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Jewish Thought

50 Mikvahs that Shaped History

50 Mikvahs that Shaped History

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  • The most futuristic debates – Can a mikvah be built on the International Space Station? May metals from Mars be used to build a mikvah?
  • The oldest debate on record, between Yitzchak Avinu and the shepherds of Gerar - 3,600 years ago, the question was: how can you tell if a mikvah’s water comes from a nearby river or from some other source?
  • The most controversial debate - 400 years ago, in Rovigo, Italy, the brothers Consiglio argued how to fill the mikvah in their yard: and before the debate was over, rabbis from across the world, from Eretz Yisrael to Prague, had authored hundreds of pages in defense of each side!

This sefer explores how these debates (and others) shape our understanding of the nine basic rules for building a mikvah; how they inspire and enlighten us about the importance of purity and immersion; and how they enhance our relationship with Hashem.

An Ode to Joy: Judaism and Happiness in the Thought of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Beyond

An Ode to Joy: Judaism and Happiness in the Thought of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Beyond

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Before his rather sudden passing in 2020, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was one of the most eloquent and influential religious leaders of the generation. As Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for over two decades, he offered a universal message cultivated from the Jewish and Western cannons he knew so well. One concept that figured prominently in his work was joy. "I think of Judaism as an ode to joy," he once wrote. "Like Beethoven, Jews have known suffering, isolation, hardship, and rejection, yet they never lacked the religious courage to rejoice." In this volume, organized by the Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership, academics and writers explore the significance of joy within the Jewish tradition. These essays and reflections discuss traditional Jewish primary sources, including Biblical, Rabbinic and Hebrew literature, Jewish history and philosophy, education, the arts, and positive psychology, and of course, throughthe prism of Lord Sacks' work.

Ani Maamin: A Mission for Life: Understanding Rambam’s 13 Ikkarim and Bringing Them Into Our Lives

Ani Maamin: A Mission for Life: Understanding Rambam’s 13 Ikkarim and Bringing Them Into Our Lives

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For two centuries the academic study of the Bible has confronted the believing Jew with the most challenging of questions: Are the accounts of the Tanakh historically accurate? Was there an Exodus? Why does the Torah provide multiple versions of its law and its stories? What are the warrants for believing the Torah is a divine text? Can a Jew seeking intellectual honesty maintain fidelity to the Thirteen Principles of Faith? The credentials Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman brings to address these issues are unparalleled. An internationally acclaimed speaker, writer and educator, Rabbi Berman is also a professor of Tanakh at Bar-Ilan University and the author of two books published by Oxford University Press on the five books of the Torah. This landmark work is the first full-length treatment of these charged issues by an Orthodox thinker, offering the believing Jew an academically and traditionally based approach of spiritual and intellectual integrity.

Be A Blessing

Be A Blessing

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“Be a blessing, my child, be a blessing.” They were words whispered from a father to his child as she confronted the horrors of the Holocaust. That child would grow up to be the world’s beloved Rebbetzin, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.

Be a Blessing shows us how she chose to “be a blessing” in the darkest of times and most horrific of places. In Bergen-Belsen. In a Swiss boarding school, as a penniless refugee, separated from her family. In a hospital bed in San Diego.

Written as she recovered from a difficult and painful accident, Be A Blessing sings out with faith, hope, even in times of despair.

In these pages we will hear Rebbetzin Jungreis speaking in Madison Square Garden, in a U.S. Airforce base, in a hospital room where she lies in terrible pain. We will hear her speaking to individuals looking for help or comfort. We will hear her speaking to herself, a young Holocaust survivor. And, most importantly, we will hear her speaking to each one of us, our concerns, our hopes and fears and questions.

From the Rebbetzin we will gain tips for a better marriage and for being better parents. We will learn how to find the mission our Creator has chosen for each individual, and how to make room for Hashem in our hearts. And we will discover how to take our personal mission, use it to “be a blessing” and convert darkness to rays of light.

In Jewish tradition, before parents journey to the next world, they bless their children. In this, the Rebbetzin’s final book before her passing, she has blessed all of us – because she felt all of G-d’s people were her children –with the greatest blessing of all: To be a blessing.

Brick by Brick: Building an Ahavas Yisrael mindset one story at a time

Brick by Brick: Building an Ahavas Yisrael mindset one story at a time

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Do you have an ahavas Yisrael story? We do, too.

Brick by Brick is a heartwarming anthology whose contributors span the breadth of Klal Yisrael. Here are real stories by real people―hopeful, entertaining, loving, raw, introspective, painful, aspirational, and poignant.

Listen to their perspectives and be impacted by their voices. Discover how these individuals, and all of us, are part of an extraordinary nation – one that is on the path to rebuilding the Beis Hamikdash,, “brick by brick.”

Careful, Beauties Ahead!

Careful, Beauties Ahead!

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Choice to Believe: Based On The Shiurim Of Rav Moshe Shapiro, Z"L

Choice to Believe: Based On The Shiurim Of Rav Moshe Shapiro, Z"L

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Harav Moshe Shapiro was one of the most profound thinkers and great talmidei chachamim of his generation. Even after his passing, his shiurim continue to inspire thousands of his talmidim all over the world.

