10 04, 2022

A new traditional Haggadah with photogrphs

By |2022-04-10T10:05:18-07:00April 10th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Passover, coming in the Spring with the reopening and budding of nature, not only recalls the beginning of the Jewish people when they left Egyptian slavery and went to the desert to learn laws and then to Israel and final freedom. It is also a time when Jewish law tells Jews to think about the [...]

8 04, 2022

Narrative of the Life of an American Slave

By |2022-04-08T11:36:57-07:00April 8th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

“Narrative of the Life of an American Slave” by Frederick Douglas, written in 1845 with a preface by Wendell Phillips is a brilliant book by a brilliant former slave in Maryland that everyone should read. It is a short, easy to read report of Douglas' early life, something we should know. In addition to much [...]

4 04, 2022

To whom was the promised land promised?

By |2022-04-04T07:12:03-07:00April 4th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

      Professor Abraham A. Sion, the author of “To whom was the Promised Land Promised?” this interesting, significant, and eye-opening book, knows the subject of the Israeli and Arab claims to the land of Israel better than most people. He served as Deputy State’s Attorney for Israel. He is Professor Emeritus at Ariel [...]

7 03, 2022

The Hidden Saint

By |2022-03-07T14:22:31-07:00March 7th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

           The popular best-selling author Jonathan Kellerman is right to call “The Hidden Saint,” “ingenious” and “compelling.” Many ancient Jews and non-Jews, as well as many modern people are convinced that the world is filled with evil-producing demons of many types. The most acclaimed Bible and Talmud commentator, whose commentaries on [...]

2 03, 2022

A scholarly rabbi comments on the book of Esther and more

By |2022-03-02T15:32:43-07:00March 2nd, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

      Urim Publications in Jerusalem and New York has just published “Faith Fulfilled, Megillat Esther and The Maariv Evening Service for Purim with Commentary from the Writings of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits.” It is compiled and edited by Rabbi Dr. Reuven Mohl. The book is excellent. Rabbi Berkovits’s comments are very thoughtful, well-worth reading and [...]

28 02, 2022


By |2022-02-28T06:18:32-07:00February 28th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  Bart C. Ehrman is a highly respected historian who was once a protestant clergyman who became an agnostic when he saw what biblical scholars consider the numerous errors, inconsistencies, forgeries, and deceits in the New Testament. He offers readers in “Forged” a view of the conclusion of biblical scholars that none of the New [...]

22 02, 2022

Israel’s First Ethiopian Rabbi Speaks to Us

By |2022-02-22T10:11:42-07:00February 22nd, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Rabbi Dr. Sharon Zewde Shalom, the author of the very thoughtful book Dialogues of Love and Fear is without doubt what the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks wrote about him, “a shining light of not only Ethiopian Jewry but of the Jewish people as a whole.” He is an Orthodox rabbi, trained at [...]

15 02, 2022

Different Sephardic practices from Ashkenazic ones

By |2022-02-15T07:12:22-07:00February 15th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Haim Jachter, the rabbi of a Sephardic synagogue for more than twenty years who is of Ashkenazic descent and trained in Ashkenazic yeshivot tells readers about more than 100 differences in the religious practices between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. Ashkenazim are Jews of eastern European descent. Sephardic Jews are from lands around the Mediterranean [...]

10 02, 2022

The unexpected successes of Satmar Hasidim

By |2022-02-10T06:32:06-07:00February 10th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    “American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, A Hasidic Village in Upstate New York” is a brilliant, eye-opening, thought provoking, easy to read and enjoyable book by two university scholars, Nomi M. Stolzenberg of the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law who has written widely on law and religion, and David [...]

4 02, 2022

Dr. Bart Ehrman lists many inconsistencies in the New Testament

By |2022-02-04T09:55:59-07:00February 4th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  Many Christians are convinced that God dictated the New Testament, that it has no errors and no contradiction, and that it contains the true facts concerning Jesus and the beginning of Christianity. In contrast, many scholars in America and Europe for at least several hundred years are certain that the New Testament is the [...]

31 01, 2022

Why is there suffering in the world?

By |2022-01-31T10:28:41-07:00January 31st, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  Bart Denton Ehrman, born on 10/5/55, a PhD American New Testament scholar and author or editor of several dozen very popular, fascinating, and informative books, began life as a fundamentalist Christian, became a minister, and preached in churches. But he gave up Christianity and became an agnostic because of his disgust over the inexplicable [...]

24 01, 2022

Did the prophet Elijah act properly?

By |2022-01-24T07:15:40-07:00January 24th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    The biblical story of the prophet Elijah is interesting, but it is subject to radically different interpretations. A literal reading of scripture, without imagining acts that are not explicit in the verses, yield a negative interpretation of Elijah's behavior with God being dissatisfied with him, criticizing him, and even killing him. In contrast, [...]

11 01, 2022

Addressing why good people suffer

By |2022-01-11T13:40:01-07:00January 11th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Rabbi Dovid Sapirman, the author of Tranquility and Travail, is a Haredi rabbi. Many Haredi Jews are very conservative and have more fundamental ideas than other Jews. One of Rabbi Sapirman’s views, which many non-Haredi Jews do accept is that God is involved with matters here on earth, and that God knows the details of [...]

10 01, 2022

How Jesus Became God

By |2022-01-11T13:42:20-07:00January 10th, 2022|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  How Jesus became God by Dr. Bart D. Ehrman is an excellent, comprehensive, easy to read history about the begining of Christianity by a man who was once a very conservative Christian, who is now an agnostic, but who offers readers a non-dogmatic, respectful, historical examination of early Christianity. His ultimate goal in this [...]

