January 16, 2018
Daniel Keren • The Jewish Connection
In my last column, I discussed a book (“180 Degrees” by Abraham Leib Berenstein) that foucsed on the profiles of 25 Baalei Teshuvah, Jews from secular or assimilated backgrounds who were inspired to make a major life change and embrace a lifestyle based on Torah-true values. The subject of this week’s column is a book that deals with Jewish law for those who were born gentiles and against greater odds and often opposition from family and close friends to convert to Judaism.
Rabbi Michael J. Broyde, a professor of law at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion has published a book that paints an intriguing explanation of how gairim or converts to Judaism are treated by Jewish law.
Rabbi Broyde brings to this sefer his experience of many years as a dayan (religious judge) in the Beth Din of America and as its director; as well as Read the rest of this entry »
January 4, 2018
Rabbi Ari Enkin • Torah Book Reviews
There is nothing worse for our bodies than…food. Yes, between the additives and preservatives, combined with the inexcusably large portions which we eat –that our bodies do not need or want– we are literally destroying our health one meal at a time.
Add to this equation the fact that we are Orthodox Jews, making the situation even more alarming. We can’t get away from food. Whether it’s pat shacharit, three meals on Shabbos, Melaveh Malka, a vort, a bris, a wedding, a l’chaim, a Kiddush, a Friday “to’amei’ah” session, or a yartzeit tikkun, we are seemingly trapped into eating. And here’s my favorite: “I’m not sure if I had a kezayis, so please pass me some more [fill in a carbohydrate and fat saturated food] so that I can be sure I can say a bracha achronal…” And I didn’t even comment on the near total disinterest and disregard for exercise in the Orthodox community. (“…because it’s bittul Torah”)
As one who has lost about 50 pounds over the last number of years, I was extremely excited to get my hands on “Am I My Body’s Keeper?” Read the rest of this entry »
December 3, 2017
Reviewed by By Rosally Saltsman in The Jewish Press
Am I My Body’s Keeper is octogenarian Michael Kaufman’s ninth book. Kaufman writes prolifically on Jewish thought and this book is no different because keeping fit and healthy is a Jewish precept.
Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoteichem (Devarim 4:15).
Am I My Body’s Keeper? The answer is Read the rest of this entry »
November 13, 2017
by Gedalyah Reback • Scribe (Forward), November 8, 2017
“The law “ואהבתם את הגר,” and you shall love the convert, is mentioned over 36 times in the Torah. The prolific rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that “As a matter of normative practice, one should know that the mitzvah (commandment) to love the convert obligates us to bring them closer and to be lenient on all these matters [of Jewish law].”
Yet for more than a decade Read the rest of this entry »
November 12, 2017
“For the observant Jew, the Torah is the eternal word of G-d. If one wishes to build a life based on Torah and Halakha, one can go on two paths. One path is the conviction, in the words of Rabbis Ethan Tucker and Michael Rosenberg that “the eternal word of G-d must speak to our contemporary challenges.” This path embodies the idea that Halakha is ever expanding.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 19, 2017
Review by Lawrence Kobrin on Lookstein Bookjed Digest
Conversion to Judaism, once relatively rare, has now become something encountered in many circumstances and families. There has been considerable “politicization” and controversy concerning the process and requirements. In all of the controversy, the needs and strivings of the sincere individuals who seek conversion are sometimes overlooked. Historically, some works for this purpose were published, but are primarily in Hebrew and not generally available. It is to the needs and concerns of contemporary converts that a fascinating recent book is addressed.
Rabbi Michael Broyde’s work, A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts is what its title suggests, but much more. Drawing on many years of Read the rest of this entry »
October 18, 2017
Review by Midwest Book Review
While the topic of conversion in Judaism has been extensively covered in many fine studies, no one has yet explored the particular laws related to after conversion. In “A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts”, Michael J. Broyde (Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law and a Senior Fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He served for many years as the Yoshev Rosh (chair) and a dayan (judge) in the SouthEast Rabbinical Court for Conversion which was part of the GPS Conversion network) deftly explores many topics and questions that revolve around the life of a Jewish convert. Such topics include the place of a convert in a Jewish community according to Jewish law, the treatment of a convert in respect to acceptance and discrimination, and providing affirmative incentives to converts. Containing a detailed review of every aspect of Jewish law from the convert’s perspective and in relation to them, as well as supplemental essays, “A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts” provides knowledge and guidance on life after conversion. Comprehensive, authoritative, exceptionally well organized and presented, “A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts” is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to synagogue and academic library Judaic Studies instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.