Summer Reading


In a recent post West Bank Mama writes about her summer reading and asks what is on her readers’ reading lists. Feeling that I wished to develop a few things about my own, I have decided to write this post as an answer.

Following a year (in the Jewish sense of the term) of little religious reading and a lot of frustration in my shul attendance and religious practice for a variety of reasons, I feel the need to interrogate my beliefs and observance. Therefore most of the books I plan to read over the summer are connected with Judaism one way or another.

One People, Two Worlds – a Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues that Divide Them. This is the book I am currently reading. It is quite thought-provoking even if I find myself uncomfortably sitting in between these two views of Judaism. I also admire that these two men took the time to answer each other via letters and explore their differences in an honest and open way.

After reading Rabbi Fink’s review of The Search for God at Harvard by Ari Goldman – an Orthodox Jew who spent a year at Harvard Divinity School – I wanted to read it for myself. Being a Jew in a mostly non-Jewish environment, I thought that his struggles would probably echo my own.

In the Narrow Places by Erica Brown, a book that examines the meaning of the three weeks looks quite interesting. It is no longer available in France but can be downloaded via Kindle.

This morning I received The Pages in Between by Erin Einhorn – a book Leora had suggested for a lesson plan on the Jews who emigrated to the USA after WW2. Another fellow-blogger Rayna-Eliana added her own recommendations and I will most certainly get a few more books on the topic.

Last but certainly not least, I plan to write a review of Sacks Rosh HaShana Mahzor.


10 thoughts on “Summer Reading

  1. I saw the Erica Brown book reviewed in Jewish Action. It did look tempting.

    I started reading another book, called Refuge, by Leo Horowitz. It is written by someone in our community about his father, who was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. He refutes what Erin Einhorn suggests in her book, and he says that antisemitism was abundant in Poland before the war – the righteous gentiles were the small exceptions. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be available online anywhere. As I know Leo, I will try to get a copy at least to write a review.

    • This sounds interesting too. As concerns antisemitism in Poland, I’d tend to think that it was widespread. However it was maybe less so in some circles than others.

  2. Pingback: Friday Friday | Rayna Eliana

  3. “Following a year (in the Jewish sense of the term) of little religious reading and a lot of frustration in my shul attendance and religious practice for a variety of reasons…”

    This sounds very, very familiar… I hope that this summer helps you out in that regard!

  4. Pingback: Pre-Vacation Weekly Review with Town Hall | Ilana-Davita

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