30 11, 2021

The Cain v. Abel Trial

By |2021-11-30T10:01:38-07:00November 30th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Rabbi Dr. Dan Ornstein has just written an easy to read Jewish courtroom drama “Cain v. Abel” that is interesting, thoughtful, eye-opening, and thought-provoking based on the rather short close to two dozen biblical sentences in Genesis 4 that report the fraternal murder of Abel by his brother Cain. He includes the rather exiting imaginative [...]

18 10, 2021

The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince

By |2021-10-18T05:20:06-07:00October 18th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Using many sources, including hundreds of anecdotes, former US Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (1985-1987) and Under Secretary of Defense (2001-2004) Rabbi Dr. Dov S. Zakheim, author of Nehemiah: Statesman and Sage (Maggid Books, 2016), gives us a very informative and riveting, easy to read biography of one of the most important figures [...]

13 10, 2021

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ Legacy

By |2021-10-13T06:10:57-07:00October 13th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    One of the most lamentable recent event was the death of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who was born in 1948 and died on November 7, 2020. He was a British Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, theologian, award-winning author, an international religious leader, respected moral voice, and public figure. He served as the Chief Rabbi of [...]

12 10, 2021

Aldous Huxley’s idea of a utopia

By |2021-10-12T13:40:53-07:00October 12th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  After reading Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic “Brave New World,” a book that described a nation which adopted behaviors that destroyed the freedom of its inhabitants by placing them under multiple controls and which hindered their opportunity to develop by engineering their births, and reading Huxley’s follow-up book “Brave New World Revisited” where he described [...]

8 10, 2021

Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary to Deuteronomy

By |2021-10-08T07:12:14-07:00October 8th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                                               Rabbi Dr, Michael Leo Samuel is one of the top world experts on Maimonides and Philo. His books on both philosophers are filled with easy to read information that will open the eyes and minds of readers. Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary to Deuteronomy is the final book of Rabbi Samuel’s series on Maimonides’ [...]

3 10, 2021

An Analysis of Brave New World

By |2021-10-03T12:17:49-07:00October 3rd, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

After I reviewed Animal Farm and 1984, a friend wrote to me telling me his opinion that Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World was a better book than George Orwell’s 1984. I was surprised that I hadn’t read Brave New World. I got a copy of it along with Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited and found [...]

26 09, 2021

Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary, Leviticus

By |2021-09-26T04:43:21-07:00September 26th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                                                                Rabbi Dr. Michael Leo Samuel, author of Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary, Leviticus, has made a significant contribution to posterity by writing this beautiful book and bringing the thinking of Maimonides and many dozens of others, ancient and modern, Jewish and non-Jewish, rational and mystic, to his readers. Among many other sources, he focuses [...]

20 09, 2021

Are there anti-Orthodox views in Ecclesiastes?

By |2021-09-20T09:55:48-07:00September 20th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Kohelet, also spelt Qohelet, Ecclesiastes in Greek and now English, is read during the holiday of Sukkot. We do not know why this book was chosen from among the books of the Bible called The Writings. A popular explanation is that Sukkot is a happy holiday and Ecclesiastes is read to add a [...]

19 09, 2021

Questions about Sukkot

By |2021-09-19T14:34:48-07:00September 19th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  Rabbi Abraham Chill (1912-2004) gives readers of his book “The Minhagim,” Hebrew for customs and ceremonies, a very readable discussion of many Jewish practices, focusing on 27 holidays and events: synagogue, Shabbat, Rosh Hodesh, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, Tisha B’Av, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, marriage, birth, pidyin haben, bar mitzvah, tallit [...]

13 09, 2021

Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary

By |2021-09-13T05:56:53-07:00September 13th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  “Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary on Exodus 22-40” is a very informative book. Rabbi Dr. Michael Leo Samuel has made a significant contribution to posterity by writing it and bringing to his readers the thinking of Maimonides and many dozens of others, ancient and modern, Jewish and non-Jewish, rational and mystic. This volume follows his [...]

10 09, 2021

The rationale of Jewish customs and ceremonies of Yom Kippur

By |2021-09-10T09:42:55-07:00September 10th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Judaism has dozens of meaningful customs and ceremonies, but most people, even Jews, do not know all of them, their origins and rationale. Rabbi Abraham Chill (1912-2004) gives readers of “The Minhagim,” Hebrew for customs and ceremonies, a very readable discussion of many of these practices. He includes the views of famous Jewish sages [...]

6 09, 2021

The New Koren Tanakh

By |2021-09-06T08:01:11-07:00September 6th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  Koren Publishers Jerusalem has just published an excellent single 2033 page volume of the entire Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, with the beautiful classic Koren Hebrew font and a new, modern, readable translation of the Torah, Prophets, and Writings by the recently deceased Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, and other scholars. Examples [...]

3 09, 2021

Animal Farm, 1984, and society today

By |2021-09-03T10:20:38-07:00September 3rd, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Some people maintain that there are striking similarities between George Orwell’s books Animal Farm and 1984 and American society today.   Animal Farm The farm in Animal Farm is a symbol of Russia and other totalitarian regimes. It was first published in 1945 by George Orwell (1903-1950) four years before he approached the [...]

30 08, 2021

Explanations of the 613 Biblical Commandments

By |2021-08-30T11:14:19-07:00August 30th, 2021|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

    Rabbi Abraham Chill (1912-2004) gives readers of “The Mitzvot, The Commandments and their Rationale” a very readable listing of the commonly accepted list of biblical commands, presented in the order in which they appear in the Five Books of Moses, identifies the location of the command in the Bible, and gives the explanations [...]

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