Rabbi Small takes a break from solving murder cases to investigate a far greater mystery: the intricacies of Judaism
In Conversations with Rabbi Small, the rabbi finds himself taking a well-deserved vacation at a Jewish retreat in the mountains, where he reads, plays cards, and furthers his studies, which have been languishing for too long. When the rabbi’s wife is called back to the city to deal with an illness in the family, the rabbi meets a curious young woman in the midst of a life-changing moment.
Joan is a gentile who is about to marry a Jewish man, and she is desperate for answers as she determines whether or not to convert to her betrothed’s religion. In Rabbi Small, she finds an ideal teacher. In a series of impassioned conversations, the rabbi guides her through the ancient mysteries and wonders of Judaism, giving guidance to both her and her husband-to-be. With humor and compassion, the rabbi shares the history, beliefs, and traditions that have linked Jewish people across the world for millennia.
Joseph Telushkin - Jewish Literacy
What does it mean to be a Jew? How does one begin to answer so extensive a question? In this insightful and completely updated tome, esteemed rabbi and bestselling author Joseph Telushkin helps answer the question of what it means to be a Jew, in the largest sense. Widely recognized as one of the most respected and indispensable reference books on Jewish life, culture, tradition, and religion, Jewish Literacy covers every essential aspect of the Jewish people and Judaism. In 352 short and engaging chapters, Rabbi Telushkin discusses everything from the Jewish Bible and Talmud to Jewish notions of ethics to antisemitism and the Holocaust; from the history of Jews around the world to Zionism and the politics of a Jewish state; from the significance of religious traditions and holidays to how they are practiced in daily life. Whether you want to know more about Judaism in general or have specific questions you'd like answered, Jewish Literacy is sure to contain the information you need. Rabbi Telushkin's expert knowledge of Judaism makes the updated and revised edition of Jewish Literacy an invaluable reference. A comprehensive yet thoroughly accessible resource for anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of Judaism, Jewish Literacy is a must for every Jewish home.
James A. Michener - The Source
In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four modern men and women, we experience the entire colorful history of the Jews, including the life of the early Hebrews and their persecutions, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, all the way to the founding of present-day Israel and the Middle-East conflict. "A sweeping chronology filled with excitement." THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
György Dalos - The Circumcision
Set in Budapest in 1956, this is a humorous and insightful portrait of the ambivalence an adolescent Jewish boy feels about his belated circumcision and his identity. A self-proclaimed 'Hungarian Communist Jew for Christ', twelve-year-old Robi Singer has a lot on his plate. He is a 'half-orphan', he is painfully overweight and what's more, he has yet to be circumcised. With his Bar Mitzvah fast approaching, the pressure is on. To make matters worse, Robi's not sure he wants to be Jewish at all. As his hypochondriac mother is more concerned about her secret affair with 'Uncle' Moric, Robi's only ally against the teachers at his Jewish school is his eccentric, headstrong grandmother. It seems everyone has an opinion on what he should do, but ultimately Robi must make his own decision. György Dalos, born in Budapest in 1943, was arrested in 1968 for “activities against the state” and his work was banned for 19 years.
Jo Walton - Farthing (angol)
Eight years after they overthrew Churchill and led Britain into a separate peace with Hitler, the upper-crust families of the “Farthing set” are gathered for a weekend retreat. Among them is estranged Farthing scion Lucy Kahn, who can’t understand why her and her husband David’s presence was so forcefully requested. Then the country-house idyll is interrupted when the eminent Sir James Thirkie is found murdered—with a yellow Star of David pinned to his chest. Lucy begins to realize that her Jewish husband is about to be framed for the crime—an outcome that would be convenient for altogether too many of the various political machinations underway in Parliament in the coming week. But whoever’s behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn’t reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts and underdogs—and prone to look beyond the obvious as a result. As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out—a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.
Amy Harmon - From Sand and Ash
_Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II._ As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood. Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church. But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.
John Boyne - The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas. Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.
John Maisel - Isten-e Jézus? / Is Jesus God?
