December 13, 2016
By Dov Peretz Elkins
“Who Stole My Religion?” is a thought-provoking and timely call to apply Judaism’s powerful teachings to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. While appreciating the radical, transformative nature of Judaism, Richard Schwartz argues that it has been “stolen” by Jews who are in denial about climate change and other environmental threats and support politicians and policies that may be inconsistent with basic Jewish values. Tackling such diverse issues as climate change, world hunger, vegetarianism, poverty, terrorism, destruction of the environment, peace prospects in Israel, and American foreign policy, he offers practical suggestions for getting Judaism back on track as a faith based on justice, peace, and compassion. He urges the reader to reconsider current issues in line with Judaism’s highest values in an effort to meet the pressing challenges of today’s world.
Right now the new Trump administration is on the cusp of deciding whether climate change is real, and human-created, or not. The President-elect should read this book, and he will be convinced beyond doubt that there is so much more that we humans and governments must do to save our planet.
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December 12, 2016
We are excited to announce a new initiative:
Every month, Urim will be running a giveaway through Goodreads!
December Giveaway: From Mourning to Morning by Simeon Schreiber
Click here to enter for a chance to win 1 of 7 copies!
December 8, 2016
‘Who Stole My Religion?’ Spells Out Cure for an Ailing Planet
by Craig Shapiro
Catastrophic climate change. Major food and water shortages. Species extinction.
Even though our planet is beset by “existential crises,” writes Dr. Richard H. Schwartz in Who Stole My Religion?, we can realign the balance. The subtitle of his new book explains how: Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet.
“Many Jews have forgotten the Jewish mandate to strive to perfect the world,” Schwartz writes. “God requires that we pursue justice and peace, and that we exhibit compassion and loving kindness.”
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December 5, 2016
Tickets for Brian Hull’s puppet show adaptation of Kaytek the Wizard are now on sale at Ticket Master!
Click here to purchase tickets.
For more information on the show, visit brianimations.com
December 1, 2016
By Daniel Stuhlman
In 1997, shortly after the publication of the first edition of this book, Rabbi Twerski, speaking at an overflow Baltimore audience, said that “True Torah observance is not conducive to any kind of abuse, physical, emotional or otherwise….” This is still his message in this revised and updated second edition.
Community members have a hard time believing that a “pillar of the community” can be a saint in public and a monster at home. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, and/or physical. Too often an abused wife is naively told to stay in the marriage and preserve shalom bayis (domestic peace). Even if the accuser is lying, we have to take an accusation seriously and try to help those involved. Rabbi Twerski, who is both a Chasidic rabbi and a psychiatrist, has many years of experience treating alcohol and other types of substance abusers. He knows that those who are sick, need professional help. Denial does not make the problems disappear.
This book is well written, but it is not a happy book. The case studies presented are sad because too often the person seeking help was not helped in the early stages by the parents, rabbis, or community members. After reading this book, you should be able to better recognize the signs of abuse and help the abused parties get the kind of help to make her or him whole. This book should be read and discussed by every rabbi, parent, teacher, and anyone else who could see domestic abuse.
It is highly recommended for every kind of library – personal, synagogue, academic, and community.
This review originally appeared in AJL Reviews.