Page 1

June 19, 2015

OF THE BOOK

A publication of


Page B2

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Can Movies Be Kosher? By Rabbi Herbert J. Cohen, Ph.D. Every day I pray that I will have a sense that God is always in front of me, that He is always in the room. It helps me control my thoughts, my actions, and my speech. When things irritate me, I think long and hard as to whether I want to respond to a provocation or to an unkind word. In general, I do not regret being silent, but I do regret a hurtful word that I may have uttered to someone, even when my intentions were noble. I was reminded of the power of words as I watched the gripping political thriller All the President’s Men, which portrays in detail the intense investigative newspaper work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they painstakingly researched the Watergate burglary, eventually leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Woodward and Bernstein seem like two Talmud study partners who continually probe each other to ascertain the truth. Each questions the other and is unafraid of challenging or criticizing his friend. Their frank criticism is not personal, but rather a sign that each one trusts the

in his paper unless they get confirother to be honest and not to admation of more of their facts. The vance any personal agenda. Their paper cannot besmirch someone’s shared mission, to discover what reputation based upon hearsay the Watergate burglary was all evidence or theorizing about what about, makes their egos subservimight have happened. ent to the greater purpose of their In the world of Jewish juriswork. It is this understanding of prudence, the laws of slander and their common goal which is at the the gravity of hurting someone heart of their friendship and their with words is the topic of many search for truth. volumes written by sages of the They analyze and debate the significance of the words of evpast and present. These laws eryone they interview. What do are carefully codified because of the words mean on a superficial the essential concern that, as the level? What do the words imply? Psalmist writes, “Life and death What does a response of silence are in the power of the tongue;” indicate? There is a fascinating for one negative comment about a scene in which Carl Bernstein person might ruin his life profesneeds to confirm the truth of an sionally or personally. As a rabbi article that is about to appear in and school principal, I have been the morning newspaper. No one tested many times when people wants to be quoted, so Bernstein ask me for recommendations comes up with the following proabout people I know. It may be posal as he talks to his contact on a recommendation for a job, for the phone: “If what I say is true, All the President’s Men (1976), directed by acceptance to an academic instithen I will count to ten, and if you Alan J. Pakula tution, or for a marriage partner. do not hang up, I will assume my My general approach is to say article is true. If it is not true, then you hang up before I what needs to be said without embellishment, for words reach the number ten, and I will assume that what I wrote are like arrows. Once uttered, they cannot be retrieved. is false.” Here, interestingly, everything hangs on what As we speak to the people around us, it is wise to is not being said. weigh our words so that we do not hurt anyone inadverBen Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post, the paper tently and in order to ensure that our words will always that employs Woodward and Bernstein, is also extremely be in the service of society and sanctity. sensitive about words and continually reminds the amExcerpted with permission from Kosher Movies by Herbitious reporters that he cannot agree to print something bert J. Cohen (Urim Publications, 2015).

MEANINGFUL SUMMER GIFTS ANI TEFILLA SIDDUR

With multi-tiered commentary by Rabbi Jay Goldmintz (High School & Adults) Shabbat Weekday

(Grades 3-5)

Summer Camp

TANAKH MA’ALOT

KOREN PUBLISHERS JERUSALEM

www.korenpub.com

YOUTH SIDDUR

CHILDREN’S SIDDUR (Grades K-2)

Available online and at your local Jewish bookstore.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B3

Reading & Writing Questions for Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski cartoons, and asked if he would agree to their publication. We met several times. He was unaware of the insights. He said, “Abe, if I saw everything in my cartoons that you see, it would paralyze me and I would be unable to draw.” Schulz was a very humble man, and it was great to work with him.

By Shlomo Greenwald Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski – a scion of a chasidic dynasty, a psychiatrist, and a noted expert on substance abuse – is one of the most prolific authors in the Jewish world. He has written 60 books, with titles ranging from "The Clergy and Chemical Dependency" to "Gevurah: My Life, Our World, and the Adventure of Reaching 80."

Whom would you want to write your life story? Anyone who really knew me closely. Do you have a favorite English-language Torah book? No. I read Torah books in Hebrew. Do you have a favorite book on psychology or mental health? The Introductory Lectures to Psychoanalysis by Freud.

Can you describe your writing habits? I’m really not aware of my writing habits. If an idea comes to mind, I’m motivated to write about it.

You approach many of your books from both a Torah/halachic viewpoint as well as a modern psychology viewpoint. Do these two perspectives complement each other? I think that whatever is valid in psychology can also be found in Torah literature. For example, I’ve pointed out that the 12-step program for treatment of addiction is pure mussar. It is unfortunate that we may not be aware of some of the psychological insights in Torah until we see them first in psychology.

What’s the one book you wish someone else would write? I don’t have one. If it was something I wished someone else would write, I’d write it myself.

What do you read now? Is that different from what you read when you were younger? In my young years, I was an avid reader of mysteries. Now I read the Talmud and the works of chassidus and mussar.

Before you started writing, were there many books written utilizing modern psychology by frum, committed Jews? I was only aware of one by Moshe Halevi Spero: Psychology & Judaism.

Was reading secular books encouraged in your home when you were growing up? Secular books were not discouraged, which was a tacit encouragement.

You collaborated with “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz on three of your books, exploring issues like sibling rivalries and happiness. Whose idea was that? And what was it like working with the world-famous cartoonist? I recognized the psychological insights in Schulz’s

If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be? I can’t think of any one book that impacted me. What made me what I am is the chassidic heritage.

If you could require Orthodox psychoanalysts to read one book, what would it be? From Pulpit to Couch [by Rabbi Twerski, Mirkov Publications 2009]. What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet? The whole library. What’s next? A new approach to the problem of low self-esteem.

EXPERIENCE THE WISDOM OF THE RAV

Mesorat Harav Siddur Tefilla for the entire year

50th anniversary!

Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Mesorat Harav Kinot Complete Services for Tisha B’Av

‫זצ“ל‬

KOREN PUBLISHERS JERUSALEM

www.korenpub.com

Available online and at your local Jewish bookstore.


Page B4

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

U RIM PUBLICATIONS NEW AND FORTHCOMING TITLES W W W.

URIMPUBLICATIONS.COM

KOSHER MOVIES

A Film Critic Discovers Life Lessons at the Cinema By Rabbi Herbert J. Cohen Hardcover, 290 pp.

PROPHECIES AND PROVIDENCE A Biblical Approach to Modern Jewish History

By Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer | Paperback, 216 pp.

TORAH MYSTERIES ILLUMINATED

Intriguing Insights Into the Essence of Major Torah Topics of Contemporary Relevance By Thomas Furst | Hardcover, 272 pp.

THE JEWISH DOG

CONVERSION, INTERMARRIAGE, AND JEWISH IDENTITY edited by Robert S. Hirt, Adam Mintz, and Marc Stern Published by YU Press, KTAV, and Urim Hardcover, 502 pp.

By Asher Kravitz

AFTER THE HOLOCAUST THE BELLS STILL RING

Published by Penlight Publications Hardcover, 239 pp.

By Rabbi Joseph Polak Foreword by Elie Wiesel Hardcover, 128 pp.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B5

from

Moadei HEROIC ashanah Hturning CHILDREN destruction into growth

Make The ThreeWeeks A Meaningful and Enriching Experience

Hanoch Teller’s new book accurately portrays the sagas of nine children whose stories are impossible to put down. Each tale is a beacon of light and fortress of courage that explains exactly what took place during the Holocaust. A work of prodigious scholarship and spellbinding narrative like none other on the subject, chronicling the zenith of human achievement. If there is just one book to read about the Holocaust, this should be it!

The Hirsch Chumash – brilliant in content and expansive in scope – now has a comprehensive index that allows easy access to a specific subject, word, or reference. This 312-page volume has 3 separate indices: subject, word, & source – 2,700 references in all. The subject index is in English while the word index and source index are in Hebrew. Now you can experience the magnificent length, breadth, & depth of The Hirsch Chumash as never before.

JUNE 10 -

22

12 D AYS ONL Y! K C

2 0 15 / 5 7 7 5

20% OFF

INDEX TO THE HIRSCH CHUMASH!

STO

spotitdesign.com

With his characteristic brilliance and fervor, Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus provides a unique and proper approach to this auspicious time. He adds new dimensions to our understanding of the Beis HaMikdash and our mourning over it; shows us how to transform the negative into a positive force for personal growth; & offers practical advice on how to make this time more meaningful & enriching.

New from the King of the Storytellers

At Last, a Comprehensive

UP N O W

All English Titles*

At Participating Bookstores or at feldheim.com See our website for a list of participating bookstores. *Exclusions apply. Discount taken from List Price.


Page B6

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Miracle Of The Press The Invention of Printing and Outstanding Hebrew Printers By Rabbi Akiva Aaronson The invention of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century caused a revolution in society, important for no one more than Jews. Jews always needed books, and the printing press presented a new and different way of producing them. My book Miracle of the Press, the Invention of Printing and Outstanding Hebrew Printers takes readers back over 500 years to the invention of printing. Afterward, we go on a journey through time and place, from Western to Eastern Europe, from north to south, coming into contact with the outstanding Hebrew printers of the past, who provided us with the sefarim of their time, and ultimately those on which our own generation rests. The Invention of Printing Five hundred years ago books were written by a scribe, slowly and carefully, quill dipped in ink, one word at a time. It might take weeks or even months to produce a single book. As a result, they were both rare and expensive. Few people could afford them – only the upper strata of society – who were usually also the only ones able to read. All this changed with the invention of printing in the mid-fifteenth century. The invention of printing is attributed to Johann Gutenberg, of Mainz, Germany. Born around the year 1400, Gutenberg was trained as a goldsmith or silversmith, which gave him the skill of working with metals. This would provide him with the basis of his later invention. Gutenberg’s invention was letters of metal type. He cut the shape of each letter out of hard metal, and then pressed it into soft metal to form a mold. Into the mold he poured molten metal, which upon hardening left him with individual letters, for each letter of the alphabet. The letters could then be aligned together to form words and sentences, then whole pages. Afterwards, they were inked and paper pressed against them, producing a printed page. This is how printing began, and how it worked. After printing, the letters could be broken up, ready for further text. The benefits of the new invention were great. In the same amount of time that it would take a scribe to write a single book, a few hundred could come from the printing press. Books became available in quantity to society at large for the first time, and at a much lower cost. An export trade in them also developed, so they became available internationally as well. The House of Soncino One of the most important printers in this early period was the Soncino family. Their first location of printing was in the town of Soncino, northern Italy, from where they took their name, in gratitude for being granted the right of residence. Initially, they earned their livelihood as moneylenders, however the opening of a public loan office forced them out of business, and instead they turned their hand to the new art of printing. The first sefer to come from Soncino’s press was tractate Berachos of the Babylonian Talmud, which appeared at the end of 1483.

