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June 02, 2012

What's Shmarya Reading?

Reading a bookThree novels, including one about Satmar, and three non-fiction titles, two of them dealing with the history of conversion to Judaism.

Reading a book

Novels

I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits.

The World Without You by Joshua Henkin (a grandson of the famous American halakhic authority Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin).

The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia.

Non-Fiction

Anne Frank's Family: The Extraordinary Story of Where She Came From, Based on More Than 6,000 Newly Discovered Letters, Documents, and Photos by Mirjam Pressler.

Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa by David Ellenson and Daniel Gordis.

Contesting Conversion: Genealogy, Circumcision, and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity by Matthew Thiessen.

Comments

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Recommendation: From Defender to Critic by David Hartman

I am reading "A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation" by Jeremy Ben-Ami. It is quite good, I am enjoying reading it.

I recently read "Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle" by Dan Senor. Totally fascinating. As well as "Distant Sisters: The Women I Left Behind" by Yehudit Rotem.

While I really don't care what you are reading, I am curious as to who you are going out with.

Shmarya. Did it occur to you that you can also look into a gemarah or other sefer.
Not all sefrim are lubavitch - Not Tanya or Chitas stuff.

Posted by: siyum 8 weeks away | June 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Did it ever occur to you that there's a lot more to "look into" than 8th century buba meysot, primitive Eastern science and medicine, and fake miracle stories?

Of course not.

There are two important books I have read in the past month. One is "Now They Call Me Infidel", about a woman who grew up in Muslim Egypt and came to the US and her eyes were opened. A fascinating read! When people speak to me about the Middle East, I often tell them that until they read this book I won't discuss the issue with them. Darwish has an organization, arabsforisrael.com, that you can check out.

Another book that has grabbed my attention is Hope Endures, by Colette Livermore. She was a sister in Mother Teresa's order for 11 years, from when she was 18 until 30. It is a riveting account of what her life as a sister was like, and why she eventually left.

I recommend these two books highly.

A book of a different kind that I read is titled When Jesus Became God by Richard Rubenstein. A very important read to see how the original belief that Jesus was a special man became, with the help of Imperial Roman politics, a belief in the Trinity as we know it. That is, how an originally Jewish group that believed a certain person had been resurrected and was the messiah became something that Jesus and the original apostles would have considered pagan and idolatrous.

You might want to read some books about Gentiles once in a while. They are at least 50% of the American population. See if they commit crimes also.

We'll be waiting for the reviews, Shmarya.

No one cares what Shamarya is reading.

We'd rather know what he has been smoking.

You might want to read some books about Gentiles once in a while. They are at least 50% of the American population. See if they commit crimes also.

Posted by: Critical minyan | June 02, 2012 at 11:28 PM

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
and
The American Way of Crime by Browning and Gerassi
would be a good start.

When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball

I am very interested not only in what Shmarya is reading but also what the rest of you are reading and what you recommend.

I am reading Untold tales of the Hasidim by David Assaf. Assaf, a noted Jewish historian, has collected riveting examples of free thinking behavior within the hasidic world especially by some times famous rebbes who very much went OTD.

Fascinating.

The Rebbe by Samuel Heilman is also quite a good read

A very important read to see how the original belief that Jesus was a special man became, with the help of Imperial Roman politics, a belief in the Trinity as we know it. That is, how an originally Jewish group that believed a certain person had been resurrected and was the messiah became something that Jesus and the original apostles would have considered pagan and idolatrous.

Posted by: Uzi Weingarten


LOL! Rubenstein must have missed the writings of the 1st- early 4th centuries writings of the Church Fathers by Ireneaus, Tertullian, Theophilus, Clement, etc., writing about the Trinity when Imperial Rome was killing Christians. And of course Jesus telling his disciples to baptize followers in the Name (not names) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the New Testament must have been lost on him as well.

Recommended read: The Halakhah of Jesus of Nazareth according to the Gospel of Matthew by Philip Sigal

"Sigal argues that, from a halakhic perspective, Jesus teachings on Sabbath and divorce in the Gospel of Matthew use the same methods of interpretation as those of his proto-rabbinic contemporaries. The Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew should thus be seen as a charismatic prophetic first-century proto-rabbi independent in his halakhah and frequently anticipating later rabbinic positions rather than as transcending proto-rabbinic halakhah or as an adherent of a particular school. Sigal concludes that, had it not been for the expulsion of Christian Jews from the synagogues after 90 C.E., Jesus could have been remembered as one of the rabbis of the Mishnah and that neither Christology nor halakhah were decisive for the break."

These are, for the most part, great posts.

Keep 'em coming.

There are many intelligent, erudite, well educated people who post here.

I am really interested in what you enjoy reading.

Posted by: Litvish | June 03, 2012 at 06:10 PM


One of my favorites is: Roots of Rabbinic Judaism , by Boccaccini

A plug for Jews & Booze: Becoming American in The Age of Prohibition by Marni Davis.

A good read if you are in to American Jewish History.

JTSKid: Thanks for the recommendation. I ordered it through our county's inter-library loan. One of my mother's aunts was a bootlegger in Toronto back in the 1920's. A lot of the hard liquor available at US speakeasies in those days probably came from Ontario distilleries owned by Samuel Bronfman. US Prohibition made him the wealthiest man in Canada. In the early 1920's, it was supposedly illegal to drink booze in Ontario but not to produce it for "export". A lot of it was shipped across the Detroit River from Walkerville (to the Purple Gang, which was mostly Jewish) and across Lake Erie to Ohio (to Lewis Rosenstiel). The book should be an interesting read.

Robert L. Trivers, The Folly of Fools, The Logic of Deceit and zeelf-Deception in Human Life.
From NYT review, "Fooling others yields obvious benefits, but why do we so often fool ourselves? Trivers provides a couple of answers. First, believing that we’re smarter, sexier and more righteous than we really are — or than others consider us to be — can help us seduce and persuade others and even improve our health, via the placebo effect, for example. And the more we believe our own lies, the more sincerely, and hence effectively, we can lie to others. “We hide reality from our conscious minds the better to hide it from onlookers,” Trivers explains. But our illusions can have devastating consequences, from the dissolution of a marriage to stock-market collapses and world wars."

Rocky: I did not realize that prohibition extended to Canada but did know that a lot of the liquor in to the US was "imported" from Canada.

I am reading Game of Thrones the whole collection...frankly don't see the point on why anyone would give a crap on what Scott is reading...unless his ego is bigger then his ass and wants everyone to know

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