December 18, 2010
August 27, 2010
June 28, 2010
However, Rav Yaakov Yosef, son of Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav of the plaintiff, claims that there definitely was some amount misconduct from the Ashkenazim to the Sephardim and that the Ashkenazim have defamed the Sephardim, who he claims are good religious Jews, by claiming for the public media that they are non-religious Jews. Obviously, this issue is far from simple and it is constantly being portrayed with a certain amount of bias, proportional to the views of the author and paper the story is being published in. Thus it is hard to form a completely educated opinion.
Today, while I was reading "In Their Shadows," by Rav Shlomo Lorincz I came across the following story which has some semblance to the case before us today in Emmanuel. Obviously, if you hold like the Slonimer Chassidim and many other Gedolei Yisroel that there has been no mistreatment of Sephardim and that this issue is about Kedushas HaTorah and Chinuch Habanim then the story below is not really relevant. However, if you hold by the other side then it surely is a relevant story, and either way it is a powerful lesson in a time when discrimination against Sephardim and others still exists. This is something that we can all learn from.
Rav Shach fully displayed his forcefulness in a letter he wrote to Rav Shraga Grossbard, director of Chinuch Atzmai, in 5741 (1981).
At that point, the admissions policy of some Chinuch Atzmai schools discriminated against Sephardic children, in favor of children of Ashkenazi descent.
In his letter to Rav Grossbard, Rav Shach explains at length that there is no halachic basis for such discrimination, and he concludes:
Therefore, I ask you to pass a message to the principals [of the schools] that there are no excuses or justifications- they must accept Sephardic children. I write this as a halachic ruling that they may not transgress" (In Their Shadow, p. 400 by Rav Shlomo Lorincz).
June 12, 2010
Besides for this new contest there has also been a new original serial story that is only being published on their website called Divided Attention. All of this can be viewed at the link above. If you didn't have a chance to see the magazine that was distributed as an insert this past weekend you can view it by clicking here. I think that this new PR campaign from Israel Book Shop is very impressive and as far as I'm aware it's first for a frum publishing house. Hopefully we'll continue to see more exciting things in the future.
June 08, 2010
Yosef Chaim (Shwekey): Lo Lefached
The Chevra 3
Yerachmiel and Aaron Razel: The Secret of Shabbos
Avraham Fried: You're Never Alone, No Jew Will Be Left Behind, The Time is Now, Goodbye Golus
Hasc: A Time for Music volumes 7, 18, 20
Yeshiva Boys Choir: YBC Live II, YBC 3 (Shabichi)
Shloime Dachs: Dachs Dance All Night
Kol Noar Boys Choir
Benny Friedman: Taamu
Aryeh Kuntsler: From the Depths
Ari Goldwag: Pure Soul
Yisroel Williger: Menuchas Shabbos
Gershon Veroba: Impressions, Second Impressions, Turn it Around, Reach Out
All of Six13, Moshav Band, 8th Day, Yaakov Chesed
Lots of Shlomo Carelbach music
Update (6/15/10): Aryeh Kuntslers new CD "Our Eyes Are On You" is also now available on iTunes
June 03, 2010
Dear reader! In the book before you are descriptions that enlighten the heart about the dedication to Torah of the Gedolei Yisroel, throughout every time period. The stories tell about how they (the Gedolim) clung to Torah like one who thirsts for water, and in only the Torah did they look all their lives. Likewise, the stories describe how they trembled from the idea of Bitul Torah and how they used sechel to overcome the Yetzer Hara in this area.
But it is very important to stress that many of the Gedolei Yisroel and Talmidei Chachamim that lived during all the time periods as well as today, were not born with special characteristics- they had regular character traits. The truth is that even in you- dear reader- are the same characteristics that they had! And if you ask, how did they merit to grow into Gedolei Yisroel. . .?
The answer is simple- they succeeded in strengthening their determination that from them would emerge a Talmid Chacham along with the knowledge that with the study of every word of Torah they were fulfilling a Mitzvas Asei D'Oraisa and they were giving nachas ruach to the Creator of the world. Therefore, they were always careful to arrive to learning on time and with the time between sedarim they did not engage in frivolous activities, and they succeeded to use each moment to review what they already learned. Thus, with consistency and patience, with tefillah and supplication, they completed and knew another chapter and another masechta, until they became, with the help of Hashem, Gedolei Torah.