Soncino’s great innovation in their Talmud was that the Gemara, Rashi and Tosafos all appeared on the same page, Rashi on the inner column, and Tosafos on the outer one. Previously, in the era of manuscripts, they would usually have appeared on their own, each as a separate manuscript, if they were available at all. For the first fruit of a new printer, it was a remarkable achievement. Soncino also went on to print other tractates of the Talmud – although not a complete edition, largely because the Talmud was still under the ban in Italy, and printing of it had to be done quietly. Nevertheless, such is their importance that they were responsible for producing more than a quarter of all known Hebrew books up to the year 1500. The Nachmias Family Other than Italy, the first location of Hebrew printing was Spain and Portugal. However, Hebrew printing there came to an abrupt end after only about 25 years, due to the Expulsion, from Spain in 1492, and from Portugal four years later. Nevertheless, the Hebrew printers that had been established there did not give up. They surfaced again elsewhere, further east in Europe, especially in Salonika and Constantinople. Soon afterwards Hebrew sefarim came off their presses. In Constantinople, the first Hebrew printers were the Nachmias family. The products of their press included the sefarim of the Abarbanel, who had gone into exile with the rest of his people. These were Zevach Pesach (Abarbanel’s commentary on the Haggadah), Rosh Amana (on principles of faith), and Nachalos Avos, (his commentary on Pirkei Avos), intended to strengthen Spanish Jewry in the difficult period after the Expulsion and resettlement in new lands.

Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha’Ezer, first edition. Printed in Venice, 1565.

Daniel Bomberg In sixteenth century Italy, one of the most important Hebrew printers was the gentile Daniel Bomberg. Originally from Antwerp, he left his birth place and moved to Venice, which at the time was one of Europe’s wealthiest cities and a center of European commerce. For his Jewish employees – Jews being the only ones able to perform the main tasks – he requested special dispensation from wearing the distinctive yellow hat, which was an obligation for other Jewish residents of Venice. Bomberg’s greatest achievement was the first complete printed edition of the Babylonian Talmud (1520-23). Although the layout of the page originated from Soncino, with Rashi on the inner column and Tosafos on the outer, Soncino’s page was relatively short. It is Bomberg’s edition that established exactly which words appeared on each page, followed in all editions to this day. It was also particularly important because it was largely free of censorship, usually imposed on later editions. Altogether, Bomberg printed over two hundred and fifty different titles, making him one of the most prolific early printers of Hebrew sefarim. Yitzchak Prostitz Another prolific printer of the sixteenth century was Yitzchak Prostitz of Cracow, Poland. He printed the sefarim of some of the

Continued on p.B7

Illustration of an early printing workshop, ca 1500.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Aaronson Continued from p.B6

returned to Judaism. Menashe’s press produced many sefarim for fellow Jews, who like his own family had returned to their faith. In addition to Hebrew, therefore, he printed books in Roman letters, in Spanish and Portuguese. Having been cut off from Judaism for more than a century, they knew no Hebrew. Sefarim which came from his press included three editions of Tenach, a Chumash with Rashi’s commentary, and Thesouros dos Dinim, which was a compendium of basic halachah authored by Menashe himself, and used by generation after generation of returning marranos.

leading rabbinic authorities of the time, including in 1570, the first edition of the Shulchan Aruch with the glosses of the Rema. Although the Shulchan Aruch had appeared five years earlier in Venice, at that time it did not yet include the Rema. Prostitz’s edition, which appeared in the lifetime of both Rabbi Yosef Karo and the Rema, made it the Code of Jewish Law for all Jewry, Ashkenazim and Sephardim. In 1570, only Orach Chaim appeared, Menashe ben Israel and it was not until 1578 that Prostitz commenced on Johann Koellner all four sections of the Shulchan In Germany in the eighAruch with the Rema, starting with Yoreh teenth century, the Jewish commuDe’ah and ending with Orach Chaim. nity of Frankfurt was one of the oldest and most distinguished in all Europe. It Menashe ben Israel could trace its history back nearly one Amsterdam’s first Hebrew press was thousand years, although this included set up by Menashe ben Israel in 1626. periods of persecution and expulsion. Menashe’s family were marranos, Jews Jews there were forced to live in a ghetwho had remained in Spain after the to – the Judengasse (Jews’ Street) – but Expulsion, practicing Judaism only in from its crowded, narrow lanes and tall, secret. Later, they managed to escape and Continued on p.B8 reached Amsterdam, where they openly

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B7

THE GILAD SHALIT DEAL: DOES HALACHAH ENDORSE SWAPPING 1,000 DEADLY TERRORISTS FOR A SINGLE ISRAELI SOLDIER? W THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: DOES HALACHAH REQUIRE ONE TO ESCAPE THE SCENE, RATHER THAN TO KILL A PURSUER IN SELFDEFENSE? W CAN SCIENTISTS EVER CREATE A KOSHER CHEESEBURGER? W HURRICANE SANDY: IS THERE A MITZVAH TO RESCUE THOSE WHO DON’T HELP THEMSELVES, OR THOSE WHO PUT THEMSELVES IN HARM’S WAY? W VIRTUAL THEFT: DOES HALACHAH PERMIT DOWNLOADING OR COPYING FILES WITHOUT PERMISSION? W DOES THE ISSUR OF YICHUD APPLY DURING THERAPY? W WHAT DOES HALACHA SAY ABOUT DRAFTING YESHIVA STUDENTS? W IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO USE WIFI WITHOUT PERMISSION? W IS THERE

Embark on a fascinating journey through halachah.

Headlines Halachic Debates of Current Events This innovative work tackles some of the most controversial halachic issues arising in the modern world.

#1

BEST SELLER

AVAILABLE AT JEWISH BOOKSELLERS AND HEADLINESBOOK.COM

tune in Every

Motzai Shabbos

Join author DOVID LICHTENSTEIN as he tackles fascinating modern controversies from a halachic perspective! New toipcs each week!

UPCOMING

UPCOMING

Topics

GUEST speakers

STARBUCKS: IS IT KOSHER?

Rabbi Dovid Cohen

§§§§§§§§§§

HAPPY FAMILIES

Rav of Gvul Yaavetz

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane

Rabbinical Supervisor of the CRC

§§§§§§§§§§

Rabbi Yair Hoffman

THE MAMZERUS CRISIS AND SOLUTIONS

Rabbi Chaim Jachter

§§§§§§§§§§

PRIORITIES IN TZEDAKAH

Noted Author & Lecturer

Rav of Sha’arei Orah in Teaneck Rav on the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA)

Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski

§§§§§§§§§§

Prolific Author and Educator

SCHOOL VOUCHERS AND METZITZAH B’PEH

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel Executive Vice President of Agudas Yisroel of America

LISTEN LIVE ON

Download Postcasts from podcast.headlinesbook.com

OR NACHUMSEGAL.COM

Send questions in advance to questions@headlinesbook.com

WMCA.COM


Page B8

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

Aaronson Continued from p.B7 thin buildings came some of the most illustrious Torah figures of the period. Despite Frankfurt’s distinction, however, Jews there were not permitted to operate a printing press of their own, and instead had to associate with gentiles as their nominal printers. There were several such gentile-owned printing houses in Frankfurt, which printed sefarim in quantity for German Jewry, and for the European Jewish communities further afield. One of the most important of these was Johann Koellner, from whose press came an edition of the Talmud (1720-1722). Romm In the nineteenth century one of the most prolific Hebrew printers was the Romm family. Originally located in Horodna (Grodna), and later transferred to Vilna, their printing house produced sefarim in great quantity, in all areas of Torah. Romm are best known for their third edition of the Talmud that appeared over the years 1880 to 1886, and was the most extensive edition ever to be printed. It contained many commentaries that had never appeared before, printed from manuscripts and carefully checked by talmidei chachomim. It became known as the Vilna Shas, universally regarded as the best edition available, and superceding all others. Even the new, computer-set editions of today are replicas of Romm’s Talmud. A difficulty faced by Romm in their printing house, however, was censorship imposed by the Church, which was particularly severe in Eastern Europe. This caused

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

come from his press in Jerusalem was Chida’s Avodas HaKodesh (1841). Other sefarim include a siddur called Isaac Leeser Tefillat Yisrael, according to the Sephardi custom. The In early nineteenth century America, an early pio- period also saw a flourishing of sefarim that dealt with neer in Hebrew printing was Isaac Leeser. Born the holiness of the Land, and these were brought in Germany in 1806, he immigrated to to print by Bak. Included in these are Chithe United States as a young man. He bas Yerushalayim (1844), concerning the found there a land largely devoid of holy places in Eretz Yisrael, and Sefer yiddishkeit, immigrants reaching Sha’arei Dim’ah v’Yeshuah (1861), its shores leaving Der Heim far regarding special prayers to be behind them. said at the Western Wall and Leeser was determined to other holy places. stem the flow of assimilation, At his premises in Jeruand at different times served salem, Bak used an all-iron as chazzan, rabbi, translator press sent to him from Enand publisher. From his pen, gland by the philanthropist among other works, came the Moses Montefiore. Bak refirst English translation of the corded this generous gift on prayer book, one for Sephardi the title pages of the sefarim use and another for Ashkenazprinted on it, stating, “Printed im. In addition, he translated the on the press donated by Moshe Chumash into English. His most and Yehudis [Montefiore].” Isaac Leeser extensive work was a translation of Conclusion the entire Tenach, which appeared in 1853. For the new generation of American born Jewry, Today, the printing press has come to an end Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino belonged to the past. and lies silent, replaced by computer technology and laser printers. However, it was the means by which Yisrael Bak the sefarim of Israel were produced for more than five In Jerusalem Hebrew printing began with Yisrael hundred years. Am Yisrael will forever be grateful for Bak, who opened his press in 1841. At that time mis- its invention, and to those who brought us those sefarim sionaries were active in the Holy City and planned to over the generations. distribute material in Hebrew. It was to counter this threat that Bak opened his own press. Akiva Aaronson is author of “People of the Book: Five Jews of the Land of Israel then were poor and the Hundred Years of the Hebrew Book from the Beginning of communities few in number. As a result Bak was only Printing until the Twentieth Century” (Feldheim Publishers, able to produce small, short sefarim. The first sefer to 2014), from which this article was adapted.

alteration to the holy texts.

