Straight from the book – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

December 1, 2019

“Pharaoh realizes that, given Yosef’s self-absorption, his lack of social skills, and his inability to navigate social challenges, Yosef is vulnerable to the maneuverings of those who are more clever, cunning, and calculating. Pharaoh has maintained power through shrewd utilization of his formidable political savvy, but Yosef is particularly ill-suited to deal with the bare-knuckled world of politics and the sharks who will be looking for every opportunity to hurt him – and possibly, by extension, cause harm to Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh preempts these threats by giving Yosef a new and honorable name – and with it a new persona – as well as a wife, who can help protect him from the attacks and advances of others. Significantly, Pharaoh selects a woman who is from a distinguished family – possibly the family of Potiphar – who not only bestows further honor on Yosef by virtue of her pedigree, but who is presumably familiar with the intrigue and machinations of royal politics, and along with her family will be able to anticipate and help ward off challenges to Yosef.  With these in place, Yosef is finally safe to go out on his own, leaving the protective watch of Pharaoh and traveling throughout the Land of Egypt.  

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New and Noteworthy – I Am for My Beloved

November 29, 2019

Tradition

This forthright and frank volume is intended for religious couples seeking to enrich their marital and intimate lives within the framework of Jewish tradition. Written by two Orthodox Jewish sex therapists it conveys information about intimacy, anatomy and physiology, sexual relations within the life cycle, and Jewish values and attitudes towards sex – with an informative and practical approach.


November 28, 2019

For more information, click here.


New Review – Journey to Open Orthodoxy

November 28, 2019

Roger S. Kohn AJL News and Reviews

This volume contains eight sections: Principles of Open Orthodoxy, Inclusivity, Spirituality, Gender, Faith, Leadership, Conversion, and Mission. Mission is subdivided into three subdivisions, Spiritual Activism, Shoah, and Israel. The 73 pieces in this volume were mostly written in the last decade, and mostly constitute opinion pieces published in Jewish and general newspapers, but a few are “more scholarly in nature.” Thirteen articles were written specifically for this volume, three (out of ten) in “Inclusivity,” four (out of eight) in “Spirituality.” and three (out of seven) in “Faith.”

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Was Yosef on the Spectrum – Review

November 27, 2019

Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey (Rav Gedaliah) Haber

Professor Levine makes a cogent case for Yosef (Joseph) being on the ASD spectrum, albeit, high functioning. His analysis of the biblical and secondary sources makes a strong case (except in Chapters 9 and 10) for his argument. According to this analysis, Yosef  would be at the high functioning end of the ASD spectrum (formerly Asperger’s Syndrome) and his manifestation would change with maturity as noted in the book. Whatever counterarguments might be made, it was fascinating to read about how many traits and challenges Yosef shared with “high-functioning” persons on the spectrum. I thought it was an insightful piece and I’ve recommended it to others. 

Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey (Rav Gedaliah) Haber is the Director of the Department of Spiritual Care in Baycrest, Toronto. He holds a BA, BA, MA, DMin, DD (Hon.), is a Certified Supervisor-Educator, Clinical Pastoral Education (CASC), Board Certified Chaplain (NAJC), Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner (CASC), Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO), and Adjunct Lecturer at Knox College, University of Toronto (TST).

New Review – Four Rabbis at Lunch

November 26, 2019

Fred Isaac AJL News and Reviews

What do rabbis talk about? In this book the distinguished Rabbi Elkins takes us behind the scenes, as a group meets every week.

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New Review – Waste Not, Want Not

November 19, 2019

Ilka Gordon AJL News and Reviews

Waste Not, Want Not: Kosher Cookbook is a wonderful, ingenious cookbook whose cover states, “Creative Ways to Serve Yesterday’s Meal.” The book consists of imaginative suggestions on how to use leftovers. All the recipes are easy to make. There are multiple recipes for each leftover food; for example, Fruchter lists 31 dishes that use leftover chicken. The added ingredients are staples and spices easily found in most kitchens. Beautiful photographs of the foods accompany nearly all the recipes.

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