Judaism book reviews

A colourful Talmud for our times

By Simon Rocker, June 8, 2012

The arrival of the Koren Talmud must be the Judaica publishing event of the year. It combines the production quality for which the Jerusalem-based publishers are renowned with the pioneering commentary and translation of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.


How the rabbis made history

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, April 27, 2012

The second of Rabbi Dr Benny Lau's monumental Chachamim series to be translated into English, this work, like its companion three volumes (three so far), looks at the development and challenges of the Jewish people through the lives and teachings of rabbinical leaders.


Not just pretty Pesach pictures

By Simon Rocker, March 22, 2012

The Medieval Haggadah

Marc Michael Epstein

Yale University Press, £45


Journey to Heaven

By Simon Rocker, February 23, 2012

Leila Leah Bronner
Urim, $23


Open Minded Torah

By Simon Rocker, January 12, 2012

By William Kolbrener
Continuum, £13.99

You may well leave a Limmud conference feeling regret at the speakers you missed during an overcrowded programme.


Contending with Catastrophe

By Rabbi Dr Michael Harris, December 1, 2011

Edited by Michael J. Broyde,
K'hal Publishing, $24.95

This is a fascinating, moving and highly instructive volume. Marking the passing of a decade since the terrorist atrocities of 9/11, it presents Jewish responses at both the halachic and theological levels.


The Koren Rosh Hashana Mahzor, Minhag Anglia

By Dr Jeremy Schonfield, September 22, 2011

Translation and commentary by Lord Sacks
Edited by Dayan Ivan Binstock,
Koren £29.99

This new machzor, the first of a hoped-for translation and commentary of the whole cycle by the Chief Rabbi, has been worth waiting for. And it has been quite a wait.

Machzorim in this country tend to come at intervals of around a century.


The Status of Women in Jewish Tradition

By Simon Rocker, August 25, 2011

Isaac Sassoon
Cambridge University Press, £45

In ancient days, the prophetess Huldah was said by one venerable sources to dispense her religious teaching from inside a yeshivah.


Review: In the Narrow Places

By Simon Rocker, July 28, 2011

Erica Brown
Maggid/OU, distributed by Kuperard, £15.99

We are now in the middle of the Three Weeks, the period from the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem, to Tishah b'Av, commemorating the destruction of the two Temples (which begins on Monday week).


Festivals of Faith: Reflections on the Jewish Holidays

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 16, 2011

Norman Lamm
Edited by David Shatz, OU Press, $45

This is an edited collection of sermons delivered over a 50-year period by Rabbi Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University and a well-known voice of modern Orthodoxy.