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APRIL 2000 AND More Winter / Spring 2000 Books
Check out Passover and Haggadahs page. Cozy up with a warm Jewish Book.

APRIL 2000 JEWISH BOOKS

[bookcover] The View from Nebo : How Archaelogy Is Rewriting the Bible and Reshaping the Middle East by Amy Dockser Marcus
(April 2000) Little Brown. What better lead in for sales of this could the publisher have asked for, than Pope JPII's visit to Mount Nebo to look towards the promised land this past March (2000). You are probably familiar with nearly a decade of Ms Marcus' reports from Israel and the Middle East for The Wall Street Journal. In this book, she reports on cutting edge archeology research from Meggido, Jerusalem, Hazor, and other sites. Did King David really exist? Where is YHVH mentioned? While some digs have found many pig bones other have found that few people in the Near East ate pigs. So were the laws of kashrut so different? Who constructed the pyramids? Were they slaves or seasonal guest workers? Who was Abraham? What do digs tell us about the Ammonites? As to whether this is changing Middle East politics... well that is doubtful. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging by Rachel Naomi Remen
(Hardcover - 368 pages (April 10, 2000). The wisdom she learned from her grandfather, a kabbalist and mystic. Celebrate your blessings. Excellent stories. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[book] A Survivor's Haggadah by Yosef Dov Sheinson and Saul Touster (Editor). Woodcuts by Miklos Adler
JEWISH PUBLICATION SOCIETY (March 2000). At a DP (displaced persons) Camp in Munchen (Munich) Germany, a year after the end of WWII, a seder was held. It was a year after liberation from the Nazi death camps. A unique haggadah was used, and then forgotten. This is a recreation of that haggadah that was rediscovered in 1996, that was filled with disturbing woodcuts. In addition to the standard haggadah, personal lines were inserted, such as in addition to being slaves to Pharoah in Egypt, "we were slaves to Hitler in Germany." The heart of the work was not created by a group or organization but by one dedicated man, Lithuanian teacher and writer Yosef Dov Sheinson, who not only wrote the haggadah but also designed it. Brandeis Emeritus Professor Saul Touster provides not only the history behind this haggadah but also an incisive commentary that reveals the startling emotional depth the words and illustrations possess. A collectors item, for sure.
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[bookcover] Witness: Voices from the Holocaust Edited by Joshua M. Greene, Shiva Kumar, and Lawrence L. Langer
(April 2000) Free Press. To accompany the films based on the Fortunoff Archives of Survivor testimonies at Yale University, the highly acclaimed book provides just 27 of the powerful testimonies in horrific detail. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] The Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Life-Cycle Events by Nina Beth Cardin:
(April 2000) Behrman House. 320 pages. A better tapestry than Carole King... Rabbi Cardin, a pulpit rabbi in Baltimore, who gave us the acclaimed book on infertility last year, has written this guide to Jewish Time, which incorporates the life cycle, history, legend, rituals, current celebrations, and suggestions for new celebrations. She details info on Shabbat, New Moon, holidays, and life event celebrations, and includes blank pages for your own celebrations. Also included are also very personal details on her life and how Jewish Time has played a role, including details on the illness of her husband and her son's desire to be Christian. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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Click here for her book on Loss and Infertility.



