Mussar Yoga

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By Edith Brotman, Ph.D. Jewish Lights Publishing, 191 pages Though the earliest references to the Jewish spiritual practice of mussar date to ancient times, the focus on ethics re-emerged in the 19th century when revered scholar Rabbi Israel Salanter of Lithuania and his disciples formalized its study, creating a Mussar Movement in Germany and Russia…. Read More

Phoning Home: Essays

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By Jacob M. Appel University of South Carolina Press, 177 pages Jacob M. Appel is many things: a physician, an attorney, a bioethicist and, if he’s telling the truth in the selection of self-deprecating essays, a forlorn lover obsessed with finding out why the flurry of different individuals in his life do the things they… Read More

The Lion’s Gate

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By Stephen Pressfield Sentinel, 430 pages Taken on its own terms, as “hybrid history,” “The Lion’s Gate” is an engaging immersion in the experiences and emotions of participants in Israel’s first three wars. Steven Pressfield, author of 12 previous books, interviewed 63 people over the course of 370 hours and sliced their recollections into chronological… Read More

All Fall Down

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By Jennifer Weiner Atria Books, 400 pages Clearly, Jennifer Weiner is doing something right. With best seller after best seller, she’s obviously got a gift. So, why do most of Weiner’s books leave me feeling sort of underwhelmed? Perhaps it’s because the experience of reading them is like being inside of my own head. If… Read More

One Nation Taken Out of Another

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By Zackary Sholem Berger Apprentice House, 59 pages Anecdotal evidence suggests that Yiddish is on the rise, even as those well versed in the Eastern European tongue seem to be on the decline. And Zackary Sholem Berger’s new collection of poems demonstrates that the mamaloshen of the past is a sufficient medium with which to… Read More

Never Say A Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain

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By Jacqueline Jules Wisdom Tales, 32 pages Rare is the children’s book that, by virtue of its illustrations and story, can be vaulted into the ranks of the classics, those stories such as “Where the Wild Things Are” that can cross across generational divides and hold up to the discerning tastes of ever-fickle toddlers. “Never… Read More

50 Children

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By Steven Pressman Harper, 296 pages Britain justly gets credit for taking in 10,000 European Jewish children between 1938 and 1940 in a project called the Kindertransport. The United States admitted only about 1,000 unaccompanied children, and 50 of them, one in 20, were brought in by one Philadelphia couple, Jewish socialites Gil and Eleanor… Read More

The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War

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By Steven Pressfield Sentinel, 430 pages Israel’s spectacular triumph over the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria nearly five decades ago has been written about extensively by both Israeli and American writers. In “The Lion’s Gate,” author Steven Pressfield focuses on the human dimensions of the conflict: the thoughts, feelings and gut-level fears of… Read More