Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat Ha-Omer and Shavu’ot

Review by Israel Drazin • The Times of Israel

Rabbi Soloveitchik on Pesach 9657108640

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat ha-Omer and Shavu’ot”[1] is the second volume in a series of books put out by The Rabbi Soloveitchik Library presenting the thoughts of Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik. The book addresses eleven issues concerning laws relating to Passover, the Counting of the Omer, the debate between the Sadducees and Pharisees concerning the date of the holiday of Shavuot, and concludes with three of the eleven chapters focusing on the first four commands on the Decalogue. Continue reading “Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat Ha-Omer and Shavu’ot”

Heal Us O Lord

Review by Rabbi Johnny Solomon

Heal us O Lord

As a Jewish educator and Rabbi I am blessed to know many religious leaders and Rabbis. Some work in synagogues, while others work in schools, Yeshivot and Seminaries. However, I believe those who are most involved on a day to day basis in bringing redemption and comfort to the lives of others are Chaplains working on campus, and specifically those working in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.

Rabbi Sidney Goldstein is a true expert in this field. He was the Director of Chaplaincy at the Albert Einstein Medical Center, and he founded the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. Beyond this, he served as the community Chaplain of the Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County. Continue reading “Heal Us O Lord”

Walking the Exodus

Review by Rabbi Ari Enkin • Torah Book Review 

“A modern-orthodox woman’s journey to re-trace the steps of the Exodus.  Loaded with pictures, personal stories, and sprinkled with divrei Torah. One of the most fascinating and captivating reads I have ever gotten my hands on. Highly Recommended. I hope I find the time to read every page.”
Walking the Exodus9789655242485

A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts

Review by Daniel D. Stuhlman • AJL Reviews 

Jewish Law for Converts

When you encounter a book of Jewish law written by someone who is both a professor in a law school, a former dayan, and a former congregational rabbi, you will find content that is both well written and comprehensive in scope. Rabbi Broyde has arranged the book according to the volumes of the Shulḥan Arukh, i.e, Orach Chaim, Yoreh Deah, Even Haezer, and Choshen Mishpat. The book provides answers for the professional (rabbi) and the convert and covers every aspect of conversion and life afterwards. Some of the laws covered here are applicable under very limited and oftentimes obscure situations. For example, the Torah states that a Jew may not marry an Ammonite or Moabite. Since these nations have disappeared, such restrictions obviously no longer apply. Nevertheless, this book is a useful addition to modern interpretations of Jewish law. Overall, the main idea underpinning this work may be summarized as follows: there is a special obligation to love the convert and extra care must be taken to determine how this obligation applies.

The author’s conclusion is that there is no single origin story or theory that can explain who we are and how we became 21st century Jews. There is no easy explanation as to why we are a religion, ethnic group, and nationality. This book encourages the reader to understand the questions a convert faces so that one may understand and welcome them into the community. Recommended for academic, synagogue, and personal libraries.

Jewish Guide to Practical Medical Decision Making

Review by Daniel D. Stuhlman • AJL Reviews

Medical Decisions web 1

Major technological advances in medical treatment raise many ethical and halakhic (Jewish law) issues concerning end of life and reproductive medical situations. Even though the Halakha has precedents in the Talmud and in the subsequent codes and responsa, one must keep current in the medical, psychological, and halakhic domains to be able to make decisions. For example, one congregational rabbi was consulted about removing life-support from a dying patient. The rabbi said that he would follow the ruling of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who said that when the oxygen tank is changed, if the patient is able to breathe on his own, we can decline to connect a new tank. The author told the rabbi that hospitals supply oxygen from wall connections and have not used tanks for many decades.

The author reminds us that the role of the chaplain is to Continue reading “Jewish Guide to Practical Medical Decision Making”

Am I My Body’s Keeper? Torah, Science, Diet, and Fitness – for Life.

Review by Dov Peretz Elkins • JewishMediaReview

body's keeper 1 In this day and age it is nearly impossible to stay 100% healthy and fit. Between long hours sitting in an office chair, balancing a family, and accomplishing everything else on your to-do list, it’s no wonder that health has become a relative term. To combat this, Michael Kaufman shows you how to extend your life by living healthy and fit. Am I My Body’s Keeper contains no magic life-extending elixir, nor a secret map to help you discover the fountain of youth. Am I My Body’s Keeper provides a simple guide to changing your lifestyle, from the sedentary one characterizing most of society to an active one emphasizing physical activity and healthy eating. The simple lifestyle changes advocated by this book will give you vim and vigor, health and fitness during those additional years of life you will be gaining. Based upon the timeless teachings of the Jewish sages as well as scientific research, Am I My Body’s Keeper is a guide for good, healthy living. It is for young and old, men and women—for everyone who wishes to be healthy and fit and to live a long life.

About the Author:
Dr. Michael Kaufman, a distinguished scholar, author, and lecturer, studied at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Vodaat, Telshe Yeshiva, Brooklyn College, and the University of Louisville. He has written extensively and has published nine books on Judaism and Jewish art and culture, including A Timeless Judaism for Our Time, Love, Marriage and Family in Jewish Law and Tradition, Feminism and Judaism, The Art of Judaism, Land of My Past, Land of My Future, on the mitzvah of residing in Israel; and a memoir, In One Era, Out the Other.
The author lives in Israel, where he does research and writes on the latest developments and scientific studies on health, nutrition, and fitness while standing at his shtender desk. Now in his 86th year, Michael Kaufman maintains an active, energetic schedule which includes time for daily fitness workouts and brisk early morning walks around the hills of Jerusalem.

Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law

Review by Roger S. Kohn • AJL Reviews


This slim book has two parts: part one about women serving as a communal prayer leader; part two, about women counting in a quorum of ten.

This book aims to answer a need: “though the halakhic questions regarding egalitarian minyanim have earned a fair amount of literature, there is still a need for a comprehensive treatment of the issue that seeks to understand the underlying concerns and issues of the different positions taken. Continue reading “Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law”