Review of Who Stole My Religion?

December 13, 2016

By Dov Peretz Elkins

WhoStoleMyReligion9789655242348 “Who Stole My Religion?” is a thought-provoking and timely call to apply Judaism’s powerful teachings to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. While appreciating the radical, transformative nature of Judaism, Richard Schwartz argues that it has been “stolen” by Jews who are in denial about climate change and other environmental threats and support politicians and policies that may be inconsistent with basic Jewish values. Tackling such diverse issues as climate change, world hunger, vegetarianism, poverty, terrorism, destruction of the environment, peace prospects in Israel, and American foreign policy, he offers practical suggestions for getting Judaism back on track as a faith based on justice, peace, and compassion. He urges the reader to reconsider current issues in line with Judaism’s highest values in an effort to meet the pressing challenges of today’s world.

Right now the new Trump administration is on the cusp of deciding whether climate change is real, and human-created, or not. The President-elect should read this book, and he will be convinced beyond doubt that there is so much more that we humans and governments must do to save our planet.

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Review of Transforming the World

March 27, 2016

by Dov Peretz Elkins, Jewish Media Review

transforming web001“Transforming the World: The Jewish Impact on Modernity” asks pressing questions about Judaism in our generation, such as:

  • What is so special about Judaism?
  • Why is the Torah still valid after three millennia?
  • How do ancient traditions and rituals in Judaism enhance everyday lives?

In a modern and educated generation where religion and commandments may seem archaic, Leo Dee examines the tremendous impact that Judaism continues to exert on all of humanity. With a combination of commandments, traditions, and history, Leo Dee shows how Jewish culture transforms your life and the world for the better.

Leo Dee served as a community rabbi in a village in South Hertfordshire and in a Jewish suburb of London for six years. He studied at Cambridge University and then at Yeshivat HaMivtar following a career in business and finance. He now lives in Israel with his wife and five children.


Review of Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Numbers

May 10, 2015

by Dov Peretz Elkins Redeeming Relevance in the book of numbers

Continuing Rabbi Francis Nataf’s innovative analysis of the Bible’s first five books, this volume focuses on some of the text’s most perplexing stories in the Book of Numbers. It weaves them into discussions about the individual and the community, religious leadership and its abuse, and about communication and disappointment. Taking a new look at Judaism’s most basic text, Rabbi Nataf reads the Bible in ways that make it more accessible and more exciting to study. The remarkable insights in Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Numbers opens up completely new possibilities in the biblical text.

Rabbi Francis Nataf is a Jerusalem-based educator, writer and thinker, and the author of Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Genesis (Urim, 2006) and Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Exodus (Urim, 2010). He has also published numerous articles concerning Jewish education, Bible and Jewish thought. Rabbi Nataf received rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University and holds degrees in Jewish history and international affairs.


Review of The Night That Unites Passover Haggadah Softcover Edition

March 29, 2015

By Dov Peretz ElkinsThe Night That Unites

The philosophies of three major Jewish personalities lie at the heart of this Haggadah. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach believed that the Jewish people have a critical role to play in demonstrating and sharing a unique way of life with the world. As Jews, we share in the universal historical experience of mankind and therefore must contribute to the benefit of all humanity.

The artwork on the cover of this Haggadah depicts three concentric circles of human endeavor as uniquely taught by these spiritual giants, moving outward from the individual to the collective whole. At the center lies the importance of the individual. Each Jew is to forge his or her path and engage in a life dedicated to the ideals and mitzvot of the Torah. Second, beyond our individual concerns, we are also called on to develop and thrive as a nation. Finally, there is a third sphere which takes us beyond our individual and national concerns; we are called upon to take a unique place in inspiring the world, praying for, and working towards the Redemption of all humanity.

Offering a fresh and original look at the Seder night, this Passover Haggadah is a unique compilation of the teachings of Rav Kook, Rabbi Soloveitchik, and Reb Carlebach. Together with discussion questions and contemporary insights, this Haggadah powerfully engages the reader on the most compelling and memorable night of the year – The Night That Unites.

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Review on Haftorah of the Week

November 11, 2014

by Dov Peretz Elkins HaftorahWeekWeb2

This book presents an examination of the haftorah—prophetical writings in the Bible that are read weekly in synagogue in conjunction with the reading from the Torah. These excerpts and their ties to the weekly Bible portion, however, have been largely unexamined. In this volume, Ervin Landau offers insight into the distinct ways in which the haftorah correlates to the parasha, and how the two texts inform one another to present a broader message.

This book will be valuable to anyone who wants to prepare for the weekly Shabbat reading from the prophets.

Ervin Landau is a businessman, and hosted a weekly haftorah show on Spectrum Radio: London’s Multi-Ethnic Radio Station. He resides in London, UK and this is his first book.

This review originally appeared on Jewish Media Review