Memoirs of a Hopeful Pessimist

June 6, 2018

Debbie Weissman • Times of Israel

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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 »

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Memoirs of a Hopeful Pessimist

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.”

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A Torah Giant

December 19, 2017

from the Midwest Book Review

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In the pages of “A Torah Giant: The Intellectual Legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg”, readers will discover the breadth of wisdom provided by this generation’s giant of Torah, Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg.

Rabbi Yitz is one of the most renowned leaders in contemporary Jewish communal life. His dedication to foster a more interconnected and vibrant Judaism has been felt across the academic and broader world. In this new study of his work as compiled and edited by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz (President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash, the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek, and Founder & CEO of Shamayim V’Aret), the legacy of Rabbi Yitz is discussed at length by those who have been affected by his inclusive model of contemporary Judaism, his approachable erudition, commitment to fostering meaningful interfaith dialogue, and constant striving to make the world a more just place. These intellectual progenies divulge the lasting impact Rabbi Yitz has had on their lives and the lives of people around the globe.

Exceptionally well organized and presented, “A Torah Giant” is unreservedly recommended for personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Theology collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


‘Between War and Peace’ Is Not Your Average Rabbinical Biography

December 4, 2017

Review by Prof. Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Jewish Link of New Jersey

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The hero of this book—Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Cohen, z”l, (1927-2016)—was probably the most influential and greatest Israeli rabbi that you might never have heard of (if you don’t live in Israel). His biography, translated from the original Hebrew edition with an added chapter, makes for fascinating (and at times even amazing) reading. That’s not only because of Read the rest of this entry »


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

 


Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen: Between War and Peace

November 26, 2017

Daniel D. Stuhlman, AJL Reviews

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“Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef Shear Yashuv Cohen (1927-2016) had his feet in more than one world. He fought in the battle for Jerusalem in the 1948-49 war and was taken prisoner to Jordan when the Old City fell, hence the subtitle “Between War and Peace.” One chapter is his diary from the battle and his captivity. After the war, he was appointed chief chaplain of the Air Force. His brother-in-law Rabbi Shlomo Goren was the chief chaplain of the army. In 1953, he married Naomi Goldstein the daughter of Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of New York and grand-daughter of Harry Fischel.

As chief rabbi of the Israel Air Force and of the city of Haifa he had frequent meetings with Jews of many levels of observance and with Arabs and Christians. He even went to Rome to meet the Pope and address the synod of the Catholic Church. He was respected by religious leaders, heads of state, public figures and his own community in Haifa and Jerusalem.

This is an interesting book that introduces Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen to a new audience even though he died less than 2 years ago. The book is highly recommended for academic, synagogue, school, and personal collections.

Frisch, Yechiel & Yedidya HaCohen. Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen: Between War and Peace. Translated by Irene Lancaster. Jerusalem; New York: Urim Publications, 2017. 334 pp. (9789655243539).


Rabbi Dr. Yitz Greenberg with a copy of ‘A Torah Giant’

October 25, 2017

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Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg holding a copy of

A Torah Giant edited by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

 

torah giant web 1Discover the breadth of wisdom provided by this generation’s giant of Torah: Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg. Rabbi Yitz is one of the most renowned leaders in contemporary Jewish communal life. His dedication to foster a more interconnected and vibrant Judaism has been felt across the academic and broader world. In this new work, the legacy of Rabbi Yitz is discussed at length by those who have been affected by his inclusive model of contemporary Judaism, approachable erudition, commitment to fostering meaningful interfaith dialogue, and constant striving to make the world a more just place. These intellectual progenies divulge the lasting impact Rabbi Yitz has had on their lives and the lives of people around the globe.

 

Edited by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
Foreword by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Introduction by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Hardcover, 344 pages
KTAV Publishing House and Urim Publications 2018
ISBN 978-965-524-271-3