New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

December 11, 2018

Review by Rabbi Johnny Solomon

In general, I am not drawn to Torah commentaries that seek to frame biblical personalities in the language of today, at the cost of understanding their words and actions as expressed by the language of the Torah. Given this, when I received a copy of Samuel J. Levine’s 141-page book titled ‘Was Yosef on the Spectrum?’, who is a Professor of Law and who also has rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University,  I have to say that I opened the book as a very cautious reader.

Read the rest of this entry »
Advertisements

Dvar Torah on Parshat Vayeshev – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

December 3, 2018

Jason Ciment recently gave a short dvar torah on parshat Vayeshev, influenced by Dr. Samuel Levine’s new book Was Yosef on the Spectrum?.

Watch it here: 

Available for order on
Urim Publications

New Review – Was Yosef on the Spectrum?

December 2, 2018

Jewish Media Review · Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

Yosef’s behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and personal development are often difficult to understand, and at times seem to defy explanation. This book offers a coherent and cohesive reading of the well-known Bible story, presenting a portrait of Yosef as an individual on the autism spectrum. Viewed through this lens, Yosef emerges as a more familiar and less enigmatic individual, exhibiting both strengths and weaknesses commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder.

“Sam Levine was my student in yeshiva, and I have known him for decades….I enjoyed his book on Yosef, which presents a thoughtful and creative literary analysis of the story, based on a close reading of the Chumash, midrashim, and classical meforshim.”
Rav Menachem MendelBlachman, Senior Ra”m at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh

Samuel J. Levine is a Professor of Law and Director of the Jewish Law Institute at Touro Law Center. He has served as the Beznos Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University College of Law, and he has taught at the law schools of Bar-Ilan, Fordham, Pepperdine, and St. John’s Universities.


New and Forthcoming from Urim Publications

November 26, 2018

New Article by “American Interests” Author Lenny Ben-David

November 19, 2018

The Patriarch Isaac and the Aussie Light Horsemen

What the Capture of Beersheva in 1917 Taught Me about Isaac

I am ashamed to say it, but when I was a kid I thought Isaac, the Jewish patriarch, was a wuss: a good son, a spitting image of his father, a willing volunteer to be sacrificed to God, a learned man, and a farmer. But he didn’t travel the world like his father Abraham – from Babylon to southern Turkey, to Canaan, Egypt, Philistine, and back to Canaan. He wasn’t a warrior like Abraham who commanded 300 fighters on a forced march from the Dead Sea to Damascus to battle kings. Isaac paled in comparison to his son Jacob who raised 12 sons and a daughter, prepared defensive formations to meet a threatening Esau, and traveled to Egypt. Jacob was the founder of the people of Israel, his namesake.

While the lives, travels, and travails of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph are spread across much of the book of Genesis, the story of Isaac barely fills this week’s Torah Parsha, Toldot. What was remarkable about his story in the Bible? Well, the Torah relates, he dug wells, he opened wells that had been sealed by the Philistines, and he gave names to the wells.

Rabbinic literature compares flowing water to the Torah – essential for life – and the rabbis credit Isaac for the nurturing Torah he provided. Three of his wells were given names related to the first and second Temples, according to tradition, and the third name signified the third, future Temple. And wells always played an important role for the romances of the Torah – by a well Abraham’s servant found Rivka, Isaac’s eventual wife. Hagar, Abraham’s second wife, found refuge at a well where later Isaac first met Rivka. And Moses met his wife Zipporah by a well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah

August 29, 2018

Midwest Book Review • The Judaic Studies Shelf

Maimonides.jpgCompiled and edited by Lawrence J. Kaplan (Professor of Rabbinics and Jewish Philosophy in the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University in Montreal), “Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah” is the first and only comprehensive study of the philosophy of Maimonides by the noted 20th-century rabbinic scholar and thinker, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Based on a complete set of notes, taken by Rabbi Gerald (Yaakov) Homnick, on R. Soloveitchik’s lectures on Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and edited by Professor Kaplan, this work constitutes a major contribution to our knowledge of both Maimonides and Rabbi Soloveitchik.

In these lectures Rabbi Soloveitchik emerges as a major commentator on the Guide. In a wide-ranging analysis he eloquently and incisively explores such diverse topics in Maimonides’ philosophy as his views on prophecy, the knowledge of and approach to God: normative, intellectual, and experiential; divine knowledge; human ethics and moral excellence; the divine creative act; imitation of God; and the love and fear of God. He also undertakes an extensive and penetrating comparison and contrast of Maimonides’ and Aristotle’s philosophical views. Over the course of these lectures develops a very profound and challenging overall approach to and interpretation of the Guide’s central and critical issue: the relationship between philosophy and divine law. This work sheds a bright light on the thought of both Maimonides and Soloveitchik — two great philosophers and rabbinic scholars. Simply stated, “Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah” is a significant and enduringly valued contribution to personal, rabbinic, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections in general, and Maimonides supplemental studies lists in particular.

 


Dirty Jewess – Book Event

August 19, 2018

Consulate General of Slovakia in New York

and

Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews

cordially invite you to a book presentation

 

DIRTY JEWESS BY SILVIA FISHBAUM

with Andrea Coddington

9789655242775

Author Silvia Fishbaum translated and adapted her memoir to English language from its original version Židovka, a platinum bestseller in Slovakia. Both authors, Silvia and Andrea, will be happy to answer all your questions and sign your copies.

When: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Where: 6 E 67 st, New York

RSVP by Friday, August 24 at rsvp.cgnewyork@mzv.sk

Special gratitude to the Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the UN

H.E. Ambassador Michal Mlynár for providing his Residence