The Choice to Believe presents the Rav’s shiurim on the mitzvah of emunah, given to a group of talmidim. In these shiurim, the Rav introduces the reader to a world of emunah that most people do not even know exists, a world that the individual creates through emunah in the One who revealed Himself to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai.

This book is a guide on how one can acquire the deepest bond between him and his Creator through his emunah, as described in Hoshea: ( וארשתיך לי באמונה וידעת את ה' (הושע ב: כב

These shiurim were carefully and faithfully adapted into English by his son-in-law, Rabbi Aryeh Feldman, who was a close student of the Rav.

Concise Shaar HaBitachon of Chovos Halevavos - Jaffa Family Edition

Concise Shaar HaBitachon of Chovos Halevavos - Jaffa Family Edition

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The guidance and principles of Chovos HaLevavos, written nearly a thousand years ago, continue to resonate with our generation. Of all the vast scope of this work, Shaar HaBitachon (Reliance on Hashem) is perhaps the section that most eloquently addresses us today, living in a world where the ways of Hashem are hidden.

Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman is a Rav, maggid shiur and author. He has taught Shaar HaBitachon to scholars and layman and — as a master teacher — he is able to convey its lessons clearly and succinctly.

As a work of one of the early Rishonim, Chovos HaLevavos quotes and alludes to the full range of Tanach and the Talmud. A reader can easily lose track of the author’s complex thought, and miss his point. In this work, Rabbi Klugman selects the guidance and principles of Shaar HaBitachon, using the author’s own words.

Rabbi Klugman also prepared a comprehensive topic and source index, which makes the wealth of life-changing issues unusually accessible.

The Concise Shaar HaBitachon addresses the countless perplexing challenges that confront every Jew in the contemporary world. For any Jew who wants to come closer to Hashem, The Concise Shaar HaBitachon is required reading. For the English-speaking reader it is perhaps the most understandable and helpful guide to emunah, bitachon, and many other issues in a confusing and challenging world.

Divrei Soferim: The Transmission of Torah Shebe'al Peh

Divrei Soferim: The Transmission of Torah Shebe'al Peh

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Over decades of teaching Torah and in thousands of shiurim, Rabbi Hershel Schachter has covered and taught the breadth and depth of Torah. One major theme that reverberates throughout his teachings is the centrality and role of Torah Shebe’al Peh, the Oral Torah. For the very first time, Rabbi Schachter presents in one volume the teachings of our Sages from across the generations, together with his own personal approach, regarding the Torah Shebe’al Peh, the halakhic process, and the importance of the Mesorah, the rabbinic tradition.

HISTORY, REVOLUTION, AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF NOSTRA AETATE

HISTORY, REVOLUTION, AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF NOSTRA AETATE

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A little over half a century ago, there came about a remarkable change in the Catholic Church’s attitude to the Jewish people. Once an accursed nation, responsible for the death of the Redeemer, Jews became the blessed elder brother of Christianity. Nostra Aetate traces the process of this revolutionary change in detail, through its primary Catholic and Jewish sources.

Learn Hilchos Lashon Hara In Just 3 Minutes A Day

Learn Hilchos Lashon Hara In Just 3 Minutes A Day

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In an easy and concise format, this highly praised and comprehensive book is designed for daily learning. With hundreds of practical examples, you will come to know what is and isn’t lashon hara, and develop a greater sensitivity to positive speech…in just 3 minutes a day!

Following the footsteps of the bestselling Learn Shabbos in Just 3 Minutes a DayLearn Hilchos Lashon Hara in Just 3 Minutes a Day is guaranteed to be an indispensable reference for everyone!

“This work has been presented with wisdom and clear thinking, and will certainly bring enormous benefit to those who wish to grow.”

Rav Moshe Sternbuch, Ra’avad of Jerusalem

“Rabbi Braude has once again created a collection of halacha in bite-size segments enabling one to acquire a comprehensive working knowledge of complicated halacha in a relatively short period of time. Additionally, the clear practical style makes the thought of observing Shmiras Halashon so much more realistic.”

Rav Yitzchak Berkowits, Rosh Kollel, Rosh Yeshiva, and Posek

“It is written with clarity and insight. It is succinct, yet at the same time comprehensive. It serves both the beginner and advanced Torah Scholar alike.”

Rav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, Av Beis Din, UK Beis Din, Federation

“Rabbi Braude’s ability to present the Halachos, the ideas behind them, and relevant practical examples, is phenomenal. I highly recommend this work as both a means for one to initially familiarize oneself with the laws of Lashon Hara, and even to those who have learned the Halachos from the original sources as a very concise method of review.”

