On the 40th anniversary of her
freedom, Silvia Fishbaum will share her remarkable story of her escape from
Soviet occupied Czechoslovakia and anti-Semitism.
In today’s world with anti Semitism
rising it’s ugly head throughout Europe and reaching its highest levels
ever in the United States with attacks on Synagogues, this lecture is of
paramount importance, especially for young adults and teens in the middle
school and high school.
After sharing her extraordinary story,
Silvia will be available for book signing opportunities.
Light refreshments. FREE Entry
includes an autographed book by Silvia Fishbaum. Click here to reserve
Rabbi Riemer may be best known for So that Your Values May
Live On, his
wonderful volume on ethical wills. The Day I Met My Father Isaac… is a smaller, easy-to-read,
and wise book meant for a broader audience. It contains some of his sermons
while serving as interim Rabbi at Anshe Shalom Congregation in Florida. The
book contains drashot
thirty-five of the weekly parashot (Torah readings). In them Riemer explores both Torah
issues and their parallels in modern life using stories, gentle humor, and a
touch of irony. Beginning with Lech Lecha (“A Sermon addressed to the rich people in this
Congregation”), his subjects include Yitro (“The Super Bowl and the Sedra”), Bechukotai (“Some of my favorite
curses”), and Korach
rightness can kill you”). Each derasha begins with a story; most of them are contemporary,
while others come from the Talmud and the Hasidic literature. They are witty
and easy to connect with. He then turns to the Torah and links his introduction
to the moral of the parashah. Some of his connections are
quite powerful, others are sweet. But all are meaningful. The volume concludes
with his “Farewell Shabbat” comments: “The lessons you have taught me.” In this
talk he reminds his audience that, at their best, teachers are also students.
There has been a plethora of books over the past few
years to assist B’nai Mitzvah students with their drashot. This delightful collection
of sermons can be used by 12-year-olds. It would be better employed by adults
looking for inspiration, as well as to create their own commentaries. It is a
fine (and fun) addition to any synagogue library.
The Shulchan Aruch—the Code of Jewish Law (the “Code”)—was authored by Joseph Karo in 1563, and it remains the most widely accepted compilation of Jewish law ever written. Rabbi J. B. Solovetchik, z”l, articulated an “action to experience paradigm,” whereby doing the mitzvahs with intention provides a link to God. Looking at the “Code” through this lens, Rabbi Grunstein shows the reader how to elevate his observance of the commandments by knowing whether obligations are biblical, rabbinic, or custom, knowing the background and historical context, and providing practical suggestions.
Professor Samuel Levine’s CV runs to 22 pages, citing all his academic achievements in the field of Jewish and American law.
Yet his latest book, Was Yosef on the Spectrum? Understanding Joseph through Torah, Midrash and Classical Jewish Sources (Urim Publications) deals with a more controversial topic. He suggests that the great biblical character Joseph may have been autistic.
Many charedim nowadays see red if anyone dares to criticise heroic biblical characters. Twenty years ago, there was a riot in Manchester with the visit of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, who had written an article suggesting that Moses was not a politician — surely a compliment rather than an insult?
So why did Prof Levine choose to stray from his usual academic paths and write on such a controversial subject?
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt”l, was the universally acknowledged leader of Modern Orthodoxy during the latter half of the twentieth century, when he served as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, head of the Halacha (Law) Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, and spiritual mentor for the Mizrachi religious Zionist organization. His passing on April 8th, 1993 left a profound void for those who looked specifically to him for brilliant and original Torah insights and methodology, guidance in halachic (legal) and hashkafic (thought) matters that have arisen due to the modern experience, and as an exemplar of excellence in Judaic and secular studies and their interaction.
This volume is a unrevised reissue of the out-of-print collection of forty-two eulogies offered by family members, former students, and admirers, which was originally published in 2003. While the eulogies contain inspiring personal recollections, words of Torah, and moving anecdotes, one wonders what those who first eulogized the Rav over twenty years ago may have wanted to add to their memorials for this incredibly great man after the passing of two decades.
In December, Samuel J. Levine, Professor of law and director of the Jewish Law Institute at Touro College, published a book entitled Was Yosef on the Spectrum?: Understanding Joseph through Torah, Midrash, and Classical Jewish Sources. The book examines the behavior and relationships of Yosef through the lens of our modern understanding of autism. Our own cataloger Yosef Cohen submitted a review of the book to the author and received an appreciative response. The following are excerpts of the review and reply:
Theologian and Jewish philosopher Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits (1908−92) was the author of many books of Jewish thought, history, and philosophy. For this new haggadah, editor Reuven Mohl has selected passages from these works to comprise the commentary that accompanies the traditional text.
The Passover seder has many components, including rituals, like Kiddush (the sanctification of the holy day being celebrated) and Hallel (psalms commemorating the Exodus experience); reading passages from rabbinic literature; and engaging in long standing traditions — children asking questions, opening the door to welcome the prophet Elijah, and reciting liturgical poems. Mohl has drawn from Rabbi Berkovits’s incredibly broad oeuvre to provide thought-provoking insights pertaining not only to the haggadah but also observations that go beyond the text, including his strong advocacy for living according to halakah — Jewish law.
Interspersed with many of Rabbi Berkovits’s more philosophical and theological statements are stories and comments about the Holocaust, which he experienced first-hand. Seeing the topics playing off one another throughout the haggadah offers a unique insight into Rabbi Berkovits’s experiences and thinking.