[bookcover] The Roots of Nazi Psychology by Jay Gonen
University of Kentucky Press. 240 pages, April 2000.
Gonen, author of the Psychohistory of Zionism, gives a Freudian and psychological analysis of Nazi antisemitism, the Volish state, of Hitler, Mein Kampf, his speeches, his delusions, his fears, and his writings. Also an analysis of lebensraum. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Jewish: Does it Make A Difference by Elvira and Mihai Nadin
Hardcover - 284 pages (April 1, 2000). Hmm,,, although the book is being released on April Fools Day, do not despair. over a six-year period Mihai and Elvira Nadin distributed questionnaires, initiated telephone and Internet contacts, and otherwise interviewed thousands of Jews worldwide-from Hollywood to Istanbul, from Bremen to Lusaka-and asked quite pointedly, Does being Jewish make a difference in your life? Click to read more reviews of this book and some quotes from Jewish celebs and others.
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[bookcover] Between Sodom and Eden : A Gay Journey Through Today's Changing Israel (Between Men--Between Women) by Lee Walzer
Hardcover - 368 pages (April 2000) Columbia University Press. In the late 1990's, Lee Walzer, a gay jew, traveled to Israel to explore the Bible and progressive civil rights. He explored Israeli personal and state identity today, and the changes in the idea of individualism and collectivism. The reader gets a glimpse of gay and lesbian life in Israel through Walzer's interviews with students, teachers, couples, politicians, etc., from the cities to the farms, where he finds more heterosexism than homophobia. He traces the political, religious, and social factors that make Israel a gay rights trendsetter, examining the interplay between Judaism and homosexuality, the growing prominence of gay themes in Israeli literature, film, music, and television, and the role of the media in advancing lesbian and gay political progress Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Jewish Political Tradition, Vol.1 by Michael Walzer (Editor), Menachem Lorberbaum (Editor), Yair Lorberbaum (Editor) and Noam Zohar
Hardcover - 592 pages (April 2000) Yale Univ Press. The first volume in a new series that will define an entirely new field within Jewish Studies by identifying a Jewish political tradition. Michael Walzer is the very prominent editor of the series, providing introductions to the volume and project as well as to each chapter. It is based on documents covering a time span over 2000 years. THIS VOLUME CONCERNS AUTHORITY. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover click me] Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World by Sarah Vowell
Hardcover - 224 pages (April 2000). Move over David Sedaris, and make room for Sarah Vowell of NPR fame. Insightful and funny essays. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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MORE MARCH 2000 JEWISH BOOKS
[book] Samir and Yonatan by Danielle Carmi, Yael Lotan (Translator)
Reading level: Ages 9-12 Hardcover - 192 pages (March 2000). A story of healing which is NOT heavy handed. Samir's younger brother, Fadi, is killed by Israeli soldiers on the West Bank. While paying homage with his bike to Fadi, Samir shatters his knee and must be hospitalized in the "Jews" hospital. Samir must spend several weeks in a ward with Jewish patients, and because the border is sealed, he is stuck. There, he and his new friend, Yonatan, learn to heal physically and emotionally. Samir has one good leg and two good hands, Yonatan has two good legs and one good hand; so together they have three legs and three hands, and one very dreamy spacey imagination.
Click here to read more about it, see the cover art, to review it, or to purchase it from Amazon (net proceeds are donated to charity)




[bookcover] Nazi Policy, Jewish Labor, German Killers by Christopher R. Browning
March 2000. Cambridge University Press. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] King David : An Unauthorized Biography by Steven L. McKenzie
Hardcover - 272 pages (April 2000) Oxford Univ Press. a revisionist account of King David, portraying him as tyrannical with lots of sex and violence. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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MORE FEBRUARY 2000 JEWISH BOOKS

Case Studies in Jewish Business Ethics by Aaron Levine
Ktav publishing
Rabbi Levine, an Economist at Yeshiva University, illustrates in great repetition Jewish laws on advertising, marketing, pricing, salesmanship, labor relations, PERMISSIBLE LIES, and ethics. Differing points of view are provided but each case ends with a definitive judgement