Babylonian Talmud, tractate Bava Kamma. Printed in Vilna, 1882, by the Widow and Brothers Romm.

Sefer Avodas HaKodesh, printed in Jerusalem, 1841.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

‫בס״ד‬

From the author of “Words to Hear with Your Heart” and “Thoughts to Hear with Your Heart.”

S A R A H K A R M E LY

With a combination of Torah, humor and practical advice Sarah Karmely

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B9

Have You Read the Book that EVERYONE is Talking About?

tackles delicate topics with elegance and grace. Her stories are compelling and entertaining and it is clear that she has the Rebbe’s Bracha in her work. Nechama Dina Hendel Co-Director Baka Chabad Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Karmely’s many years of personal encounters with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the never-before- heard advice, and blessings to men and women from all walks of life will astound and inspire every reader. Her writings sparkle with humor, insight and keen intelligence.

AVAILABLE AT JUDAICA WORLD OF CROWN HEIGHTS, KEHOT AND AT MIKVAH.ORG AND AT ONLINE WWW.KEHOTONLINE.COM AND ONLINE AT ONLINE WWW.KEHOTONLINE.COM AND *AT MIKVAH.ORG* *Signed copies directly from Sarah Karmely, sarahkarmely@aol.com. Discounts for bulk purchases.

Discover the fascinating network of interlacing forces that operate in creation, and the connections among:

Mazal · Happiness · Tikkun · Self-Esteem Prayer · Anxiety · Free Will · Mental Illness Willpower · Bitachon Once you learn how free will intersects with, and impacts on, these forces, you gain the practical and near-magical ability to maximize opportunities, sidestep unnecessary hardship and heartache, and transform your emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

PLUS!

More than 100 pages devoted to simple, yet highly effective tools to overcome MASTER temptation—in ANY area of life. THE KEYS TO Imagine what you could accomplish WILLPOWER with the secrets to self-discipline.

“This book addresses the topic of free will in a

very clear manner...and based on Chazal, Dr. Lieberman offers practical strategies to help us to grow & realize our full potential.”

-Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlit”a (from the haskamah)

“Had Dr. Lieberman lived a hundred years ago he would have been one of the most famous mashgichim in a mussar yeshiva.” – HaRav Dovid Cohen shlit”a

Dr. Dovid Lieberman is the author of 11 books, which have been translated into 26 languages – selling more than three million copies worldwide! Read this book, and you’ll understand why.


Page B10

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A Roundup Of Children’s Books By Sandy Eller I have a confession to make. I love reading kids’ books. Whether it was reading to my crew when they were little, or kidnapping the books that my children took out from the library, books for the younger set have always appealed to me, maybe because they don’t require a major time commitment on my part. Living as we do today, in a world where both Jewish music and books abound, I have even more fun leafing through the latest offerings aimed at our small fries. What makes a good kids’ book? In my opinion, the answer is pretty simple. No matter what age group a book is meant for, it had better be well written and a good read. For elementary school aged kids, a book needs to be engaging and not annoyingly predictable or preachy. For toddlers and other munchkins who aren’t reading yet, a book has to appeal to the little ones and the adult, sibling, or babysitter who is going to have to read that same book over and over and over again. With so many new releases published every year, going into your local Judaica store to buy a book can be more than a little overwhelming as you wonder which titles will actually be worthwhile additions to your family library and which will just gather dust on the shelves. Here are my top picks in 2014 Jewish kids’ literature, books that I would recommend to my friends and family. Preschoolers Shimmy Shambone Will NOT Take a Bath by Yael Zoldan (Feldheim) – A wonderful book that will appeal to both boys and girls, Shimmy Shambone has quickly become one of my all time favorites and I have happily read this one over and over again to one of my little guys. Shimmy, the star of the show, is an adorable little boy who likes to do just about everything, except getting clean. In well written rhyming verse (not something you come across too often) that isn’t holier-than-though or annoying, Shimmy comes to terms with the fact that cleanliness is actually both a good habit and a mitzvah.

tions, well thought out rhymes and laminated pages, this colorful book is a wonderful look at the beauty of the world all around us, created by the greatest artist of all. It’s Called Kibud Av Va’Eim by Dina Rosenfeld (Hachai) – A great rhyming book

Good Shabbos, Benny! by Chani Fischman (Hachai) – Described by one of my kids as a boys’ version of Is It Shabbos Yet?, this sweet book counts down the days of the week as Benny eagerly anticipates his favorite day of all, teaching both counting and a love of Shabbos in a positive and endearing way.

Menachem and Lieba Learn to Budget by Bruchy Laufer (Israel Bookshop) – A great lesson on practical finance for little kids as this brother sister pair set out to buy

Look What My Parents Give Me! by Sara Ginsburg (Artscroll) – Great pictures with lots of activity and nice rhymes make

a gift for their parents only to discover that their money supply isn’t endless and that frivolous spending can leave you short on cash and long on disappointment. for the younger set, combining counting and derech eretz for parents on kid-friendly, laminated pages. Middos Man: Being A Nice Friend by Esther Ornstein (Israel Bookshop) – This great book with laminated pages is the second in the Middos Man series, giving kids constructive advice on how to stifle the urge to put someone else down as well as how to speak effectively when being teased. An added bonus is a CD which will let your kids listen to Middos Man on their own. Shuki’s Upside-Down Dream by Yaffa Ganz (Feldheim) – A newly illustrated version of the classic book, giving a young boy a valuable lesson on dealing with a visiting

The Hidden Artist by Leah Chana Rubabshi (Hachai) – With beautiful illustra-

this a fabulous way to teach the little one about hakaras hatov. Bracha Do You Know? by Ariella Stern (Hachai) – A sweet book with adorable pictures whose liftable flaps prompt kids to say their berachos. I couldn’t help but wonder as I read this book if it is possible to make a lift-the-flap book with laminated pages to prevent the inevitable rips from overeager little readers whose energy far exceeds the durability of regular pages.

The Royal Mission by Rachel Stein (Israel Bookshop) – This lighthearted parable is an effective reminder of our responsibility to act appropriately and represent the Jewish people well. With its positive voice and fun illustrations, The Royal Mission is engaging and endearing even while it being educational. Alef Beis Adventures with Ziggawat by Ahuva Weinberger (Artscroll) – An entertaining introduction to a system designed to give those who are ready to read a solid foundation in alef-beis. Using a program that is already in place at Brooklyn’s Prospect

Young Readers A Bud for Simi by Faigy Rosenberg and Esti Weiss (Israel Bookshop) – A great book for fledgling readers to enjoy on their own, and the fifth book in the Step-by-Step reading series, A Bud for Simi lets young readers follow along as Simi brings home a flowerpot from school for Shavuos and waits for it to finally sprout. Also included are five extra pages of activities for early readers to enjoy.

Park Yeshiva, the esrog-like Ziggawat teaches alef-beis, vocabulary, and good middos through short stories. elderly relative and a better perspective on relating to older folks in general. Wherever We Go by Chani Altein (Hachai) – With fun illustrations and a light tone that is informative without being annoyingly preachy, this well written book with laminated pages teaches the younger set about making a kiddush Hashem in a variety of situations.

A Life of Torah by Rabbi Avraham Ohayun (Israel Bookshop) – This beautifully illustrated book with 25 stories about Harav Ovadia Yosef is a wonderful look into the life and personality of one of the great rabbinic leaders and scholars of our time. With stories that are short enough for young readers (or to be read aloud to the

Continued on p.B11


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Eller

Friday, June 19, 2015

younger set), yet filled with messages that will uplift kids of all ages, this 61-page book is sure to inspire.

that there is nothing wrong with turning to others for help on occasion and that you have to focus on the true blessings in life instead of getting hung up on small stuff that doesn’t really matter. Great for 4th to 6th grade girls.

Making Hashem Proud by Chaviva Krohn Pfeiffer (Artscroll) – Sure to impress kids of all ages (as well as their parents) these 16 short stories about ordinary people whose extraordinary actions made a kiddush Hashem are expertly told and a wonderful reminder that each of us has the ability to make an impact in our dayto-day lives. This book may be part of

The Awesome Adventures of Pickle Boy by Jack Bee (available on Amazon.com) – While Pickle Boy may have originated as the hero of stories told to campers in Camp Agudah by then counselor Yaakov Bojman many summers ago, he comes to life now in the fascinating pages of this exciting adventure set in Flatbush. A real page turner full of humor that involves secret

Continued from p.B10

and not too cute or predictable, you find yourself rooting for PJ to get through his mishaps which include accidentally starting day camp with his five year old brother’s rubber ducky emblazoned bathing suit and accidentally getting on the girls’ bus on the first day of yeshiva. A fun read for 2nd and 3rd graders.

Artscroll’s Youth Series, but once I started reading it, I literally couldn’t put it down.

Grade Schoolers

The Adventures of PJ Pepperjay by Yehudis Backenroth (Artscroll) – This 95page book is part of the Artscroll Youth Series and actually includes two separate stories: PJ Pepperjay’s Camp Catastrophes and PJ Pepperjay’s Classroom Calamities. Both are engaging tales of Pinchas Ephraim Yisroel Aryeh Pepperjay, a youngster with a passion for peanut butter and gefilte fish sandwiches, who seems to be living his life by Murphy’s Law. Likeable, spirited

The Carpool Clan: Crash Course by M. Jakubowicz (Israel Book Shop) – The third in a series about a group of girls from Machon Milka Mirtza, the Carpool Clan spotlights Sara Leah Steinberg, an 8th grader who is both smart and dependable. Sara Leah’s carefully choreographed life unravels rapidly when her sister gets engaged and her mother gives birth to a preemie within a span of just 24 hours. Sara Leah, who is also drafted to work on 8th grade extracurricular activities, finds herself overwhelmed by responsibility and other pressures while simultaneously wrestling with worry over her new baby sister and the upcoming change in relationship with her soon to be married older sister. It takes a car crash for Sara Leah to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect all the time,

rooms, terrorists, annoying little sisters, class bullies and, of course, pickles, this is the first in a series of books that will keep readers of all ages engrossed, enchanted and enthralled. Another kids’ book that I couldn’t put down, I can’t wait for Pickle Boy, Volume II to come out. Recommended for 5th graders and up. Not For Sale by Bracha Rosman (Israel Book Shop) – Originally serialized in Mishpacha Junior magazine, Not For Sale is a fast paced read about a family who moves to

Two Fiery Rabbis at Their Best!