Therefore dear reader- you too with the help of Hashem, if you will be determined and set your mind to it, nothing will stop you from becoming a true Talmid Chacham!
We hope, that these real life examples that are filled with with pictures (of the life of these Gedolim) will encourage you to go in their footsteps and you will want throughout your life to be a Talmid Chacham, and with Siyata D'shmaya you will be!
There was just something about that introduction that struck a cord with me. As someone who loves to hear Gedolim stories, it is often possible to come to a point where you just think that the Gedolim were born this way and what they do is not possible for any of us to achieve. Their actions are beyond our capabilities so why even try. Of course this is not true and this introduction emphasizes that message; the message that many of the Gedolei Yisroel started off with the same characteristics as the rest of us and through their effort they became who they became. The stories that follow in this book are incredible. Each chapter has the theme of a particular attribute necessary in the success of Torah study and the stories that are told are really one of a kind. As I mentioned, I am particular to Gedolim stories and having heard many of them I believe that the stories in this book are wonderful. If you are looking for a source of inspiration in limud haTorah and ahavas haTorah along with a good story then this is the book for you.
[HaMasmidim is being distributed by Feldheim in the United States]
April 26, 2010
As an experienced educational counselor and prolific author, Rabbi Chaim Walder has dealt extensively with relationships between children and parents, students and teachers - as well as a person's relationship with himself. Drawn from the author's vast knowledge and flavored with his engaging literary style, this book bursts with a wealth of information, ideas and advice, along with practical suggestions for applying them. Culled from more than a thousand articles written during the author's almost two decades as a Yated Ne'eman columnist, Rabbi Walder tackles the issues that are foremost on people's minds. Also included are the author's opinions on a variety of topics, from mental health issues to money matters - all easily referenced in a convenient, concise index.
I always associate Chaim Walder with his great story books, namely the true life stories in "People Speak" and "Kids Speak." Another favorite of mine is his novel "That's Me, Tzviki Green. So I guess this is going to be a bit of a break in a tradition of story books from Rabbi Walder, with what appears to me to be his first English book on Parenting. I'm curious whether there will be any more stories in this new release. To find out I guess we'll just have to check out the book when it comes out. Feldheim lists it for release tomorrow, April 27th. If you happen to take a look give me an update on how it compares to the older Chaim Walder books and the style of the book format.
April 22, 2010
March 13, 2010
To see the cover art and the advertisment for the CD go to the Jewish Music Report
HT: Jewish Music Report
I was reflecting on this small library and the chessed it provides recently and it occurred to me how much there is a need for many more such libraries in our communities wherever they may be. Unfortunately there are not really any big professional libraries that are dedicated to loaning out books appropriate for the frum world. Sometimes you do come across a couple such libraries or gemachs but they can be scarce, leaving many without access to good reading material. I am fortunate in that when I was in high school we had a fantastic library that received good funding and was able to provide us with hundreds of books, including all the new releases and other books and seforim that appealed to myself and others. Where I am now also has a very decent library but it is lacking in certain areas as well as not being available to the non-student body. In my temporary apartment I keep around 30 books that I keep on a shelf and I am try to let others know that they are able to borrow them. Back at home between every member of my family we must have a couple hundred frum books, definitely a good size library. This shouldn't be a surprise, as Jews are known for their large collections of books and I think that many of us have the resources to create miniature "libraries" as the Rebbetzin that I stayed with created.
All if takes is to let people know that you have books available to borrow, write your name and phone number on the inside cover, and keep track of who has what. This is such a great chessed on many levels. First off, books are a wonderful source of good, healthy entertainment. Your loaning out books helps contribute a good education to young children or a restful afternoon to an overworked parent or student. Depending on the type of book you loan out you could also be assisting someone in their Torah learning. Any way you look at it, it's all good. So give it some thought and see if you too can help your friends or community by creating your own Jewish library.
