Rabbi Haim David Halevy: Gentle Scholar and Courageous Thinker

November 30, 2017

Reviewed by Ben Rothke in The Jewish Press

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For many Americans, when thinking of chief Sephardic rabbis, their list may consist only of one whom they know: Rav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l. As chief Sephardic rabbi of Tel Aviv, R’ Haim David Halevy, zt”l, is not as well-known as R’ Ovadia Yosef, but was certainly in his league.

In Rabbi Haim David Halevy: Gentle Scholar and Courageous Thinker, Rabbis Marc Angel and Hayyim Angel have written a masterful biography of this fascinating sage. Halevy was a man of myriad talents. Be it a noted author, significant talmid chacham, master Read the rest of this entry »

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To Play With Fire

November 29, 2017

Arutz 7 • Originally featured on “Walter’s World”

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“How a tormented soul returned to its Jewish home. The extraordinary story of Tova Mordechai…. You will be both amazed and spellbound by this sometimes harrowing, sometimes comical, powerful account of Tova Mordechai’s incredible journey to rediscover her Jewish heritage after she had succeeded to reach the highest rank as minister of her church.”

Follow this link to listen to the program featuring Tova Mordechai’s To Play With Fire. 

Available for purchase from www.urimpublications.com

 


Celebrating the Life & Work of Rabbi Dr. Yitz Greenberg

October 15, 2017

Hear Rav Shmuly Yanklowitz explain why you should read A Torah Giant: The Intellectual Legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leFVDubJIlU&feature=youtu.be

 

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A Torah Giant: The Intellectual Legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg

Edited by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
Foreword by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Introduction by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin


Review of A Girl From There

December 29, 2015

by Jack RiemerAGirlFromThere web2

I suppose that within every adult there are the memories of childhood living inside, struggling to get out. If the childhood has been a healthy one, then the adult and the child within live together in peace. If the childhood has been horrible, then the struggle never ends.

This is a book of poems by an adult, who lives with the constant presence within her of an unimaginably awful past. These poems describe what life was like for a child who lived in the Warsaw ghetto where you had to hide every time there was a knock on the door, and you were not allowed to sneeze or cry or make a noise until it was quiet outside. These poems describe what it feels like to be an adult who, when she was a child of three, was given away for safekeeping by her mother to a Polish neighbor, and whose mother taught her how to pretend to be a Christian before she left. These poems recall what it was like after the war to be the only Jewish child in a Polish school, and then what it was like to be a foreigner in an Israeli school at a time when the other children in your class simply could not understand what it was like to come from a world so unimaginably different from theirs.   Read the rest of this entry »


Review of Pioneers of Religious Zionism

August 4, 2015

By Rabbi Ari Enkin

Pioneers of Religious Zionism explores the life of the six most prominent leaders of religious Zionism in the 19th and early 20thcentury. These are Rabbis Yehuda Alkali, Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, Samuel Mohliver, Jacob Reines, Abraham Isaac Kook, and Judah Leib (Fishman) Maimon.

There is roughly thirty pages devoted to each of these rabbis, where we learn about their early years and education, political opinions, and their relationship and influence within the Zionist movement.  A central feature of all these rabbis’ lives is that that by collaborating with the secular Zionist movement, they were victim to fierce opposition, condemnations, and defamations from their colleagues in Europe and the Land of Israel. Read the rest of this entry »


Review of After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring

March 8, 2015

By Jack ReimerAftertheHolocustWeb1

This is not a book that one can really review, for to review means to be objective and detached. It means to pass judgment on the techniques of the author and to evaluate how well or how poorly he expresses his ideas. But when someone writes a book that bears witness to the horrors that he has gone through, and when someone pours out his soul, and when someone reaches into the very depths of your being, detachment is not an appropriate response.

Joseph Polak has written a memoir that begins where Anne Frank’s diary leaves off. She wrote about the trials and the travails of growing up in a hidden room, and of learning how to become a teenager in a hideout. Her book ends with her and her family being discovered by the Nazis and taken away to Auschwitz. We hear nothing of the starvation, the filth, and the typhus that took away her life there. Jospeh Polak’s book begins when he was taken, first to Westerbook, and then a year and a half later, from there to Bergen Belsen when he was still a small child.

His book is not so much an account of what happened to him there as it is an effort to understand and to convey how what happened to him there has remained within his consciousness ever since.

I read every page of this book at least twice: sometimes wincing, sometimes shivering, sometimes wishing it would end already. In this review, let me share just a few of the insights in it that stay with me ever since I encountered them. Read the rest of this entry »


After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring

February 24, 2015

Hays Media and Urim Publications are honored to announce the North America publication of of an important new memoir of the Holocaust from one of Bergen-Belsen’s last and youngest survivors,who would become a prominent American rabbi. 

Here is a compeAftertheHolocustWeb1lling book in which Joseph Polak confronts the events he and his family faced from 1943-53: the Holocaust and its sequel of shame and hiding.

Rabbi Polak attempts to portray the madness of an incomprehensible period and the irresponsible reaction of society that followed it. Neither God nor man emerges unscathed from this searing volume. Early critics suggest that this book constitutes the missing chapters of Anne Frank’s diary, had she but survived Bergen-Belsen to conclude her narrative. Read the rest of this entry »