, in the e world. ated the decreed d to be

Bereishit

h, peace r place. evil and ve, evil. it is the achieve

Pinchas

BRENN BOOKS

NEW FROM URIM PUBLICATIONS Available at Amazon.com and BrennBooks.com

Available at all fine bookstores www.UrimPublications.com

URIM

• The Jewish Press • Page B11

a new town in order to open up a Jewish community center and immediately finds themselves the targets of a group of shady characters who seem very intent on getting them to go back where they came from, ASAP. Filled with break ins, telephone bugs, mishaps and plenty of intrigue, Not For Sale is one of those books that will have you turning pages in an effort to see just how this one ends. This book is ideal for 5th through 8th graders. Exploring the Wisdom and Wonders of the Universe by Efraim Harari (Feldheim) – A treasure trove of fascinating information and beautiful pictures, this 170 page book will keep your kids entertained for hours, leaving them with a wealth of fascinating information on astronomy, botany, entomology, food science, human anatomy, inventions, medicine, meteorology, the earth and technology. Be prepared for your kids to start asking to do science projects, which are included in each project and

while they are in school, sneak this book out of their room so that you can enjoy each and every gorgeous page. Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.


Page B12

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Reviews Miracles, Mysticism And Marriage By Kayla Greenstein Just in time for your summer reading, Sarah Karmely has published her long awaited second book, Stories to Hear With Your Heart. In this slim yet powerful book, the author depicts her remarkable adven-

Stories to Hear With Your Heart By Sarah Karmely tures as she traverses the globe in her role as marriage counselor, taharat hamishpacha teacher, and sought-after lecturer. Readers will be swept up in her travels that take them from Queens to Quebec, Jerusalem to Johannesburg, and points in between. Karmely’s insightful stories are sensitively told and resonate with humor, pathos, triumph and tragedy and the irre-

pressible spirit of the Jewish woman. Her sage advice on finding your bashert and then keeping that marriage not only alive, but thriving, will be of profound interest to anyone who is married or thinking of getting married. Karmely merited to have had the constant guidance of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, ob”m, in every aspect of her personal and professional life. Her heretofore-untold stories about the Rebbe’s advice and blessings are both interesting and inspirational. The Rebbe was not always predictable except when he insisted that strictly following the laws of taharat hamishpacha would enhance every marriage. Sometimes, as Karmely notes, the advice she personally received was the opposite of what she expected – as when she and her husband were not yet on the same page in their Jewish observance and she was adamant about wanting to wear a sheitel.

“Shouldn’t I just do it whether he likes it or not?” she asked the Rebbe. Absolutely not, he said. “Do not fight about religion,” the Rebbe told her and advised her not to do anything unless and until her husband was in total agreement. She realized that her husband must have felt she was choosing G-d over him and the only thing she had accomplished was turning him against Hashem. Of course she followed the Rebbe’s advice and says she now aspires to be as “spiritual as my husband.” Marriage is sacred and sacrosanct in Karmely’s worldview and her advice to couples often seems obvious and deceptively simple. Like just using a little humor.

She tells the story of a young woman with a houseful of small children, dinner to make, and an equally tired husband who sat at the table and asked for a cup of tea. When some time had passed and she had not proffered the drink, he asked her again. Instead of saying, “Can’t you see I’m rather busy” or “Get your own tea,” she calmly said “What, did you finish your first cup already?” They both had a good laugh and a potential argument and confrontation was avoided. Whether you’re looking for an unusual bridal shower gift or a great read for the long Shabbos afternoons ahead, pick up Stories to Hear with Your Heart and listen carefully.

Sewing Their Way Up By Aharon ben Anshel My own paternal grandfather had been a schneider in the Old Country, and that (tailoring) was one of the most com-

The Rag Race By Adam D. Mendelsohn NYU Press mon occupations among members of Eastern-European Jewish families. Due to the many pogroms that were taking place in Poland, the Pale of Settlement, Lithuania, and Russia proper, a mass exodus of millions of Jewish families escaped to Western Europe – especially to England, as well as to the Goldeneh Medina of America. Adam Mendelsohn, the author of Jews and the Civil War: A Reader, explains in his wonderful new history that traditional

tailoring skills – almost exclusively for men’s clothing at first – took hold on the Continent and in England, but that those who came to America – especially New York – mostly used their entrepreneurial skills to work in sweat shop factories and branch out to open their own clothing companies using the very American techniques of mass manufacturing and mass marketing. Women’s clothing, starting with the ubiquitous shirtwaists, didn’t arrive in fashion until almost the end of the century . By now everyone who has studied the history of the Civil War era knows that New York City was a hot-bed of Democrats who were in favor of trading with the Confederacy. Much of the fiber – cotton

and linen grown in the Southern states came down to New Orleans to be transshipped to New York to be made into clothing. Although there were a number of other centers for the clothing trade – notably Cincinnati (where major clothing companies, including Macy’s, have headquarters to this day) – New York was preeminent, and when the Civil War was declared, hundreds of factories and brokerages went out of business due to the Union’s blockade of shipping into Southern ports. Many of the immigrants who arrived in the new country from the old first began as “rag pickers,” wandering from town to town to buy old clothing, which was shipped east to be re-sewn and resold to a new wearer. Many of the

more successful went on to open stores in these small towns and even villages. They depended upon their Landsmen back East to supply fresh goods to sell, and they were able to obtain that due to their familial and/or co-religionist relationships to the “factors” back East. That’s precisely how Levi’s, Macy’s and a host of what have now become enormous firms began. These Jewish entrepreneurs attained wealth and communal standing in a way that would have otherwise been unobtainable for men (there were very few women – mostly wives) who did not have higher education, although most quickly became quite literate. Some of these merchants, including the owners of Sears, Roebuck & Company, were among the very first American firms to do mass marketing and advertising, and of course all of them were principal advertisers and supporters of local community newspapers.

Having It All By Mindy Blumenfeld Rechy Wolner, a chassidish wife and mother, has broken the mold. Rechy has gone to college, became a registered nurse and is now working as a visiting nurse for

The Nurse By Pia Wolcowitz Shaar Press a not-heimish company in Brooklyn. On the other hand, Rechy is following her heart as well as her family tradition. Her beloved Buba, a gifted healer, has been a lifelong inspiration, and Rechy is also determined to harness her best evolved frum chassidish notion of chesed as she makes her way through the secular work place.

This beautifully written, well-observed novel spins Rechy’s conflict out of the typical women’s issues of Can she have it all? and How is a woman to cope? Those are the back-stories to the stronger and more elevated themes of how a frum person harnesses chesed in the secular workplace. With support as well as protest from DJ, her African American nursing supervisor, Rechy must learn to calibrate her professional work with her impulse to chesed. It’s hard, but not necessarily in the way Rechy has anticipated. Her patients include elderly Jews, both frum and treif-eating and a trailer-dwelling postal worker whose barking dog is more frightening than his severe illness. But most challenging, and what pushes Rechy and DJ to the brink of legal action, is the young frum teen whose mother insists on alternative and possibly harmful homeopathic cure for a mysteri-

ous illness yet undiagnosed. In the meantime, life goes on for Rechy’s family, including shidduchim and the school conference where one of her young daughters clearly needs some ADD intervention. Though this is Pia Wolocwitz’s debut adult novel, she is in fact a seasoned and well-published writer. She’s been published in Horizons, The Jewish Observer, Hamodia, Binah, and Mishpacha magazines, as well as in professional journals such as Doulas Of North America and American Journal of Nursing. Her children’s book, One-OfA-Kind Yanky, was published by Hachai in 1997. She has appeared in the anthol-

ogy Everyone’s Got a Story by Ruchama Feuerman. In The Nurse, Wolcowitz also captures the delicious nuances of shidduch inquiry and the delicious yentish of shidduch making. Wolcowitz also renders a beautiful, elevated scene when Rechy and her husband bring her work place woes to their Rebbe. On these pages a reader will find truth and dignity and a polished inquiry into contemporary frum life. And it’s a book that can be passed along to non-frum, non-community readers, since it’s written sensitively and smartly for all audiences.

Available at Amazon.com, BrennBooks.com, and select Judaica stores.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B13

A Light Unto The Nation By Rabbi Pesach Sommer Although Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook was one of the most important Jewish thinkers of the last few centuries, there are many Jews who, for a number of reasons, are unfamiliar with his worldview and writings. Some think of

Orot By Rabbi Abraham Isaac KaKohen Kook Translated by Rabbi Nezalel Naor Maggid Books him only as an early leader of the religious Zionist movement, evidently unaware of the spiritual and philosophical breadth and depth that his writings cover. Those who are aware of the scope of his writing, have oftentimes been prevented from exploring those writings, due to the fact that he wrote in a poetic and flowery Hebrew, challenging even to the native Israeli. This unfamiliarity is particularly unfortunate, as Rav Kook offers ideas and insights of great importance to the modern Jew, in areas as varied as humanism, biblical criticism, and the religious-secular divide. In the early 90s Rabbi Bezalel Naor, himself a serious and prolific writer, as well as one of the preeminent scholars of Rav Kook’s thought, wrote and published an English translation of Rav Kook’s Orot. Orot, which was originally published in 1920, offered a new, almost prophetic vision of where the Jewish people were

headed and how they would get there. Rav Kook provided a religious framework for how to understand the secular Zionist movement, an emphasis on the value of a religious and physical revival, the import of secular studies, as well as a sense of great hope to those who feared the growing religious-secular divide. For many who wished to understand Rav Kook, Naor’s translation opened the door to this profound and prolific thinker. Naor’s translation became an instant classic, not only due to the skill with which he translated Rav Kook’s words, but also for the fascinating introduction in which Naor traced the history of the publishing of Orot and the subsequent controversy which arose in pre-war Palestine. To top it all off, Naor included more than 80 pages of endnotes tracing the origins of Rav Kook’s thoughts, which included quotes and allusions from Tanach, Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, midrashim, the Zohar, as well as from thinkers as varied as the Rambam and Rav Yehuda HaLevi, the Maharal, the Baal HaTanya, Rav Nachman, and Hegel and Nietzsche to boot. For many years, the original translation has been out of print. After more than 20 years, it has been re-published, this time by Maggid Books, a subsidiary of Koren Publishers. In addition to all of the above-mentioned bonuses, the new edition has various additions that will make it even more valuable to those who wish to undertake the challenging, but rewarding path of exploring Rav Kook’s thought.

