May 31, 2018
Alan Jay Gerber • The Jewish Star
This volume addresses a series of fascinating yet until now less-explored teachings of the Rav. And them are the Rav’s take on major personalities in the Tanach, in light of his views on emotion, intellect and the interrelationship of these facets in the Rav’s teachings.
Among those whose essays are featured are Rabbi Dr. David Shatz, editor of the MeOtzar HaRav series and the Torah u-Maddah Journal; Rabbi Shalom Carmy, editor of Tradition magazine of the RCA; and Dr. Shira Weiss, author of the recently published, “Ethical Ambiguity in the Hebrew Bible.”
May 30, 2018
Alan Jay Gerber • The Jewish Star
“In his review of Rabbi Cardozo’s work Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes: “Agree or disagree, you will find yourself thinking hard and deep about the current state of Jewish law and life, and that makes it a well worth reading — a new chapter in one of the great Jewish traditions: dignity and dissent.”
To this observation I say, I agree. Go and enjoy the challenge.”
May 27, 2018
Ilka Gordon • AJL Reviews
American Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs is a collection of antique photographs culled from the archives of the Library of Congress, Harvard University, the British Museum, the New York Public library, and many other libraries and archives. This fascinating coffee-table size book has large black and white and color photographs of American tourists, government officials, American navy crewmen, and members of the U.S. Congress who visited Palestine before the birth of the state of Israel.
Each photograph is accompanied by several pages of explanatory text; many of the pictures are of little-known people and curious events that are part of Israeli history. Others are better known, like Mark Twain’s 1867 trip, which includes a full-page photograph of his distinguished-looking, turbaned guide, Far-Away-Moses, as well as women in long flowing dresses and fashionable hats sitting beside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. Another unlikely tourist was Ulysses S. Grant, author of the infamous “General Order No.11” which expelled Jews from states under his command during the Civil War. Grant visited the Holy Land after he left the presidency, as part of a European tour. Also fascinating are pictures of Yemenite Jews in Jerusalem circa 1900s, as well as a group of images depicting a little known rescue effort that occurred between 1914 and 1917 in which U.S. navy ships made thirteen trips to the port of Jaffa to deliver money, medicine, and food, including matzah for Passover, to aid the starving Jewish communities in Palestine. This book is highly recommended for all libraries.
May 23, 2018
David B. Levy • AJL Reviews
This is a clear and lucid Hebrew edition with English translation of the Maharal of Prague’s Tiferet Yisrael (the Splendor of Israel) intended for the English reading public.
Mostly known for his legend of the Golem, the Maharal’s Torah scholarship has remained impenetrable for non-Hebrew specialists. In addition to providing a much-needed translation, Widmonte (who has a background in mathematics and computer science) supplies accompanying pedagogical tools, including colorful synthesized schematic charts, diagrams, and summaries through which to enhance the reader’s conceptual and visual understanding of the text. He also includes cross-referenced comments from other works by the Maharal in order to enable a deeper intertextual dimension to the work. Footnotes guide the reader in locating the mikorot (sources) of the Maharal’s thoughts and commentary for each chapter can be found at the back of the book. Widmonte’s unique approach to presenting this text enables the English reader to better appreciate the Maharal’s depth of thought and the important place his work occupies within the Rabbinic corpus. Also included is a glossary, a general index, name index, and an index of sources. Recommended.
May 21, 2018
Midwest Book Review • The Judaic Studies Shelf
Leading biblical scholars and archaeologists have long argued about the actual route of the biblical Exodus from Egypt for decades. Margaret Malka Rawicz has developed and refined lectures on the Exodus for many years after extensively traveling through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan.
In “Walking the Exodus: My Journey in the Footsteps of Moses” she draws upon her experience, research, and expertise to reveal the route Moses and the Israelites took as they fled Egypt three and a half millennia ago. Along with her Bedouin guide, Rabia, Margaret treks through treacherous deserts and areas in order to recover and identify the sites of the first fifteen known Israelite encampments. She then explores another eighteen encampments in the Sinai Desert and the final nine in Jordan.
Including photographs and personal stories, “Walking the Exodus” is not only a discovery, but also a transformation of one’s life. Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, thoroughly ‘reader friendly’ in organization and presentation, “Walking the Exodus” is an inherently fascinating and educative read from cover to cover, making it unreservedly recommended for personal, synagogue, community, and academic library collections and supplemental studies reading lists.