March 04, 2010
Note: The name of the Haggadah is followed by the publishers name
- Seif Edition Transliterated Linear Haggadah - Artscroll
- The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Haggadah- Artscroll
- The Yetzias Mitzrayim Hagaddah: Bringing the Pesach Story to Life through the Haggadah- Artscroll
- The Family Hagaddah: Spanish Edition- Artscroll
- Hagaddah with Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: Illustrated and for kids- Greenfelds
- The Royal Table: A Passover Hagaddah- OU Press
- The Lipa Schmeltzer Hagaddah- Aderet Music
March 02, 2010
-Seek Peace and Pursue It, by Dovid Lieberman Ph.D
-Purim and Persia: A Historical and Archaeological Perspective, by Rabbi Yehuda Landy
-It Could Have Been You: Real Stories about Real People, by Nachman Seltzer
-Nefesh Shimshon: Gates of Emunah, by Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus ZT"L
-Emunat Yisrael: Developing Faith and Trust in G-d in Our Turbulent Times, by Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Lugassi
-The Yetzias Mitzrayim Hagaddah, by Samson Raphael Grunfeld
-The World That Was: The Legacy of German Jewry 843-1945, Rabbi A. Leib Scheinbaum
-Hidden Gems: Our Special Children, by Ruchi Eisenbach
-Aleinu L'Shabei'ach: Vayikra, by Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein
-Starving Souls, by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser
-The Mishkan Illuminated, by Rabbi Dovid Meyers
-A Unique Perspective: Rav Breur's Essays 1914-1973, by Rav Dr. Joseph Breur
-Dawn to Destiny: Jewish History and its Hidden Wisdom, by Rabbi Yonason Goldson
February 25, 2010
Sent in by the author, Julie Hauser:
This book speaks to women of all ages and stages of motherhood. As the reader grows, the book grows with her.
February 04, 2010
Opinion Piece in the Jewish Press from the author of "Search Judaism":
I was apprised of the fact that a renowned rav and posek in Flatbush dedicated his Shabbos morning drasha to the plight of a young lady who was recently dismissed from her Brooklyn Bais Yaakov. It seems she vexed the administration because she asked her teacher incisive questions about the nature of Gan Eden. Thankfully, due to the intervention of this prominent rav, she was reinstated to her school.
Thousands of frum individuals grow up with gnawing questions about the fundamentals of Yiddishkeit. Their questions may be trite and simplistic (i.e., Why do we keep Shabbos?) or profound and weighty (i.e., How do I know there is a God? or Hashem knows everything, including every move I make; yet I have free will. How can the two co-exist?).It’s not the particular question that is germane - every sincere and thoughtful question is relevant and important. Rather, it’s the way the question is received and handled. Sadly, most often the questions are either rebuffed or repudiated by parents and teachers. Some adolescents are even slapped or labeled with the pejorative “apikores.” The outcome is that in some cases the seeker despondently resolves to trudge through life with lingering and unresolved doubts in ikrei emunah, and in other cases, tragically, they throw in the towel, religiously.
To continue reading click here
January 28, 2010
A new volume of the English translation of the seforim of the Biala Rebbe of Lugano, also known as the Mevaser Tov, has just been released. This new sefer is called Mevaser Tov: Sefer Hachaim, and is being distributed by Feldheim. I first saw the new volume when I was in Israel a week ago and I very quickly decided to buy a copy. The only reason that I even debated whether or not to buy it then was because I have not yet completed another sefer of his which I own, "The Merit of the Righteous Women." However, that sefer has been so phenomenal that even though I have been reading it slowly I have gotten an appreciation for the uniquness of the writing of the Biala Rebbe. Credit also goes to the translators of his works, Daniel Worenklein and Reuven Methieson. The writing is articulate and scholarly and it exudes this feeling of love for the reader and the topic being discussed, something that I have not consistently found in hashkafah based books. So now I have this new volume, Sefer Hachaim, sitting on my book shelf and I hope to be able to get to it soon. In addition to the two previously mentioned books, there are an additional two volumes of the Mevaser Tov that are translated into English and can be bought on Feldheim's website, as well as a large collection of Hebrew seforim by the Rebbe that can probably be found in larger Judaica stores.