Most prominent among these additions is the inclusion of the Hebrew text alongside Naor’s translation. This has the added benefit of making it possible to try and read Orot in its original language, while at the same time, offering a translation for the more challenging words and phrases. Naor has written a new introduction for this publication which includes even more fascinating stories and information about the publication of Orot, things Naor has discovered over the past 20 years. The new edition has even more endnotes than the original as Shemonah Kevatzim, eight of Rav Kook’s original journals, have been published in the last two decades. These journals offer readers a glimpse into the original form in which Rav Kook thought of the ideas, that ultimately became Orot. Naor has gone through these journals and carefully notes the differences between the journals and the book that was ultimately published. While some of these differences are merely semantic, others show how carefully Rav Kook, and his son Rav Tzvi Yehuda, who was his publisher, weighed his words, as they attempted to get across a subtle point, or soften the opposition of his adversaries. Finally, Naor made the decision to provide the chapters of Orot with

English titles and to begin each chapter with a brief summary of its contents. He chose to do so, following in the footsteps of some of Rav Kook’s editors, due to the fact that Rav Kook wrote in a poetic, free-flowing manner, with little, if any, thought given to how it might be understood by his readers. There’s very little to quibble with in this incredible new edition. I would suggest that future editions have the numbers for the footnotes on the Hebrew side as well as the English. Additionally, it would be helpful to have the Hebrew and English page breaks align more closely, to make it easier for those who are making use of both sides of the page. I am quite certain that, just as the original translation became a must read for those who wished to understand Rav Kook, the same will be said for the new edition. Naor has done the incredible, offering a translation that is, at once, comprehensible and useful for the novice, while at the same time offering even those who already are most familiar with Rav Kook’s thought and writings, many new avenues of thought to consider. Rabbi Pesach Sommer is an educator and writer and lives in Passaic, N.J., with his wife and children.

Great Summer Reading! The latest book in the bestselling Yael series!

The Burksfield boys are back with another hilarious adventure!

Transform your life through the power of … Menuchas Hanefesh!

AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL JUDAICA STORE OR AT JUDAICAPRESS.COM / 800-972-6201

An adorable introduction to shapes by Sara Blau!

The perfect book for kids just starting school!


Page B14

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Prayers For Every Age By Yehudit Singer The Koren Magerman Educational Siddur Series, in partnership with Yeshiva University, is an exciting new project that signals a refreshing and innovative approach to tefillah education in the school, home and synagogue. Each of the four

Koren Magerman Educational Siddur Series Children’s Siddur & Youth Siddur: Daniel Rose PhD., Scott Goldberg, PhD., Editors Ani Tefilla: Rabbi Jay Goldmintz, EdD., Commentary Author Illustrator for the entire series: Rinat Gilboa siddurim in the series is appropriately designed for its developmental stage of the day-school journey, and beyond. With emphasis placed firmly on the critical

foundations of Reflection, Connection, and Learning, this series of siddurim creates an impactful prayer experience that places God and the user at its center. An encounter with God requires preparation to achieve the building a relationship with Him. Built on that relationship, prayer can become a heavenly experience. This program of tefilla education sees the siddur itself as a resource to support this heavenly experience. The underlying assumption of this series of siddurim is that tefillah is more than a reading exercise, and the object of tefillah is not simply mastery of the tefillot themselves.

Rather, God and the mitpallel are partners in the act of tefillah, together with the family, community, and others that comprise the world of the mitpallel. The siddurim in this series highlight the child as an actor in prayer, asking questions and making statements that urge the child to think and engage with the world and the God that created it, directs it, and supports it daily. The first siddur in the series, the Koren Children’s Siddur, is developmentally appropriate for children in grades K–2 (5–7 years old). Designed by seasoned educator and curriculum developer, Dr. Daniel Rose, the Koren Children’s Siddur combines stimulating and beautiful illustrations with thought-provoking educational components on each page to provide teachers and parents with an educational resource as much as a conventional siddur. The siddur is also accompanied by an educator’s companion, a comprehensive guide for teachers and parents, to help them maximize the educational potential of this beginner’s siddur. The companion complements the siddur as an educational resource, to provide support to the educator and parent in the form of a thorough explanation of every page of the siddur, and suggestions of how to use the siddur in a dayschool or congregational context. The second siddur in the series, the Koren Youth Siddur, has been designed to be developmentally appropriate for children in grades 3–5 (8–11 years old). The Koren Youth Siddur also combines stimulating and beautiful illustrations with thought-provoking educational components on each page, exploring the themes of the siddur text in more depth as appropriate for this more mature age cohort. The illustrations have more educational depth than the Koren Children’s Siddur, and are accompanied by stories and quotes, as well as reflective thought questions, encouraging the student to connect to the siddur in a personal way. The siddur is also accompanied by an Educator’s Companion

which complements the siddur as an educational resource, to provide support to the educator and parent in the form of a thorough explanation of every page of the siddur, and suggestions of how to use the siddur in a dayschool or congregational context. The third siddur in the series will be available in the spring of 2016, and will be created with the middle school student (grades 6-8) in mind, forming a bridge between the elementary school siddurim and the more complex and demanding text of the Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur, which is aimed at high school and beyond. This siddur will be a full weekday siddur, with an appropriate and engaging “commentary” consisting of creative and attractive educational elements that will engage and connect to the middle school student, preparing them for a more sophisticated high school approach in the coming years. The fourth siddur in the series, the Koren Ani Tefilla Weekday Siddur, is for inquiring high-school students and thoughtful adults alike. As the name of this siddur suggests, the primary goal of the educational features of this siddur is to help students find their own voice within the standardized text. The commentary, written by the renowned educator Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz, explores the siddur text through literary, theological, halakhic, historical, spiritual prisms. The commentary,

which is divided into four distinct categories, is peppered with reflective questions that encourage the mitpalel to confront the text on a personal level. This siddur also contains several other creative and unique educational features, including appendices on frequently asked questions about prayer and suggestions for enhancing one’s kavana in order to grapple realistically and honestly with the challenges of keva (fixed prayer); comprehension questions accompanying each section of Torah reading; three interchangeable formats for the Amida (full commentary, space for reflection and personal thoughts to be written on the page, and a regular flowing text); a list of authors cited and a bibliography. The Ani Tefilla Siddur can be used by everyone, students of all ages. It won the 2014 National Jewish Book Award due to its broad appeal and distinct layout. These educational Siddurim help teachers and parents enhance comprehension and appreciation of tefillah for children of all ages. Whether you’re a teacher in a school, youth minyan director, Hebrew school teacher or parent, check out the Koren Educational Siddurim and enjoy seeing how the children respond. Yehudit Singer is a writer and public relations professional living in Jerusalem. She is passionate about quality education, creative expressions of Jewish identity, and preferably, the combination thereof.

Connecting With Our Divine Spark By Brenda Goldstein In explaining the choice of 20 Adar/ March 11, for the pre-launch date of her latest book, The Secret Art of Talking to G-d:

The Secret Art of Talking to G-d: 30 Day Creative Prayer Journal of Jewish Meditation By Rae Shagalov A 30 Day Creative Prayer Journal of Jewish Meditation, artist and author Rae Shagalov says that Choni HaMa’agel (Choni the Circle Maker) successfully spoke to G-d on

that date in the 1st Century, BCE: “…most of Adar went by and it didn’t rain,” she quotes from the Talmud. Choni “drew a circle, stood in it, and said, ‘Master of the World…I won’t move from here until You have pity on Your children.’ The rains came down.” The example of Choni illustrates a direct example of Hashem’s involvement in our lives. We often don’t experience this direct involvement, but we can learn to discover the “G-dly hints, echoes, whispers and holy sparks that are hid-

den” within our very own souls by establishing regular communication with Hashem through hitbodedut (Jewish meditation) and journal exercises. Shagalov divides the book into 30 “Soul Adventures,” one for each day, meant to take about 20 minutes at a time. Each Soul Adventure, which is part of the larger “Soul Journey” of creating, renewing or strengthening one’s relationship with G-d and discovering Hashem’s unique purpose for oneself, involves simple meditation and journal prompts.

Shagalov’s original Artnotes (calligraphic notes from Torah classes given by great rabbis and rebbitzens, such as Rabbi Elchonon Tauber, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and Rabbi Michel and Rebbitzen Feige Twerski) grace the pages with positive messages. If the reader has never before tried to talk to Hashem or to meditate, Shagalov shows him or her how. “For best results and a deeper relationship,” she says, “make an appointment with Hashem every day…Start with one minute…and just show up – even if you don’t feel like it or you have nothing to say. By the end of 30 days, you will wonder how you ever

Continued on p.B15


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• The Jewish Press • Page B15

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Halachic View Of Money

Looking to teach your grandchildren fine middos? Buy them Middos Man!!

Now available in the

series

ing Comon! so

In case of defective CD, please email: Middosman1@ gmail.com and it will be replaced

Middos stickers

Middos stickers

6 stickers at actual size 2 inch diameter each

2”

H

2”

EN AV

I

I

OS

H

6 stickers at actual size 2 inch diameter each ICE MI EN DD AV

O

H

R

I

H

UD

O

R

R R OO UD UD

H

I

UD

O

R

R R OO UD UD

H

I

H

I

I R HI H O UD

UD

UD

UD

UD O

R

H

I H

I

I H UD O R

H R

UD

O

O

R

H H

Sold in All Judaica Bookstores Distributed by Israel Book Shop

UD

O

UD O

KE

P

R

UD

O

R

UD O P

R

HASHEM

R

I

P

R

H

UD

I

UD

I

O

R

R

O

R

R

H

H

I

UD

O

R

H

I

P

DYNAGRAFIK 845.352.1266

UD O

UD

UD O

I

R IH O UD

H

I

I

I

UD

I

O R

H R

O

O

R

H

H

I

R IH O UD

O R

H

I

UD O

KE

A

R

I

H

I

H

I H H

I

UD

H

I

UD

OS

HASHEM

OS

H

OS

O

A

R

I M

ICE MI EN DD AV

A

ICE MI EN DD AV

A

KE

A

I M

I

I M

HASHEM

I M

I M

OS

P

OS

A

H

A

I M

P

OS

HASHEM

KE

A

P

ICE MI EN DD AV

I M

A

HASHEM

OS

OS

I M

KE

A

A

Middos Stickers OS

I

I M

P

I M

I M

KE P M

A

KE

A

A

www.middosman.com

I M

visit

HASHEM

A

OS

OS

HASHEM

KE K P P P HASHE H A S H E ME H A HASHEM SHEM ICE MI ICE MI NICE MI EN EN DD DD VE DD A AV AV

ICE MI EN DD AV

KE

I M

A

ICE MI CE M EN ID D E NI AV DK E AVD P HASHEM HASHE

• exciting story • music cd • fun activities For more information and FREE, printable activities, coloring sheets, and games,

