Midwest Book Review • The Judaic Studies Shelf
Compiled 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.
Midwest Book Review • Julie Summers
Synopsis: The inner world of a healthy child is filled with wonder, awe, and faith in a fair and just world. But for some children, a belief in the benevolence of the world and its people is often too hard to claim.
A unique guidebook, “Reclaiming Humanity: A Guide to Maintaining the Inner World of the Child Facing Ongoing Trauma” by Dr. Norman Fried (a clinical psychologist and a disaster mental health specialist for the American Red Cross of Greater New York) gives the reader valuable insights into the lives of children who have been victimized by chaos and disease, and teaches how to help them grow within the context of a loving, accepting, and ethical bond.
Using ‘real Read the rest of this entry »
Yitzhak Y. Melamed • Jewish Review of Books
…Fraenkel’s attempt to harmonize the apparently conflicting views on the tzimtzum is highly valuable. In the first place, Fraenkel’s claim is well argued and meticulously grounded in the sources, and thus deserves serious consideration. Second, Fraenkel’s reading goes against the main trend of interpretation in both the academic world of Kabbalah studies and that of Chabad historiography, which follows the last Lubavitcher Rebbe in stressing the opposition between Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and Rabbi Chaim on tzimtzum….
It is a work of both real piety and ingenious scholarship.
Fraenkel is a computer scientist by training and profession as well as an independent scholar, and it would be hard to overestimate the amount of intellectual effort, courage, precision, and diligence invested in these two volumes. Books such as this are rare, but if I may quote the words of another God-seeking Jew: “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”
Midwest Book Review • The Judaic Studies Shelf
“Heal Us O Lord: A Chaplain’s Interface With Pain” is the personal memoir of Rabbi Sidney Goldstein. It’s the deftly told story of a chaplain who encounters the traumas of life as he visits with those who are in the throes of experiencing them.
“Heal Us O Lord” expresses the challenges faced by chaplains in providing support during some of the most crucial and painful times of life without being enveloped by them personally. Rabbi Goldstein offers a source of encouragement and council for those whose lives might crave spirituality but do not know where to turn.
A candid and impressively informative memoir, “Heal Us O Lord” is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as synagogue, community, and academic library Contemporary American Biography in general, and Judaic Studies supplemental studies lists in particular.
Reviewed by By Rosally Saltsman in The Jewish Press
Am I My Body’s Keeper is octogenarian Michael Kaufman’s ninth book. Kaufman writes prolifically on Jewish thought and this book is no different because keeping fit and healthy is a Jewish precept.
Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoteichem (Devarim 4:15).
Am I My Body’s Keeper? The answer is Read the rest of this entry »