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Welcome to Our Table
Rabbi Ari Wasserman
Distributed by Feldheim / 465 pp.

Ari Wasserman has done it again! This time with a parsha sefer, a book on the weekly Torah portion. As the subtitle says, it is full of "Words of Torah, Insightful Questions and Inspiring Stories."

There are two entries on every parsha. Every entry contains a short Dvar Torah. Following the opening Dvar Torah, there is another short essay, often a story, thought, and/or practical application of the opening Dvar Torah. Finally, a question is posed that is intended to trigger the mind and the mouth. The book is made especially personable as it includes responses that the author received from guests and family when he first posed the question at his table!

Being familiar with virtually every other "Family" parsha book that is available today, I can assure readers that "Welcome to Our Table" has upped the bar and set a new standard.

I conclude with a sample from this week's parsha:

Reason To Believe

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A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts Rabbi Michael J. Broyde Urim / 180 pp
Rabbi Michael Broyde’s newest work, A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts, is an extremely unique and original contribution to the world of English halachic literature. At the same, time, it also serves as a great outreach effort to converts.
There are essentially two sections to the book, each of similar length. The first section addresses the halachic issues relevant to converts, and it is arranged in the order of the Shulchan Aruch. This makes it especially useful for rabbis and others studying these issues. For example, just as S.A. OC 25 discusses the mitzvah of tefillin, S.A. YD 2 discusses shechita, and S.A. CM 7 discusses judges, so too, these halachot relevant to converts can be found in the book under the same categorization. Of course, the most prominent issue of halachot relating to converts are those relating to marriage, making the Even Ha’ezer section of the book quite practical and thor…

Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen

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Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen
Between War and Peace
Yechiel Frish and Yedidya Hacohen
Urim / 335 pp


There may never have been, and likely never to be, a more well-rounded rabbinic leader in the State of Israel than Rav Shear Yashuv Cohen. 
Rav Shear Yashuv, who I can consider one of my personal mentors, was a scholar, warrior, peace maker, pietist, and community activist. Although primarily associated with the city of Haifa, a worthwhile story in its own right, he played a role in the establishment and direction of the State of Israel.
In this volume, readers will learn things about Rav Shear Yashuv as never before revealed. An inspiring biography that is full of personal accounts and testimonies, it also offers a unique angle on the establishment of Israel in general, and the rabbinate in particular. I would also add that there is a subtle political commentary between the lines (Does anyone know that Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer called Rav Kook “the backbone of the entire Jewish people” or th…

Sexuality and Jewish Law

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Remember this one?

(See http://torahbookreviews.blogspot.co.il/2016/01/sexuality-and-jewish-law.html)

Well, Yaakov Shapiro has just come out with the third edition of this work. Included in this edition is an index and an additional 15 pages of endnotes.

There is also a website relating to the book: http://www.sexualityandjewishlaw.com

My first review says it all.

Contemporary Halakhic Problems Vol. VII

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Contemporary Halakhic Problems Vol. VII
Rabbi J. David Bleich
Maggid / 525 pp.

Rabbi J. David Bleich and his “Contemporary Halakhic Problems” series need no introduction. There is no student or scholar of halacha who is not familiar with Contemporary Halakhic Problems, and in fact, one is essentially unable to formulate a credible or authoritative view on a halachic issue without first studying the issue in CHP (if, of course, the issue has been covered in the series).
My day was made with the receipt of volume 7 this week.  The newest volume opens with “Passover Questions” including a discussion on what is an annually reoccurring feud here in Beit Shemesh regarding whether water from the Kinneret may be consumed during Pesach. Presenting nine different arguments and considerations (some of which I was exposed to for the first time) Rabbi Bleich concludes that there is no concern whatsoever with consuming water from the Kinneret. In Beit Shemesh, however, the stricter view has prevail…