A

OS

I M

P

HASHEM

KE

A

I M

I M

P

HASHEM

S IOM

HASHEM

KE

A

OS

OS

ICE MI CE M EN ID D E NI AV DK E AVD

P KE

A

OS

KE

A

24 Piece Puzzle

I M

Middos Chart with Prize Reward

ICE MI EN DD AV

P

I M

A

I M

OS

KE

A

P

OSOS

HASHEM

A A I IM M

KE

A

I M

A

HASHEM

ICE M EN KE AV HA

ICE ICE M E NK E MID EN KP K P P AV P V KE H A S H KE D E MEP HASHEM E H HASHEM A ASHEM HASHEM HA ICE MI ICE MI ICE MI EN EN DD VE N DD DD AV AV A

OS

I M

KE

N VE H AAS H E 2”

ICE MI EN D NICE MI N DDK AVE NICE MIDVDE AD E VE AV E M P HAS H AAS H E H

OS

I M

I M

ICE MI EN DD AV

A

HASHEM

I M

OS

I M

P

A

A

Continued from p.B14

S IO M

I M

Goldstein

KE

KE

OS

OS

ICE E N K E MID K E H A D E M PP AV H A SSHHE M ICE E N 2” MID D AV 2”

ICE MI EN DDE NICE MI DDK AV AV E

KE

OSOS

A

AA I IM M

dieline

A

OS

2” 6 stickers at actual size 2 inch diameter NICE Meach VE NICE M IDD A ID KE VE P D H AAS H E M

A

OS

I M

KE P 6 stickers at actual size HASHEM 2 inch N diameter ICE MI each E DD AV

I

ICE MI NICE M EN DD VE K KE AV Being Happy E Pfor Others A HASHEM HA 2” dieli Book and CD

A

Middos stickers

ICE MI EN DD AV

I M

I M

at actual size Middos Being a Nicestickers Friend62 stickers Friend inch diameter each Book and CD

UD

dieline

Learning to Share Book and CD

Middos stickers

lived without talking to G-d every day.” Each Soul adventure brings a different aspect to one’s meditation. The first exercise only asks that one establish a connection with G-d, but then one learns to talk to Hashem about other aspects of one’s life. One Soul adventure asks the reader to “talk to Hashem like you would to a friend.” Another admonishes the reader to “elevate your kvetch” to G-d. Shagalov will soon release the first volume of a 30book series titled, The Secret Art of Jewish Life, which will feature more of her Artnotes and Soul Adventures. She plans to start a crowdfunding campaign with the online fundraising platform Jewcer, in order to raise money for the printing and distribution of the books to Jewish bookstores around the world.

6 stickers at actual siz 2 inch diameter each

dieline

Middos stickers

I M

UK published the “Annual Fraud Indicator” and stated “This year’s Annual Fraud Indicator has put the loss to the UK economy from fraud at £73 billion. This level of loss impacts every part of society, including the most vulnerable. It represents money that individuals, businesses and government can ill afford to lose ending up in fraudsters’ pockets.” For those unfamiliar with how Jewish law works, Tamari begins the book with a useful overview of the history of halachic texts from the Bible up to the present day. While this is a clear review of key texts and history, it would have been useful to include references in this section, as some of the traditional dates used by Tamari have been questioned by academics in recent years. However this is a small gripe in an otherwise well written and referenced work. Tamari deals with some fascinating issues such as The Challenge of Wealth, Money, Banking and Interest and Taxation. However, one of most interesting sections is the one dealing with Environmental Issues and the Public Good. This is an area which is rarely written about in the religious Jewish literature. The section is divided into a discussion about damage caused by one individual on another individual, public health and town planning. On the topic of urban development, Tamari writes, “…the most important issue involved in contemporary environmental problems…striking a balance between urban growth and the ecological needs of society.” While this is a short section of the book it highlights the possibly little-know Jewish approach to the creation and maintenance of green belt land and the prohibition on changing the use of land. It may be impossible for us to imagine a world without huge cities, gridlocked traffic and pollution; however, Rabbi Hirsch is quoted from his commentary on the Torah as teaching us that any growth in population or mobility that necessitated the construction of homes, factories, and offices would need to be managed by constructing a new city, with its own fields and common land. And what is the Jewish approach to the provision of

I I HH

By Meir Tamari Maggid Books

O

With All Your Possessions: Jewish Ethics and Economic Life

throughout Jewish history. Though the details may not be relevant to this review, the underlying message is clear. “Perhaps the most Jewish of the underpinnings of taxation is the now universally accepted concept of society’s responsibility for the needs of its members,” tamari writes. In fact one of the book’s earliest chapters deals with the problem of wealth. Its overriding message is that we must, of course, look after ourselves, but just as importantly our neighbors, the orphans, the widow and the poor. The book is well written and very readable. It tackles subjects which may not be easily accessible to the English reading public. I very much hope that the author is planning a second volume in which he can expand on some of the key areas which he only touched on in this fascinating volume. Barry Kleinberg teaches Jewish History and Philosophy courses at the London School of Jewish Studies and has been involved in Jewish education for over 20 years. Barry is also an osteopath and lecturer at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine.

H

“…[E]conomics is not a value free discipline similar to the physical sciences, but rather a branch of moral philosophy.” Meir Tamari opens this new edition of his book, With All Your Possessions: Jewish Ethics and Economic Life, with the view that economics, both for Jews and non-Jews alike, needs to be approached in a fresh way in the 21st century. To put it in context, this new preface was written in response to the post 2008 global financial crisis. In March 2012 the National Fraud Authority in the

public health? Interestingly, Tamari notes that, as in the case of the obligation to teach Torah with no charge, “the physician’s work was considered to be a service that was to be provided free of charge; after all, it was an obligation placed on the doctor by a divine source.” He does acknowledge that doctors can charge for their time (if not their expertise) the question remains, what is the Jewish approach to the provision of medical services to the poor? Yehuda ibn Tibbon (12th century), himself a physician, told doctors that “while you take your fees from the rich, heal the poor gratuitously. The Lord will requite you.” Another option would be to raise tzedakah funds specifically to provide health care to the poor. This leads us to the issue of taxation (dealt with in an earlier chapter of the book). While many enjoy the custom of booing the name Haman on Purim, one of my favorite customs is to boo at the mention of the word mas (taxes) in the final chapter of Megillat Esther. However, Tamari paints a clear picture for us that taxation (even if it is often not named as such) is a very real part of the halachic framework and has been present

I

By Barry Kleinberg

HASHEM


Page B16

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

That’s Where He Can Be Found By Yehudis Baum Ever since I first read Sarah Yoheved Rigler’s hugely successful book, Holy Woman, I’ve been convinced that she is one of the leading lights of Jewish publishing. Her style, her insights, even her

Heavenprints: Stories of Finding Hashem in Our Lives, and Living Our Lives with Hashem By Sara Yoheved Rigler Shaar Press luminous and lyrical way with words, place her head and shoulders above most observant writers. And I guess I’m not the only one who thinks so: Holy Woman was one of the bestsellers of its time, and is still beloved by readers of Torah-oriented books. (I personally re-read it at least once a year.) So yes, I was prejudiced: I expected something extraordinary when I opened Heavenprints, Rigler’s newest book. And I wasn’t disappointed. What, you are wondering, is a heavenprint? The introduction tells us: In our post-Temple world, the most obvious thing about Hashem is His hiddenness. Good people suffering, bad people temporarily triumphing, unintelligible tragedies, seemingly random events … all conspire to camouflage the most basic truth of reality: that G-d exists and He loves us. Yet, sometimes, amidst the darkness, there is faint evidence, a suggestion, a hint, that Hashem is indeed present. I call these hints “heavenprints.” … Just as fingerprints are everywhere, but invisible until a special powder is applied, so Hashem is everywhere, but invisible. The power that reveals Him is emunah, faith.

Detectives dust for prints in their search for fugitives and felons. Rigler looks for heavenprints in her quest to see Hashem’s chesed and His presence in our lives. She finds Hashem’s prints all over the world – in a legendary boutique hotel in Chile, a jewelry store in San Diego, during a forest fire in Israel’s Carmel Forest. The stories she finds, and the people she meets, are incredible. We are introduced to the Jewish descendant of the Shah of Iran. We read about a pair of tefillin that helped save a man during brain surgery. An impoverished woman “buys” a mitzvah on her credit card, and is repaid in a most remarkable way. From the ancient streets of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter – where the author lives – to a fantastically beautiful island off the coast of Panama City; from the bloody terror attack on Sbarro to a nature reserve in Hawaii, Hashem’s heavenprints are everywhere, if only we open our eyes to see them. Many of the stories take place in exotic venues and have highly unusual characters. But what I think I enjoyed even more are the episodes where Rigler finds Hashem’s presence in daily life. Thus, one of those mornings when all the little things go wrong becomes a means of uncovering Hashem’s chesed. One of the pieces I liked best was about “the spiritual geometry of forgiveness,” in which Rigler talks about a moment of anger that she turns it into a fascinating and transformative journey of forgiveness – mixing math into the equation, just for fun. One of the most interesting things about heavenprints is that the more you look for them, the more you see them. HeavenPrints shows us how to find traces of Hashem, both in unusual events and in the daily challenges we all face. It’s a beautifully written book, but more: it’s a book that will change the way you look at your place in Hashem’s universe. It’s a book that will lead you to see the prints that Hashem leaves in your life as well.

