Jews in Medicine

October 28, 2019

Elka Weber ● Segula Magazine

This who’s who of Jews involved in medicine and associated fields is arranged chronologically, geographically, and then alphabetically… For those interested in a layperson’s look at Judaism and medicine, this is a pleasant book to dip into, full of interesting facts about accomplished doctors and other scientists.


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: The Saga of Nathan

October 3, 2019

Sanford R. SilverburgAJL News and Reviews

Nathan and the Lions of Ƚótold the story, in novel format, of a group of 34 teenagers who lived in the Polish forest of Las Lagienwnicki as partisans during World War II. This follow-up story, The Saga of Nathan, focuses on Nathan Kochinski, a member of the group, and his adventures in the post-World War II period. Like the other survivors, Nathan leaves Poland for Palestine. His war-time experience as a combat leader is recognized and when he joins the Haganah he rises to the rank of captain. His transformative role in this underground movement leads him to become a liaison officer seconded to David Ben-Gurion, director of the Jewish Agency for Security Policy. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Nathan continues to offer his expertise, rising to the level of Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Defense. Finally, Nathan succumbs to an assassination attempt on Ben-Gurion by interfering with a thrown explosive device.

This tale would make a great discussion piece for a reading group if the subject was meritorious efforts by Holocaust survivors.


Review: Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Leviticus

October 3, 2019

Arthur G. Quinn AJL News and Reviews

The author is a rabbi and a writer on many aspects of Torah. This volume is the last in a series on all five books of the Torah and deals with Leviticus (or, as Rabbi Nataf refers to it throughout: Vayikra). Each of the five chapters is dedicated to an aspect of Vayikra. Chapter one is devoted to the interpretation of sacrifice that is relevant for contemporary practice. Chapter two discusses the integrity of Vayikra as a free-standing book in its own right. Chapter three focuses on ritual purity, dietary customs, and reproduction. Chapter four contends with sin and family matters, and chapter five presents Vayikra as a book of laws with few stories contained within its pages. This book is a brief commentary on Leviticus, but it carries a unique perspective. Footnotes are scattered throughout but no index or bibliography are provided.

This volume would be a worthwhile addition to any adult collection.


Review: The Just Still Lives by His Faith

October 2, 2019

David B Levy AJL News and Reviews

This insightful, well-written, original and important work is one of the best collections of over forty Torah essays in Biblical exegesis and Rabbinics in many years. As such, it is recommended for all libraries and to scholar and layman alike.

Munk is best known for translating Torah commentaries by commentators from the 15th to 18th centuries, but also included in this volume are a selection of his public lectures and independent research. Some of these essays have been published before (for example in L’Eylah, the organ of Jews College in England, or in “Ascent” of Tzefat). Most of the essays included here, however, appear for the first time, providing a great boon to readers and enabling them to benefit further from the breadth and depth of Munk’s Torah knowledge and scholarship. Moreover, the fact that this volume is in English will allow his research to reach a much wider audience.


Review: Faith and Freedom Passover Haggadah

September 27, 2019

Roger S. Kohn, Silver Spring, MD AJL News and Reviews

This a traditional Haggadah, with translation in English, supplemented by a commentary that is drawn from twelve books and three articles of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits (1908–1992), a Modern Orthodox rabbi and educator. Almost two hundred excerpts are included here, and a quarter of these are from only four books, Faith after the Holocaust, 1973 (17 excerpts), Man and God, 1969 (13), God, Man, and History, 2004 (13), and Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, 1945 (11). The excerpts can be quite long, often over one or two pages, and introduced in the translation with a word or words in bold type; the same expression found in the translation is then used to introduce the excerpt. As the editor warns us in his introduction, the excerpts are all from published works “sometimes with abridgments and slight edits.”

Recommended to all readers interested in the writings of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits.


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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