Showing posts from April, 2016

Redemption and Revelation

Redemption and Revelation
Essays on Pesach and Shavuot
Rabbi Mordechai Fachler, z"l
Renana Publishers / 234 pages

I was excited to receive --in the nick of time!-- the second volume of Rabbi Mordechai Fachler's writings. This volume contains essays on Pesach and Shavuot.  For those unfamiliar, Rabbi Mordechai Fachler served in a number of rabbinical positions in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the late 1990s, Rabbi Fachler left Johannesburg for London, and served as the rabbi of Shomrei Hadath Synagogue in West Hampstead, among other positions of communal leadership. He was a therapist, counselor, and a renowned orator, among other talents.

The Pesach section is simply superb, filled with short and sweet divrei Torah that can be shared throughout the holiday. For example, there are divrei Torah on each of the Ten Plagues focusing on their relevance to today. Ditto for the Four Cups, the Four Sons, and more. Really nice stuff. (Really!)

The Shavuot section is a little more in d…

Transforming the World: The Jewish Impact on Modernity

Transforming the World: The Jewish Impact on Modernity
Urim Publications / 190 pages

Guest Post by Rabbi Johnny Solomon

If you are a teacher, parent or friend to someone wishing to learn more about their Jewish heritage, then you have probably been asked various questions about Jewish living and Jewish values. While some questions may have been easy to answer, others have been harder. However, it was on a Yom Kippur afternoon in the Radlett Centre when Rabbi Leo Dee was asked what is probably the most important question for any Jew: ‘Rabbi, isn’t the Torah just an ancient text that is out of date and irrelevant in our modern age?’.

This question - which should be presented to every Rabbi, Rebbetzin & Jewish educator when applying for a new job - gets to the roots of Jewish living. However, few people are actually prepared to ask this question, and few educators are necessarily prepared to answer it. As Rabbi Dee explains, ‘in the microsecond after he uttered those words, I sensed a le…

The Rabbi Daniel Travis Collection

I'm new to them....but I'm hooked already. Whether it is one of his works on tefilla, hashkafa, or halacha (my favorite!), every one of Rabbi Travis' sefarim is truly a "grand slam." His work is for all audiences, with his Hebrew halacha sefarim geared more to the advanced reader and rabbis.
For those unfamiliar, Rabbi Travis, a close confidant of Rav Moshe Shternbuch, lives in Har Nof and is Rosh Kollel of the "Kollel Toras Chaim" halacha kollel. I am impressed by his unique style of writing and psak that manages to remain loyal to the Israeli-Chareidi approach while being refreshingly balanced by his American background. 
His series on prayer is exceptionally easy to read and inspiring. His most recent work "Wine and Wisdom" is the everything about wine and halacha. I enjoyed every page. His "she'ilot and teshuvot" are original, relevant, and often brave. 
Indeed, I was so excited about Rabbi Travis' sefarim that I went out a…

Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality Vol.2

Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality Vol. 2
Rabbi Yehuda Warburg
Urim Publications / 368 pages

Once again, Rabbi Yehuda Warburg gives us an insiders look into  a number of actual cases that transpired in his Beit Din. There are both Even Ha’ezer and Choshen Mishpat related cases. There is much reference and comparison to precedents and principles in secular law. 
Here is the table of contents:
Part I: Rabbinic Authority: The Vision   Chapter 1: The Multifaceted Halakhic Identity of a Jewish Investment Broker   Chapter 2: The Propriety of a Civil Will   Chapter 3: Harnessing the Authority of Beit Din to Deal with Cases of Domestic Violence and Child                     Abuse   Chapter 4: An Employer’s Vicarious Liability for an Employee’s Sexual Misconduct   Chapter 5: The Status and Role of a To’ein Rabbani in the Beit Din Process
Part II Rabbinic Authority: The Reality   Chapter 6: Decisions in Even ha-Ezer     a. Spousal Rape, the Grounds for Divorcing anAdulterer, Retrievin…