Cooking Like A Pair Of Pros By Shevy Deutch What do you look for in a new cookbook? Me? I look for new and exciting recipes ideas, beautiful photos to show how the finished dish should look, familiar ingredients that I have on hand, and

The Silver Platter By Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz Shaar Press more. But the most important thing I look for in a new cookbook? I want to find recipes that I’m actually going to make. Enter ArtScroll’s newest cookbook, The Silver Platter. Written by a debut cookbook author, Daniella Silver, in partnership with cookbook legend Norene Gilletz, this new volume has everything I want in a cookbook. Stemming from the author’s need to nourish her children well, The Silver Platter’s recipes are, as promised, family friendly. As I looked through the book, I realized that its slogan, “wholesome, family-friendly recipes,” is spot on. The recipes, while not overtly healthy and full of scary ingredients that my kids and husband won’t touch, simply do without the kind of ingredients that I don’t want to feed to my family – things like onion soup mix, margarine, and sugary sauces. The simple ingredient lists and easy-to-follow instructions are the icing on the cake. As a debut cookbook author, Daniella Silver partnered with veteran author Norene Gilletz. The results of this perfect collaboration are evident in The Silver Platter, where we discover a winning combination of modern ideas and veteran wisdom. As a young mother of three little girls, Silver shares her fresh ideas, modern recipes, innovative flavors, and family-friendly meals. As a master chef, Gilletz, her partner and mentor, shares

over 50 years of cooking knowledge and experience in the form of “Norene’s Notes” – tips, advice, and cooking tricks that are shared on every page. Some of the delicious-looking recipes that I’ve bookmarked – or already tried – are Baby Eggplant Fans, Marvelous Mushroom Soup, Maple Glazed Salmon, Chinese Chicken and Mushrooms, Herb-Roasted Dijon Onions, Basil Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes, and Quinoa with Hearts of Palm, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado. And, of course, I have my eye on a couple of the amazingly tempting sweet treats, including Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Pistachio Biscotti, Cookie Cake, and Blueberry Flan. Between the kid-friendly recipes and sophisticated dishes for myself and my husband, I know there are many wholesome and satisfying meals in my family’s future. In addition to the fabulous recipes, there were a number of excellent features in The Silver Platter – extras, if you will, which display the obvious care and thought that went into putting this cookbook together. Every recipe indicates if you can freeze it or not, which is so helpful for those times when I am planning my holiday and party menus. I also appreciated the nutritional information, which allows me to make smarter menu choices. And while I myself don’t cook gluten-free, I am sure that people on gluten-free diets will appreciate that the majority of the recipes are either naturally gluten-free or offer a gluten-free option. When your first look through a new cookbook has you thinking “I want to make that!” over and over and over, you can assume it’s going to be a real keeper. And the more I cook from The Silver Platter, the more sure I am. From its mouthwatering, full-color photos for every dish, to the helpful tips and simple ingredient lists, The Silver Platter is clearly a book that has landed a permanent spot on my kitchen counter.

Underage Matchmaking By Naomi Green Imagine a wildly successful shadchan who matches the unmatchable. She’s an anonymous Internet matchmaker who

Playing with Matches By Suri Rosen ECW Press operates under the moniker Matchmaven. Now imagine that this mysterious Matchmaven is actually an 11 th grade student struggling to balance an unwanted double life of student by day and matchmaker by night.

That’s the premise of a new novel – an Orthodox Jewish comedy – that is getting rave reviews from major review publications, bloggers, and book-lovers. Playing with Matches, by Suri Rosen, takes place within Toronto’s Orthodox community. It’s by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as the protagonist, Raina Resnick, tries to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself. Raina’s troubles start when she is expelled from her Manhattan high school and sent to live with

her strict aunt in Toronto. In her new environment she feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. Raina is befriended by a woman, Tamara, on a city bus. Out of desperation she reluctantly agrees to set Tamara up on date. Suddenly, Raina’s new e-mail account ‘Matchmaven’ is inundated with requests for shidduchim. Raina is plunged into the world of match-

making as singles beg her to help them find their mates. One of them is her sister Leah. As Raina secretly attempts to find a match for her sister Leah, her life spirals out of control – including a hilarious date gone very very wrong in a local park. “The first thing you need to know about Playing With Matches is that it is extremely, extremely, extremely funny,” one reviewer wrote. Usually when people write “This book is so funny” in reviews, I don’t take it to heart, because I seldom find humor in books as funny as everyone else. But trust me; this book is hilarious. The predicaments Raina gets herself into

Continued on p.B17


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B17

The Le Marais Express By Naomi Klass Mauer The name Ann Novick will be familiar to Jewish Press readers as the weekly columnist who writes The Person Behind the Chair in the Olam Yehudi Magazine section. Novick has just published her first book on an entirely different subject. Behind

Behind Prison Walls By Ann Novick Mekor Press Prison Walls, a story of innocence and betrayal, recounts the true-life nightmare her daughter Miriam experienced over 15 years ago. The book is a page-turner and will keep the reader in its grip until the last word. Miriam and her husband, Daniel, happily married for 10 months, spent Pesach with the Novicks in their hometown far from New York where the young couple resided and then left for a belated honeymoon in France. A picture postcard of the Eiffel Tower arrived with a few lines about the good time they were having – and then the couple disappeared. The family friend who had gone to

the airport in New York to pick them up reported that they were not on the flight, that no one had heard from them, and that there was no trace of them. It took days to discover that Miriam and Daniel had been arrested. But why? And what could Ann do to help from so far away? To further complicate things, Ann found out from French authorities that Miriam was three months pregnant. Eventually Miriam’s parents learned that the brother of Daniel’s best friend had asked the young couple to take a suitcase home for him as they were leaving France. Not questioning this longtime family friend, they took the suitcase unopened and checked in for their flight. (This was before 9/11.) Unfortunately, the suitcase was filled with drugs and no amount of explaining, or the shocked look on the faces of the young couple, mattered. No one believed them. Thus began the nightmare. They were put in prisons in Paris far

apart from each other. Neither Miriam nor Daniel spoke French and they had no way to contact anyone. Ann, however, made contact with the Jewish community in Paris and was able to communicate with her daughter through letters. Most of the book consists of the letters Miriam wrote home during the many months of her incarceration. Ann fills in all the details and takes us along with her as she makes her first visit to Paris. It’s almost impossible to put the book down as we wonder whether bail will be granted to Miriam and what will happen when the case finally goes to trial. And we hold our breaths to the end as we await the verdict. A n n ’s p e r s o n a l thoughts upon her first visit to her incarcerated daughter will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever visited a relative or friend in jail. The book is a testament to the great faith of this 20-year-old girl. The deep emunah of Ann and

her husband Reuben was deeply planted in their daughter. Her struggles to eat only kosher food and keep Shabbos under the most trying circumstances are moving and inspirational, as is her absolute trust in Hashem. The book takes us through two years in the life of Ann’s daughter and son-inlaw and their new baby born in France. Praise is lavished on the amazing Jewish community in Paris and the many miracles Hashem performed for Ann, her husband, and their daughter and son-in-law. There are lessons to be learned from this book; among them, says Ann, is to never underestimate what you can do to help others. Don’t wait for large organizations or well-established people to take over. Adversity shows us who our true friends are and sometimes it can come as a surprise. Ann ends the book with this thought: “Mostly I focus on my daughter Miriam for inspiration. She was twenty, pregnant and alone but she found the strength to keep positive. She replaced negative thoughts with positive ones and turned horror into opportunity. I pray that when you [the reader] go through adversity you take small steps. Take small steps always towards a goal and focus on the positive.”

All You Need? By Elisheva Sokolic When asked to review any book, I usually read it straight through, put it down for a while to see what sticks, and then pick it up again to skim and make notes while I write the review. Not since college has a piece of writing moved me

John Lennon and the Jews By Ze'ev Maghen Toby Press to grab a highlighter and pencil before the end of the first chapter and jot down thoughts in the margins, to obsessively fold down corners of pages for revisiting later, to excitedly tell my other half he must read, while simultaneously ruining the experience for him by reading every other paragraph out loud before he has a chance to open the front cover. (“Just one more bit, it doesn’t spoil anything-honestly. It’s brilliant.”) I’m a fan of Ze’ev Maghen, and it would appear that he is a fan of, well, everything. It took me some time to un-

Green Continued from p.B16 are outrageous. Many readers have commented appreciatively about the glimpse the book offers into the Orthodox Jewish community. “Before reading Playing with Matches, I didn’t know anything about Jewish culture

derstand what made me so excited about John Lennon and the Jews, a self-described “philosophical rampage.” And then it hit me. I have read a lot of books. I’ve been swayed by plenty of philosophy, and been moved to religious fervour by some great theological writers. I have laughed out loud in the most embarrassing of places while page turning, and I’ve had a room full of people trying to get my attention without success as a result of my preoccupation with a bound set of pages. I have been impressed by authors who are particularly scholarly, or who have fantastic oratory or persuasive skills, who are widely read outside of their specialist subject, academics who can connect emotionally at the same time as intellectually. My shelves are full of all of these kinds of books. But all at once? All within 313 pages? Not lately. Maghen is excited, but not in the limited way you might have encountered when reading a Why Be Jewish? book in the past. In fact, by the time you’ve read a handful of pages he has dismissed most of the reasons you might be expecting to take up the majority of his literary journey.

Anti-Semitism and fear? “Screw that.” Kabballah and the secret hidden messages in the Torah? “I promise not to insult your intelligence.” Israel and its politics? Met with obvious disinterest. So what is his reasoning, and why is it so compelling? Partly, it’s the scope of his knowledge, which is just as in depth on biblical sources and the Talmud, as it is on eighties song lyrics and Greek mythology. Quotes scatter the pages like matzah-crumbs on a Haggadah, from names like Ghandi and Freud, to Lao Tzu and Nietzsche, from Epicurus to the Spice Girls in a matter of pages, and back to the Christian bible or the Bhagavad Gita, proving without even reading his (persuasive) arguments that this is not just a book for Jews, but for any reader who has a claim to difference (and who doesn’t?). These are the skills of a real academic. Rare enough is it to discover an author with this much academic knowledge, and as many seemingly specialist subjects ready for plucking when an idea is in mid-flow, without pairing it with the intricate knowledge of humankind you need to make people laugh out loud or

nod their heads at a lifeless page. Personal and unapologetic anecdotes about his own religious journey, irresistible tangents of make-believe and folly which sometimes go on for paragraphs at a time, as well as real insights into human nature which have an uncanny way of making you feel he has written this or that paragraph with you in mind. These are the skills of a real writer. The message underneath is a backlash at many of the common attitudes of our time. Loving everyone equally is debunked in short shrift as Maghen shows that “preferential love is… the only truly motivating love there is.” Finding scientific evidence for our beliefs is powerfully unpicked and replaced with an argument that “we live by, and for unreason,” while the notion that all religion is archaic and irrelevant in our modern time is laughed aside with a closing statement which is as much of a challenge to the reader looking for his place in the world: “We Jews are far from finished.” Elisheva Sokolic is a freelance writer and literary consultant, living in London and working for Vallentine Mitchell Publishers. She almost always judges a book by its cover.

and I had no idea matchmaking is even a thing,” said one reviewer. “But it is, and it’s a delightful thing! The matchmakers don’t just match people up and then step out of the way. Raina is called upon, time and time again. She’s asked to intervene in bad dates, to find a new match when the initial ones don’t work out, and to provide emotional support every step along the way.”

