November 30, 2009
Review: "Salomon Says"
There’s a good chance that you’ve heard the name Rabbi Yaakov Salomon before. A notable author, popular columnist on Aish.com, musmach of Rabbi Noah Weinberg, and a leader in Project Inspire and Aish, somehow the name is bound to pop up. If you haven’t heard of him, don’t worry, just keep reading. Now out with his latest book, “Salomon Says”, Rabbi Salomon is back on the shelves, delivering fresh and insightful stories (50 to be exact) that are meant to make you think, smile, and act. I’m always up for a good story and I was happy to find a satisfactory amount in this latest release. The book is broken up into six sections, each containing short essays relating to that sections theme. Certain topics are brought up more than once. I noticed that there were a couple of Yomim Tovim essays, as well as essays on parenting and chinuch. Many of the stories are real eye-openers. If I could list a few of my favorites I would probably say “Meeting Jason,” “The Connoisseur,” “Just Say No,” and “Thank You, Danny.” Rabbi Salomon is a social worker which also gives the book a noticeable psychological aspect. Most importantly, the topics are all very relatable. More than once you’re bound to have a “connection to the book moment’ where you feel like the author is speaking directly to you or had you in mind when writing that particular story. Overall, this book is an impressive release and can be read over and over again for the full motivational affect.
I just wanted to end off with one last thought. One of the things that impressed me most about “Salomon Says” was not necessarily about the book but about its author. I came away from reading the book thinking that Rabbi Salomon is a really exceptional human being. First off, as in many books, before it even begins there are the introductions and acknowledgments. Rabbi Salomon takes the opportunity here to encourage the reader to write to him with any questions or comments. He puts his e-mail address right up front and says with a perceivable sincerity that he would “love to hear from you.” I have so far only encountered one other book where the author has included his contact information. To me this says that the author is making a real attempt to relate to his readers, and the stories that follow will be in a similar vein. One of the other things I noticed was that Rabbi Salomon doesn’t just look to others for stories; rather he also takes personal stories from his own life. He doesn’t have any qualms about sharing personal thoughts, or even mistakes that he’s made. He uses them to inspire the reader and give approachable examples of how we should make the most of our life. Rabbi Salomon should be commended for his latest release and its benefits that it will undoubtedly serve.
(This review can also be read at The Cool Jew as part of our new partnership in bringing you the latest book reviews on the newest books.)