When giants wrote Hebrew poetry Review

“Hayim Nahman Bialik: Poet of Hebrew” by Avner Holtzman. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press 2017. 222 pages. $25. As a youngster, Hayim Nahman Bialik was a yeshiva bocher, a full-time student at a Jewish seminary. Ironically, that man, who would earn the title the “Hebrew national poet,” was one of the spiritual founders of… Read More

Chabon, Gordis among book award winners

Michael Chabon and Daniel Gordis were among the winners of the 2016 National Jewish Book Awards. Gordis’ book “Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn” won the Jewish Book of the Year award, the Jewish Book Council announced Jan. 11. A Conservative rabbi, Gordis is senior vice president and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at… Read More

A journey through the year with God Review

“Rendezvous with God: Revealing the Meaning of the Jewish Holidays and Their Mysterious Rituals” by Rabbi Nathan Laufer. New Milford, Conn., Maggid Books, 2016. 269 pages. $27.95. We modern Jews may enjoy the trappings and trinkets of our 21st-century lives, but we lack something wonderful that our ancestors experienced several times during their first year… Read More

Israel in snatches Review

Unexpected Israel by Ruth Corman. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 2016. 184 pages. $24.98. In the mid-1970s, my family and I were members of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee. During the time I worked in the kibbutz guest house, every day I walked past an old stone building on my way to the hotel…. Read More

King David with blessings and flaws Review

“The Secret Chord” by Geraldine Brooks. New York: Penguin Books, 2016. 329 pages. $16. Sometimes fiction is the best way to deepen our understanding of historical figures. This is especially true of people in the Hebrew Bible. The only source that we have for knowing about most biblical characters are the holy scriptures themselves. Unfortunately,… Read More