Judaism book reviews

Transforming the World: The Jewish Impact on Modernity

June 30, 2016

Transforming the World
By Leo Dee
Urim, £17.99


Strong as Death is Love

By Simon Rocker, June 1, 2016

Strong as Death is Love

Robert Alter
Norton, £10.99

Probably the only thing most of us know about Daniel was that he was thrown into a lion's den and lived to tell the tale. For the ordinary Jew in the pew, the book in which this episode appears must be one of the most unread in the Bible.


Review: The Honey and the Sting

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2016

Walter Rothschild
JVAB, £34

When the Reform Beth Din published a guide for prospective converts, Jewish By Choice, in 1994, its author, Rabbi Dr Walter Rothschild, believed it filled a gap as there was "almost nothing available that wasn't either American or Orthodox".

But times have moved on and Rabbi Rothschild, who moved from Leeds to Berlin in 1998, felt a more up-to-date


Review: The Wed-Locked Agunot

By Simon Rocker, March 23, 2016

Susan Aranoff and Rivka Haut
McFarland, £45.50

This is a book best avoided on Shabbat because its contents would disturb anyone's rest. It is the most shocking book I can recall on Judaism in many years.


Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites its History

By Dr Harvey Belovski, February 25, 2016

Marc Shapiro
Littman Library, £24.95


Review: Feminist Rereadings of Rabbinic Literature

By Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, November 5, 2015

Inbar Raveh
Brandeis University Press, £31

How wonderfully refreshing to read a book whose author is equally at home in Midrash and in feminist theory and who is able to bring her understanding of the latter to her reading of the former.


Review: Naming God

By Simon Rocker, August 26, 2015

Avinu Malkeinu - "Our Father, Our King" –- is one of the seminal prayers of the High Holy Days, its final verse sung to a plaintive melody that captures the essence of the Days of Awe (a few years ago the Scottish band Mogwai even produced a rock version).


An Orthodox view of other faiths

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, July 6, 2015

Judaism and Other Religions: Models of Understanding
Alan Brill, Palgrave Macmillan, £21


David - The Divided Heart

By Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, May 28, 2015

Wolpe has tried hard to synthesise the different traits of the biblical David by looking at the texts through a number of lenses: David as young man, as lover and husband, as king, as sinner, fugitive, father.


Leviticus: the call of love

By Simon Rocker, April 23, 2015

Leviticus: The Code of Holiness
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Maggid, £15.99