July 2, 2018
Elliot Resnick • Jewish Press
Translating one peirush on Chumash is hard enough. Translating 15 is nothing short of remarkable. But Eliyahu Munk has done just that. The Ohr HaChaim, the Alshich, the Akeidas Yitzchak, the Kedushas Levi, the Ksav v’Hakabalah, the Chizkuni, the Shelah, the Tzror Hamor, the Tur, Rabbeinu Bachye – all translated into English by one man.
And he’s still going strong. At age 96, Eliyahu Munk is now translating the Meshech Chachmah. Amazed at this literary output, The Jewish Press recently called Eliyahu Munk in Israel to speak to him about his life and work.
The Jewish Press: What’s your background?
Munk: I was born in Frankfurt, Germany. My father came from Cologne and taught mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
I attended Rav Joseph Breuer’s yeshiva 10 hours every week. He taught me the haftarot, and the way he made a navi come to life is something I haven’t forgotten. He had a knack of making a navi talk to you. It was a terrific thing. Read the rest of this entry »
June 6, 2018
Debbie Weissman • Times of Israel
In the mid-20th century, the great American Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel credibly wrote “Judaism today is the least known religion.” But recent decades have seen Christians making impressive efforts to fill in the knowledge gap. For many years, I have had the privilege of teaching groups of Christians who come to Jerusalem from throughout the world. Many of them are priests, pastors and nuns on sabbatical; some are lay people. They come from anywhere from a week to a year and my involvement varies, depending on the length and depth of the program. The programs are held at Christian institutions in and around Jerusalem.
I teach them about Judaism and about Israel. I give introductions to the Christians who visit our synagogue on Friday nights for prayers, and we sometimes also provide them with home hospitality for Shabbat dinners. It is fascinating to note what questions they ask. In one case, a young woman was surprised that our sanctuary was not decorated with pictures of Moses. Once, I told a group of seminarians that they were imposing Christian questions on Judaism; what interested them almost exclusively were Read the rest of this entry »
June 3, 2018
Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi • Tikkun
“Reading Debbie Weissman’s memoir leaves us with some hope… whose teaching and writing in Israel and the Diaspora and commitment to dialogue between people of different faiths have had a world-wide impact…. An insight into the principles by which Debbie guides her own behavior can be seen as she adopts a modified version of Levinas’ teaching that we should see the “face of God in the Other.” “It would be enough,” she says, “if we could just look at the Other and see a face no less human than our own.”
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 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.