Rav Zev Leff, Rosh Yeshiva

MAASEH HARAV: IN COMMEMORATION OF HIS 120TH BIRTHDAY AND HIS 30TH YAHRZEIT – PESACH 5783

MAASEH HARAV: IN COMMEMORATION OF HIS 120TH BIRTHDAY AND HIS 30TH YAHRZEIT – PESACH 5783

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In his second book on the Rav, Rabbi Gopin lists a number of principles that the Rav held as mainstays of his religious belief system. The middos of emes, anavah, tzedakah, and loyalty to others were among those values which the Rav placed highly on his list of lifetime accomplishments. At the same time, the Rav was able to harness any “need” to influence others of these truths. The Rav’s greatness lies in his anavah - his humility in finding his truth and allowing others to do the same. He never saw himself as a posek, but rather as a teacher who pointed out the facts as he saw them. The varied reactions of those who contributed to this book is testimony to the Rav’s great influence on their religious beliefs, while allowing them at the same time to forge their own path in Jewish thought and action.

Pathways to Their Hearts: Torah Perspectives on the Individual

Pathways to Their Hearts: Torah Perspectives on the Individual

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Perpetuating the Masorah

Perpetuating the Masorah

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A collection of essays on aggadic, halakhic, ethical and spiritual themes by Rabbi Professor Yitzhak (Isadore) Twersky (1930-1997), dedicated to the memory of his father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Adapted from R. Twersky's speeches by Carmi Horowitz and Dovid Shapiro, both devoted talmidim of Prof. Twersky.
The Blessing and the Curse: Jewish People and Their Books in the Twentieth Century

The Blessing and the Curse: Jewish People and Their Books in the Twentieth Century

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Following The People and the Books, which "covers more than 2,500 years of highly variegated Jewish cultural expression" (Robert Alter, New York Times Book Review), poet and literary critic Adam Kirsch now turns to the story of modern Jewish literature. From the vast emigration of Jews out of Eastern Europe to the Holocaust to the creation of Israel, the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. The same was true of Jewish writing: the novels, plays, poems, and memoirs of Jewish writers provided intimate access to new worlds of experience.

Kirsch surveys four themes that shaped the twentieth century in Jewish literature and culture: Europe, America, Israel, and the endeavor to reimagine Judaism as a modern faith. With discussions of major books by over thirty writers--ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Tony Kushner, Hannah Arendt to Judith Plaskow--he argues that literature offers a new way to think about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world. With a wide scope and diverse, original observations, Kirsch draws fascinating parallels between familiar writers and their less familiar counterparts. While everyone knows the diary of Anne Frank, for example, few outside of Israel have read the diary of Hannah Senesh. Kirsch sheds new light on the literature of the Holocaust through the work of Primo Levi, explores the emergence of America as a Jewish home through the stories of Bernard Malamud, and shows how Yehuda Amichai captured the paradoxes of Israeli identity.

An insightful and engaging work from "one of America's finest literary critics" (Wall Street Journal), The Blessing and the Curse brings the Jewish experience vividly to life.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew

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From two New York Times bestselling authors, a timely, disarmingly honest, and thought-provoking investigation into antisemitism that connects the dots between the tropes and hatred of the past to our current complicated moment.

For Emmanuel Acho and Noa Tishby no question about Jews is off-limits. They go there. They cover Jews and money. Jews and power. Jews and privilege. Jews and white privilege. The Black and Jewish struggle. Emmanuel asks, Did Jews kill Jesus? To which Noa responds, "Why are Jewish people history's favorite scapegoat?" They unpack Judaism itself: Is it a religion, culture, a peoplehood, or a race? And: Are you antisemitic if you're anti-Zionist?

The questions--and answers--might make you squirm, but together, they explain the tropes, stereotypes, and catalysts of antisemitism in America today.

The topics are complicated and Acho and Tishby bring vastly different perspectives. Tishby is an outspoken Israeli American. Acho is a mild-mannered son of a Nigerian American pastor. But they share a superpower: an uncanny ability to make complicated ideas easy to understand so anyone can follow the straight line from the past to our immediate moment--and then see around corners. Acho and Tishby are united by the core belief that hatred toward one group is never isolated: if you see the smoke of bigotry in one place, expect that we will all be in the fire.

Informative and accessible, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew has a unique structure: Acho asks questions and Tishby answers them with deeply personal, historical, and political responses. This book will enable anyone to explain--and identify--what Jewish hatred looks like. It is a much-needed lexicon for this fraught moment in Jewish history. As Acho says, "Proximity breeds care and distance breeds fear."

Why Be Jewish- PB

Why Be Jewish- PB

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"All beginnings require that you unlock new doors."--Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

In this short and inspiring text, Rabbi David J. Wolpe addresses all who seek to enlarge the spiritual side of their lives. For those considering a return to the faith of their forebears, for those drawn to conversion, Why Be Jewish? is a learned, graceful, and welcoming introduction beckoning readers into the heart of this venerable and enduring religion.

AN ADVENTURE IN TORAH: A FRESH LOOK THROUGH A TRADITIONAL LENS

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Arguments for the Sake of Heaven

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Around The Year With Reb Meilech

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Constant Connection: Deepening your emunah through the Six Constant Mitzvos. Based on the teachings of Rabbi Noach Weinberg zt”l

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Crisis And Covenant: Jewish Thought After The Holocaust

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Foundation of Judaism

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Hasidic Relics: Cultural Encounters

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Joel, Obadiah, and Micah: Facing The Storm

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