Excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values

EncyclopediaofJewishValues9789655241631SACRIFICE ONE TO SAVE MANY

The dilemma of killing one person to save many people seems to be a simple enough concept to understand. But a classic moral dilemma always pits two different values against one another. What are the two values in conflict here? It is the ethical concept to save life versus the ethical prohibition to kill and end a life. In this case, the only way to save many lives is to do the unthinkable, and actually kill someone innocent and end his or her life. Rather than discuss this dilemma in the abstract, actual scenarios based on real-life cases will be presented. However, instead of having to decide what to do in a matter of seconds, as is the situation that occurs quite regularly in reality, this chapter will present what Judaism believes is the right action based on the myriad of ancient sources.

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The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values

By Nachum Amsel

Urim Publications, 9789655241631

(Those who would like to see all of the original quotations in Hebrew can find this in the printed appendix to the book.)

Excerpted with permission from the author.

Conversation with Rabbi Dr. Nachum Amsel

The Destiny Foundation invites you to

A Conversation with Rabbi Berel Wein

at Beit Knesset HaNasi (24 Ussishkin St., Rechavia) at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday Night, October 10.

Conversation with Rabbi Dr. Nachum Amsel about his new book

 The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values

25 NIS (students 10)

For Destiny or HaNasi Members 20 NIS

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AJL Review of The Mystery of the Milton Manuscript

By Barbara M. BibelMilton

Keith Jessup, a graduate student at Oxford, is working on a PhD in English literature. He is studying John Milton. His professor, Thornton Livingston, is one of the foremost authorities on Milton and his masterpiece, Paradise Lost. When Professor Livingston fails to appear at a lecture that he was to deliver at Cambridge, Keith is worried. When the police discover the professor’s body in a ravine near his car, Keith is sure that the death was not accidental. The professor was about to present his findings about a newly discovered manuscript offering Milton’s interpretation of the poem. Further investigations reveal that Livingston’s home had been ransacked and his lecture notes are missing. Keith is determined to carry on the professor’s work, but he soon finds that the research will endanger his life. It seems that Milton’s theology is based on Jewish law as well as the New Testament, and some scholars do not want this information revealed. The author, a dentist who also writes plays and lyrics, has done a great deal of research on Milton to create this literary mystery. He provides references and a discussion guide for reading groups. This book will appeal to readers who enjoy historical mysteries and English literature. Fans of The Da Vinci Code will be pleased to discover something that is well written. There is plenty of material for book clubs to discuss as well.

This review appeared in the AJL Reviews September/October 2015 issue.

AJL Review of Kosher Movies

By Debbie Federkosher movies web2

A combination of movie summaries and Divrei Torah (words of Torah), this book is a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys movies and relates to Jewish principles. Connecting movies with Torah elements, Rabbi Herbert Cohen, PhD, presents a unique blend of a lifetime of movie going with Jewish learning. Cohen’s own academic background is eclectic and rich and this aides him in linking the world of movies to the world of Torah. There is a lovely anecdote in the early part of the book about the first time Rabbi Cohen heard Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik at YU, which helps the reader to understand his life and influences. The book is divided into topic areas, which include parenting, improving yourself, growing older, adversity, relationships, sports, decisions, second chances, time, and ethics. The movies referenced include a wonderful blend of old classics and new bolder titles (e.g., Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Rocky, 127 hours, the Hurt Locker, and Inception, to name a few). An index of movie titles is provided in the back of the book.

This book is well done, and each entry is fairly short making for a quick read. The book can be used in many ways by different groups of people. While Herbert Cohen is an Orthodox rabbi, readers will find his entries quite universal and palatable.

This review appeared in the AJL Reviews September/October 2015 issue.