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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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
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, Retrieving Electronically Stored
Divorce, and Nezikin Claims
b. “A Dead
Marriage” and its Halakhic Aftermath
Chapter 7: Decisions
in Hoshen Mishpat
a. The Scope of an
Investment Broker’s Responsibility
b. Piercing the
Promises! – The Validity of a Real Estate Binder Agreement
e. Real Estate
f. Dual Real
Estate Commission, Illegal Contracts, and Civil Law
g. Mekach Ta’ut,
the Role of Gemirat Da’at in Undertaking Obligations in Transferring Property
h. A Wayward Torah
Index of Halakhic Sources
As one will see, there are a number of exciting chapters of contemporary relevance. As one who has been on both sides of the Beit Din, and now dabbling as a to'en rabbani, I especially enjoyed Chapter 5. Indeed, I enjoyed this volume even more that the first. I found that the material was presented in a clearer manner.
The book is an advanced work for advanced readers. It will be appreciated by those with a solid background in either Jewish or secular law. It's great for case study or to gain insights into the application of Talmudic law to today's realities. The book is well footnoted with extensive reference to both Torah and secular sources. There book also has an exhaustive index that allows readers to find reference to the entire body of Torah literature where the issues in the book are dealt with.
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.