Other readers commented about a coming-of-age story where the protagonist’s growth is not dependent on finding a boyfriend. “I have to say the biggest (and best) thing that I didn’t see coming was the fact that Suri Rosen didn’t focus on giving Raina a love interest,” one blogger wrote. “This made Playing with Matches refreshing and unique compared to all the young adult books that do fo-

cus on love interest. Suri Rosen proved that there is more to a character than falling in love, and that’s an important message!” The author, Suri Rosen, is a freelance newspaper and magazine writer based in Toronto. She has worked as a professional artist, art teacher, filmmaker, journalist, and mini-documentary producer for a local television station.


Page B18

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Judging Book Covers By Shlomo Greenwald I’ll admit it. I sometimes choose to read a book based on its cover. I know. I know. I’m breaking a cardinal rule of…well…of life, one that we’ve all been taught, at least as a metaphor, since pre-school. Whether the rest of us admit it or not, covers draw our attentions and create the initial impressions we have with books. Which is why I’ve long bemoaned the state of book covers in the Orthodox publishing world. There had always been exceptions, but in general the covers were boring and cookie-cutter. In the last five to 10 years, though, Jewish book covers have gained some vitality and personality. On this page are a few of the new titles whose covers have won my attention and my praise.

After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring by Rabbi Joseph ADVANCE PRAISE Polak (Urim Publications) Designer Shanie Cooper says: “The cover of After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring is comprised of three separate elements: the train tracks and the typewriter-style font, which together evoke the Holocaust experience, and a post-war image of the author as a child with his mother. I gave the mother-son photo visual prominence by superimposing it over www.BrennBooks.com the train tracks that fade into the background. This served to illustrate the idea that no matter where the Author went or what he did after he was liberated at age 3 from Bergen-Belsen, the Holocaust was a constant shadow throughout the life of one of the youngest Survivors.”

Perfection: The Torah Ideal by Rav Dov Katz (Brenn Books) Publisher Elliot Resnick says: “When I commissioned this cover, I sent the following e-mail to the designer: ’I am giving you a lot of leeway with the front cover. I’m not sure exactly what I want. The book is called Perfection: The Torah Ideal and is about perfecting one’s religious and moral character, which the author claims is what God ultimately wants from man and is the purpose of the Jewish religion. I want the cover to look interesting, but it obviously shouldn’t look too flashy because the topic is a more serious one.’ The Torah Ideal “Aside from a single detail, the cover the designer e-mailed me back the following day is the one I used for the final product. I thought the designer truly capBy Rav Dov Katz tured the heart With an Afterword by his son, Rabbi Yehoshua Katz, Ashkenazic Rav of Ma’ale Adumim of the book since outer space evokes heaven, God, and a striving for greatness. The font for the word ’Perfection,’ I thought, was also an appropriate and smart choice. I wasn’t initially pleased with Brenn Book’s logo appearing in the upper right-hand corner, but it added so much necessary color to the cover that I decided to leave it.”

“Rav Dov Katz is not someone who needs my haskama. He was one of the gedolei ha’mussar.”

Perfection

— Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshiva, Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia

“Any student of Lithuanian Jewry, mussar, and the modern yeshiva movement will want to read this book.” — Zalman Alpert, periodical and reference librarian, Yeshiva University

“The mussar movement, in the words of Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin of Salant, came ‘to change Jews, not Judaism.’ This [work] will give one a glimpse into Jewish moral and spiritual greatness. It should be read by all.” — Rabbi Berel Wein, popular historian, author, and founder of the Destiny Foundation

“I remember my father enjoying reading Tenu’as HaMussar when it came out. He encouraged me to read it, told me I would enjoy it, and I did. It’s a very, very good sefer.”

— Rabbi Hershel Schachter, rosh yeshiva, Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchanan

Rav Dov Katz (1901-1979) was a student of the Alter of Slabodka and the author of numerous works, including Tenu’at HaMussar, a five-volume history of the mussar movement, highly regarded by laymen and academics alike. He also served as director of Israel’s rabbinical courts for several decades.

The Jewish Dog by Asher Kravitz (Penlight Publications/ Urim) Designer Shanie Cooper says: “The Jewish Dog is a translation of a novel published in Israel in 2007 to great success. I liked the basic design of the original cover and wanted to retain its flavor (a cartoon image of a dog on a solid blue background), but I made several significant changes. I chose a different image for the dog, Caleb, that more closely matched how I imagined him – intelligent and gazing up as if trying to communicate with the reader. “This was important because this powerful book is uniquely narrated by the dog himself as he lives through

Perfection

John Lennon and the Jews by Ze’ev Maghen (Toby Press) Gila Fine, editor in chief of Toby Press, says: “In general, we design our covers in a three-way brainstorming session between editorial, graphics, and marketing. In this case, our talented designer Tani Bayer produced several preliminary sketches, but nothing we came up with quite captured the book’s unique combination of outrageously funny form and deeply serious content. “Then we thought of Warhol, whose work has also come to symbolize the bringing together of the profound and the preposterous – precisely what Ze’ev Maghen does in his

Of Mirrors and Apples Trees by Rabbi Ephraim Meth (Kodesh Press) Designer Sara Gold says: When I design a book cover, or any other piece, my first step is always to learn as much as I can about what I am working on. I knew it was about the mitzvah of peru u’revu, but I like to feel a little closer to the piece. I requested a copy of the manuscript and thumbed through it. This process often helps spark inspiration. “The next step was to choose artwork. Sometimes I create my own, but in this case I found a wonderful illustration that clicked into place. After that, it’s all about design fundamentals. Respect the typography first and foremost, and layout everything in a balance. “The last step is a collaboration process with the author and the publisher, making adjustments to their wording, tastes, as well as to implement the publisher’s branding.”

the years before, during, and after the Holocaust. I chose a grungy font and added texture to both the font and the blue background to make the cover feel more complex and layered, like the ideas grappled with in the book. “A further issue affecting this book cover was how to best translate the Hebrew title, Hakelev Hayehudi. The publisher and distributor debated whether a strict translation, although potentially provocative, would be best, or whether to avoid possible controversy by selecting a less derogatory sounding title – for example, The Hebrew Hound, The Yiddish Hound. Also discussed was whether to add a subtitle to the book for clarification, i.e., “A Novel.” In the end, the publisher chose the most accurate translation of the title, simply, The Jewish Dog.”

KATZ

The Generation to Generation Haggadah by Rabbi Nosson Muller (ArtScroll) Designer Eli Kroen says: “The process included a painstaking search for photos of hands, kids cups, wine stream, fonts, colors and effects. “I went to Grand Sterling and photographed many kiddush cups. They were very gracious in accommodating my project, helping me out with any cup I wanted to shoot, gave me space in the store to work. “Photos were then extensively edited – photos of hands were made to bring out features such as age (wrinkles). Also to get the correct angle/perspective for holding the kids cups. “The ‘adult’ hand was given an adult-size cup. It and the cup were made grayscale to symbolize past generations. The wine stream was intended to symbolize the passing of the tradition to the next, younger generation, symbolized by the child’s hand holding a child-size cup. To dramatize that effect the wine stream changed from grayscale to color midstream. “I then picked the correct color combinations for the background to best bring out these scenes. “And of course, we went through 12-13 concepts/ versions till we got it the way we liked it.”

book. Thus, the Warholian design, bold colors, and lowercase script were chosen to convey the text’s hilarious and irreverent tone; while the melding of the peace sign with the Star of David suggests that (as with Warhol) behind the mile-a-minute jokes and psychedelic prose lies something very serious indeed.”


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

has been received with open arms by lomdei Torah worldwide. Used by thousands of avreichim and scholars, institutions, batei midrash, kollelim and shuls, Otzar HaHochma has proven to be a tremendous benefit as a fundamental resource and boost to Torah scholarship. the Printing Revolution launched an incredible surge of Torah dissemination and unprecedented accessibility for scholars and students of the era.

Friday, June 19, 2015

• The Jewish Press • Page B19

Otzar HaHochma has created a similar revolution in our digital age. With a single click, you gain instant access to thousands of sources in the Rishonim and Acharonim. Saving you precious time, Otzar HaHochma provides an unparalleled quantity and quality of sources that a painstaking manual search through a printed sefer would not deliver. enables you to purchase Otzar HaHochma which contains 70,000 seforim for the same price as a few dozen printed seforim. Take advantage of our generous terms during the Jewish Book Week. The years are going by… Join the thousands of users who enjoy lightening speed access to 70,000 seforim. Experience the convenience coupled with the comfort of familiarity of each page displayed on screen in its original printed format.


Page B20

• The Jewish Press • Friday, June 19, 2015

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

JUNE SALE SALE ENDS

6/24/15

list prices

roll’s c S t r A f o ALeLthan 1,800 titles mor LIVING EMUNAH

KAsSiN EDiTiON

NEW!

Achieving a life of serenity through faith by Rabbi David Ashear

by Rabbi David Sutton Practical strategies and inspirational stories to enhance your Shabbos experience

Foreword by Rabbi David Ashear,

author of the best-selling Living Emunah

NOW IN ITS 10TH PRINTING

Shabbos can be a day to relax from the weekly grind or to enjoy great food. But it can, and should, be so much more. Living Shabbos offers us a rich mix of stories, inspiration, and Torah sources that will enhance our Shabbos and maximize its impact on our lives. Its short, readable selections show us not only how to observe Shabbos — but how to really live it.

Dedicated by N. Sam and Samantha Sasson and family

WISDOM FOR LIVING Rav Noach Weinberg on the parashah Adapted by Rabbis Nechemia and Yitzchak Coopersmith

NEW!

HEAVENPRINTS Stories of finding Hashem in our lives, and living our lives with Hashem by Sara Yoheved Rigler

I HAVE AN AMAZING STORY FOR YOU! by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer

NEW!

NEW!

The following ArtScroll sefarim are available for your daily learning programs:

The Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi; Yad Avraham Mishnah Series; Schottenstein Edition Mishnah Elucidated; Ryzman Edition Hebrew Mishnah; Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch; Kleinman Edition Daily Dose of Torah. This Shabbos, June 20: Daf Yomi Bavli – Nedarim 27 / Daf Yomi Yerushalmi – Shabbos 28 / Mishnah Yomi – Negaim 7:5-8:1 / Kitzur Shluchan Aruch Yomi – 161:18-162:5

Available now at your local Hebrew bookseller or at www.artscroll.com 1-800-MESORAH (637-6724)

June 2015  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you