Welcome to Torah Book Reviews! Torah Book Reviews is a blog for reviews of books on all Torah related topics. Publishers and authors are welcome to submit books, in Hebrew or English, for review on the site.
Books can be sent to me at: Rechov Nachal Dolev 31/15, Ramat Beit Shemesh, 99630, Israel. Email: rabbiari / hotmail / com
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A River Flowed from Eden
A River Flowed from Eden
Rabbi Ari D. Kahn
Kodesh Press / 210 pages
In his "A River Flowed from Eden," Rabbi Ari Kahn presents a delightful
and easy to read collection of short essays on the weekly Torah portion.
Focusing on a specific central question or thought from the weekly reading, the
essay expands to offer interesting food for thought and discussion on the
matter, making it great “Torah for the Shabbat Table.”
Examples of such questions include:
What are we doing in this world? What is the goal of our
hard work? (Bereishit)
Why was the Tower of Babel built in a valley? (Noach)
Why does Avraham seem to contradict his traditional trait of
chessed in so many instances? (Lech Lecha)
What events are being referred to in the “…after these
events” of the Akeida? (Vayeira)
Why is there seemingly no concern for Rivka’s religious
beliefs? (Chayei Sara)
My only complaint with this worthwhile contribution to
parsha discourse is that there is only one entry per parsha. I would have loved
to see the typically brilliant Kahn style approach dealing with the Flood, the purchase
of Chevron/Machpela cave, the Revelation at Sinai, and so much more, but other episodes in the relevant parshiot are dealt with instead. Guess you can’t have
To order: http://kodeshpress.com/product/a-river-flowed-from-eden
The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook
The Writing of a Jewish Mystcic
By: Rabbi Ari Ze'ev Schwartz
Gefen / 270 pp
I was wildly impressed with the Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook. After getting my hands on everything available in English over the years on Rav Kook's writings, this is the first, yes, the first, English book on Rav Kook that I was able to fully understand.
Although not a translation of any single work of Rav Kook (as most other translations are) The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook contains important and inspiring excerpts from all over Rav Kook's writings. The book is divided into four categories. The first is "The Individual" which contains teachings on God, Torah, prayer, Teshuva, personal growth, and more. The second is "The Nation" which includes many of his (in)famous teachings on Zionism. The third is "Humanity" which includes a chapter on our relationship with other religions. The fourth is "Creation" which is a…
Sexuality and Jewish Law
In his Sexuality and Jewish Law, Yaakov Shapiro, an ordained
rabbi and non-conformist Lubavitcher chassid, offers a thorough, unapologetic,
and uncensored presentation of everything relating to sexual activity and
All rabbinic texts that deal with sexual matters are cited along
with the interpretations and comments of all the relevant rishonim, achronim,
and poskim. There is also a full presentation of the various halachic opinions
and resolutions to the contradictions between them. The exhaustive endnotes are
essentially an additional book in their own right.
While the book is extremely well researched and impressive
in its scope, the author clearly has an agenda and bone to pick. As he writes in
the introduction, the book was born out of a bad experience and frustrations with
what he was being taught in chattan classes and the “one-sided” approach to
the laws of intimacy. The author seeks to put an end to the strain, fe…
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.