Books About Jews Who Make Us Proud – “Jews in Medicine”

October 13, 2019

Dinah Rokach ● Young Israel Shomrai Emunah of Greater Washington (Rosh Hashanaha Hashomer bulletin)

Follow the history of Jews in the Holy Land beginning in Talmudic times and through the Diaspora and to the State of Israel as you learn and take pride in the accomplishments of Jewish doctors throughout the ages. Read short biographies, most of them accompanied by black-and-white photographs and illustrations, that will inspire and make you proud.

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Review: Living in the Presence

September 26, 2019

Harvey Sukenic, Hebrew College Library, Newton Centre, MA ● AJL News and Reviews

Benjamin Epstein, a Jerusalem-based psychologist and rabbi, argues that Jewish mindfulness is both a traditional Jewish practice and essential to our spiritual life and growth. He sees mindfulness, termed yishuv hada’at, as not mere tranquility or peace of mind, but rather “settling into (unifying with) present moment awareness.” For Epstein, yishuv hada’at is a fundamental way of looking at life, indispensable for our basic spiritual life and growth. This state of mindfulness, he posits, can be achieved by anyone with practice and work. Living in the present moment is key to connecting to the Divine. We can be aware of the Divine in everyday life, and in our religious life, but to achieve this, we need a change of attitude; we need to let things be as they are, to slow down, be in the moment, to explore and control our thoughts.

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Review: Jews in Medicine

September 25, 2019

Ilka Gordon AJL News and Reviews

Jews in Medicine is a very interesting and readable discussion of the history of Jews in medicine and Jewish physicians. The book begins with the physicians and medical theories of the Talmudic era and ends with contemporary physicians both living and deceased. The first six chapters are divided by geographical location and period: for example, physicians in Christian lands, Spain, Italy, Provence, and Turkey during the Gaonic period and before and after the expulsion from Spain. There is also a brief discussion of the rise of independent Jewish hospitals in the United States (once 113 and now only 22) and the reason for their decline.

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Review: Encyclopedia of Jewish Values: Between Man and Man

September 24, 2019

Randall C. and Anne-Marie Belinfante ● AJL News and Reviews

In this, the third of Rabbi Nachum Amsel’s Encyclopedias, the author continues to explicate the values and principles that underlie Jewish laws and precepts as they apply to contemporary Jews. In particular, this volume focuses on those laws governing interaction between Jews and the people around them, be they Jewish or otherwise. Amsel covers a diverse range of issues: in addition to considering topics such as war, modesty, tzedakah, and hospitality, he considers more seemingly “modern” concerns such as climate change, advertising and universal health care, weighing how Jewish legal sources apply to them.

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#MindfulMondays

September 16, 2019

Join the workshop taking place at Brooklyn College on Monday nights!


The Queen & the Spymaster

August 30, 2019

Midwest Book ReviewGeneral Fiction Shelf

“The Queen & The Spymaster” is a deftly crafted and simply riveting novel by Sandra E. Rapoport that is based on the story of Esther, and adheres to the ancient biblical text while imagining the suspenseful, gripping and ultimately triumphant backstory of the unlikely heroes of Xerxes’ Persia.

Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “The Queen & The Spymaster” is also available in a digital format 


“Weiss propounds ‘Open Orthodoxy’ in new book”

August 29, 2019

Fred Reiss, Ed.D. ● San Diego Jewish World

Reform Judaism in eighteenth century Germany and Hasidism in the Ukraine in the same century represent the first modern ruptures in traditional Judaism; the former due to European emancipation, the latter a spiritual revival movement. The freedoms granted by American democracy led to further balkanization, including Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Humanistic Judaism. Orthodox Judaism is not without its own divisions, such as Haredi Jews and the Modern Orthodox.

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