You can read more about the Biala Rebbe of Lugano, Rabbi Benzion Rabinowitz on Wikipedia's Hebrew site here. This also includes a complete list of the Rebbe's writings.
January 23, 2010
- Rabbi Gil Student will be hosting a book signing Monday night, 1/25, at 7 PM
- Yaakov Chesed Live, at 8 PM Thursday night, 1/28
- YU Maccabeats Live, 6:30 PM 2/1 (see a video of one of their impressive acapella performances here)
- Proffesor Daniel Rynhold will be giving a lecture on "Why Does Medieval Jewish Philosophy Matter?" at 12:30 PM, Sunday 2/7
- Joel Chasnoff presents College Comedy Night at 7:30 PM on 2/10
- 1/24- Rabbi Norman Lamm (in conjunction with his new Haggadah) at 12 PM
- 1/25- Rabbi Mordechai Willig at 8 PM
- 1/27- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky at 8 PM
- 2/8 -Rabbi Eytan Feiner at 8 PM
- 2/14-Rabbi Yonoson Sacks at 2 PM
-Copyright in Jewish Law, by Rabbi Nachum Menashe Weisfish
-Checkmate, by Ester Toker
-Pure Money Vol. II: A Straightforward Guide to Jewish Monetary Law, by Dayan Shlomo Cohen
-The Life and Times of Rabbi Yonason Steif: Living in the Illuminated Shadow, by Esther Shulamis (Stief) Bleier
-Chofetz Chaim: The Family Lesson a Day, by Rabbi Shimon Finkelman
-Reb Boruch Ber: The Life and Times of Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, by Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Rosenthal
-Yoreh Binah: Concepts of Kashrus, by Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis
-Candles in My Window, by Beth Firestone
-Terra Incognita: A Novel, by Libi Astaire
-Meant to Be: An Abrams Family Legacy, by Azriela Jaffe
-Seek Peace and Pursue It, by Dovid Lieberman Ph.D
-Purim and Persia: A Historical and Archaeological Perspective, by Rabbi Yehuda Landy
-The People Files, by Nachman Seltzer
January 18, 2010
January 07, 2010
Starting from oldest review to newest:
Reb Shlomo: The Life and Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld, by Yisroel Besser
Don't Yell Challah in a Crowded Matzah Bakery, by Mordechai Schmutter
The Rav Thinking Aloud, by David Holzer
It's Never Too Little, It's Never Too Late, It's Never Enough, by Rabbi Yissocher Frand
Search Judaism, by Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer
Miracle Ride, by Tzipi Caton
Salomon Says, by Rabbi Yaakov Salomon
Rabbi Sherer, by Yonoson Rosenblum
(HT: Vos Iz Neias)
The students of Yeshiva University (YU) will hold their annual SOY Seforim Sale from January 24 through February 15 in Belfer Hall, 2495 Amsterdam Ave. on YU’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan. The sale, North America’s largest Jewish book sale, is organized entirely by YU students who run the entire operation from ordering to setting up the premises, marketing and all the technology the project entails. Proceeds support a myriad of initiatives, including student activities on campus and student-lead outreach programs in the Jewish community.
Last year the acclaimed Judaica book sale drew over 15,000 people from the tri-state area and raised more than $1 million in sales. The annual event provides discounted prices on the latest of over 10,000 titles in rabbinic and academic literature, cookbooks, children’s books, music and lecture CDs, and educational software.
“We expect to draw close to 20,000 people this year,” said Eliezer Barany, CEO of the SOY Seforim Sale. “We will be offering a wider array of seforim and have many exciting events planned, including multiple book signings and lectures, musical performances, and for the first time ever, a stand-up comedy routine by one of the authors.”
The Seforim Sale has become a highlight for the Yeshiva University community, as students and alumni congregate to visit their alma mater, see old friends, and add books to their personal libraries.
Those who can not attend the sale can still take advantage of the great prices and vast catalog selection by ordering online on the Seforim Sale’s upgraded Web site. For a complete listing of dates and times, to purchase gift certificates or to view the online catalog, visit