original text of the article may be found here.