[bookcover] Remnants of Auschwitz : The Witness and the Archive by Giorgio Agamben (University of Verona), Daniel Heller-Roazen (Translator)
Hardcover - 176 pages (February 2000) MIT Press. A philosophical study of the testimony of Auschwitz survivors. Professor Agamben writes, ""In its form, this book is a kind of perpetual commentary on testimony. It did not seem possible to proceed otherwise. At a certain point, it became clear that testimony contained at its core an essential lacuna; in other words, the survivors bore witness to something it is impossible to bear witness to. As a consequence, commenting on survivors' testimony necessarily meant interrogating this lacuna or, more precisely, attempting to listen to it. Listening to something absent did not prove fruitless work for this author. Above all, it made it necessary to clear away almost all the doctrines that, since Auschwitz, have been advanced in the name of ethics." Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[book] The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart
Paperback - 374 pages (February 2000). Reissue from 1959. Winner of the Goncourt Prix. In the year 1185 it was determined that one member in each generation of the Levy family would be a "just man" a guardian of his people. Ernie Levy, who comes of age on the eve of the Nazi Holocaust is the "last of the just." Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Himmler's Jewish Tailor: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Jacob Frank (Religion, Theology and the Holocaust) by Jacob Frank, Mark Lewis
Hardcover - 320 pages (February 2000). Jacob Frank, 87, born in Lublin, survived half a decade in labor camps, including Lipowa, Majdanek, and Dachau. He witnessed the destruction of the Lublin ghetto. At one work camp, he supervised the tailoring of leather coats for the Nazi elite, Himmler, and Eichmann. This is his story. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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EVEN MORE WINTER 2000 BOOKS
[bookcover click me] Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion by John Bierman, Colin Smith
Hardcover - 352 pages (January 2000) Random House. This is the story of Wingate. Nearly every street in Israel has a street named for Wingate. Orde Wingate, British depressive, self destructive, army hero, but passionate supporter of Zionism is the founder of early Israeli IDF strategy and training. At 5 foot 6 inches, he was someone not to be messed with. Some thought him a madman. He was of strong character and will, and although he hung out naked, it was symbolic of his Dont mess with me attitude. He founded the "Special Night Sqauds" in Palestine 1936-1938 to ambush Arabs. His soldiers included Moshe Dayan and Chaim Weizmann. Because he befriended Jews, (and not Lawrence's Arabs) he was sent to Ethiopia/Abyssinia where he kicked out the Italians. As a reward, he was demoted and sent to the jungles of Burma. He became a hero in Burma and Churchill was impressed. Wingate returned to Bruma, where he was killed in 1944. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery (since he was killed on an American B-25, is a joint effort with the Americans). Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover click me] Rabin and Israel's National Security by Efraim Inbar
Hardcover - 276 pages (July 1999) Woodrow Wilson Center Press. A clear and unemotional examination of Rabin's impact on Israeli government, security and military affairs, including his influence through his personnel appointments, arms acquisitions and policies. Inbar, of teacher at Bar Ilan, raises interesting ideas on whether the Deri Affair and the lapse in Syrian Peace negotiations led Rabin to travel to Washington DC to sign with the PA and Arafat. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Biblical Holy Places: An Illustrated Guide by Rivka Gonen
Don't be scared off by The Paulist Press. This 288 page guide is, as it says, a guide to biblical sites. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Jerusalem, Take One : Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker by Alan Rosenthal
A memoir by the filmmaker behind such film projects as The Eichmann trial, the development of Israel Television, the Oslo agreement documentary, the search for the menorah from the Second Temple, the history of Zionism on the television screen, and the Yom Kippur War and Project. As he recalls these events with humor and wit, Rosenthal's words recapture the emotions and feel of those times as vividly as his lens recorded their passing. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Confessions of a Rabbi and a Psychic by Shmuley Boteach, Uri Geller
March 2000. Lashon hara prevents me from reviewing the book. Hehe. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Modern Jewish Mythologies by Glenda Abramson (Editor)
March 2000. The function of myth in Jewish cultural social political and psychological life. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[book] Where There's Smoke, There's Salmon: The Book of Jewish Proverbs by Michael Levin.
Paperback (December 1999) Cute title, serious filling. Anthology of Jewish proverbs in money, faith, family, etc. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover click me] Fathers Aren't Supposed to Die: Five Brothers Reunite to Say Goodbye by T. M. Shine
Hardcover - 224 pages (April 2000) Simon & Schuster. Journalist Shine tells a gripping, painful story of the time he and his 4 brothers, all leading different lives, reunite when their father has a brain hematoma at age 78. They relive their lives. A story of sorrow, humor, and regret. Each sees a different father, just like the 5 blind men who try to describe an elephant. The reader is introduced to life in a hospital, waiting, waiting, wondering when a doctor might grace them with some information. Guess what.. in real life things don't neat endly, and neither will this book. An excellent read. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover click me] Einstein's German World by Fritz Richard Stern
Hardcover Princeton Univ Press. Fritz Stern, America's eminent German Historian provides this collection of essays in the pre War period. Stern is the godson of Fritz Haber, the Jewish German chemist who converted to Christianity and was a supporter of the German military during WW One. Haber was a friend of Einstein, who stood in direct conflict with Einstein's pacifism and hate of militarism. Both Haber and Einstein were forced to flee Germany after the Nazi's gained power. Haber died with a year of fleeing. This is in the enlightening first essay. Another essay rails against Daniel Goldhagen's book, Hitlers Willing Executioners." Other essays include discussions on Paul Ehrlich the microbiologist and the physicist, Max Planck. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover click me] The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi by Michael R. Molnar
Molnar an astronomer and physicist argues that on April 17, 6 BCE, the planet Jupiter appeared in the Aries constellation. This was the star of the Magi and Bethlehem. Jupiter, a regal planet/star, was viewed as an announcement of the birth of royalty. Aries was seen as a symbol of Judea. On the other hand, the writer of the Book of Matthew (around 50 BC) may just have included a star story to give credence to the story of the birth of a royal figure. Whatever. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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