A Moszkvai Állami Egyetem tanárai és hallgatói számára tartott előadás átdolgozott anyaga. Az egyik oldalon angol, a másikon magyar nyelven! ELŐSZÓ Ezt az előadást a Moszkvai Állami Egyetem tanári kara és hallgatói számára tartottam a Szovjetunióban 1990-ben. Hallgatóságom nagyrészt ateista, templomba nem járó tanárokból és hallgatókból állt, akiknek nem volt ismeretük a keresztény hitről, sem bibliai tájékozottságuk. Az volt a célom, hogy világossá tegyem Jézus Krisztus személye; állításai és céljai egyedülálló voltát, és érthetően elmagyarázzam, hogyan létesíthet valaki kapcsolatot az igaz, élő Istennel Jézus Krisztuson keresztül. Az előadás eredményeként a hallgatóság nagy része jelezte, hagy szeretne velem imádkozni, és átadta az életét Jézusnak. Mint azt az egyik egyetemi tanár mondta: „Ez az első alkalom, hogy a keresztény hit egyedülállóságának ésszerű magyarázatát hallottam.” Egy másik, fizika szakos tanár ezt mondta nekem: „Az egyetlen alkalom, amikor valaha is Istenre gondoltam akkor volt, amikor az ateista szemléletű tanári vizsgáimat tettem. Valamilyen ismeretlen okból eljöttem az ön előadására, és most már tudom, hogy csakis Isten töltheti be életem ürességét.” Remélem, hogy ha bőséges életet és megbocsátást keres, meg fogja találni e kis könyv olvasása közben, még akkor is, ha nem ateista, és jár templomba. Szeretném hálámat kifejezni Jane Prattnek, azért a jó néhány óráért, melyet számítógépe előtt töltött begépelve és újragépelve ezt a magnófelvételről lejegyzett előadást; Jan Rodgernek, Carolyn Prince-nek, Ed és Catherine Headingtonnak szerkesztésbeli szaktudásukért, mellyel segítettek egy szóban elhangzott előadást könyv alakban olvashatóvá tenni. Isten áldásával John M. Maisel
Paul Auster - Timbuktu (angol)
'Auster's power of empathy is unexpected, crucial, even delightful.' Ali Smith, _Scotsman_ Meet Mr. Bones, canine sidekick of Willy G. Christmas, a brilliant, troubled, and altogether original poet-saint from Brooklyn, New York. Together, Bones and Christmas sally forth to Baltimore, on a last great adventure in search of Willy's beloved mentor Bea Swanson - who used to know him as William Gurevitch, son of Polish war refugees. But is she still alive?
L. Lester Grabbe - An Introduction to Second Temple Judaism
This introduction, by a world leader in the field, provides the perfect guide to the Second Temple Period, its history, literature, and religious setting. Lester Grabbe magisterially guides the reader through the period providing a careful overview of the most studied sources, the history surrounding them and the various currents within Judaism at the time. This book will be a core text for courses on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, as well as Qumran, Intertestamental Literature and Early Judaism.
Hannah Arendt - Eichmann in Jerusalem
Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt's authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared as a series of articles in the New Yorker in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt's postscript directly addressing the controversy that arose over her account. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, Eichmann in Jerusalem is as shocking as it is informative-an unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the twentieth century.
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Here is a small fact: You are going to die. 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. Some important information: This novel is narrated by Death. It's a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery. Another thing you should know: Death will visit the book thief three times...
Anne Rice - Servant of the Bones
It is an autobiographical account of the creation and subsequent existence of a genii, Azriel. It is a story told as a fireside chat and it is rich with historical accounts of Azriel's life as a displaced Jew/rich merchant's son in Babylon at the time of its conquest by Cyrus the Persian. There are also glimpses of life in ancient Miletus, in Strasbourg during a pogram, and New York City of the 1990s. Explanation of the novel's title: Throughout the novel, Azriel is struggling to understand whether he is a ghost, a demon, or an angel. He is trying to understand why his god has denied him the Stairway to Heaven by allowing him to be made into an immortal spirit who is bound to the gold-encased bones of his mortal body. As a genie, he must obey the Master of those bones (whoever has them at the moment) and become the Master's Servant of good or evil. Thus the title, Servant of the Bones. Plot summary Azriel is telling the story of his transformation into and subsequent existence as an immortal genii who is forced to obey the Master who calls him. Over centuries, Azriel becomes less obedient to the Masters and a warning is placed on the casket of his bones that he is not to be summoned lest his evil be loosed upon the undeserving world. After many centuries of rest, Azriel finds himself awake and in New York City, a dazed witness to the murder of a young woman, Esther Belkin. He becomes inexplicably obsessed with the desire to avenge her death and to find out who called him into the physical world in time to see Esther die but not in time to save her. This quest leads him to the girl's stepfather, Gregory Belkin, who would pay any price to fulfill his messianic dream via his immense worldwide religious organization, the Temple of the Mind of God. As his quest approaches its climax, he risks his supernatural powers to forestall an attempt to destroy the world thus redeeming what was denied him for so long: his own eternal human soul.
Nicole Krauss - The History of Love
Leo Gursky is just about surviving life in America, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbour know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And, although he doesn't know it yet, the book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love. Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that very book and although she has her hands full keeping track of her little brother Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah), and taking copious notes on How to Survive in the Wild, she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake, and save her family. In her extraordinary new novel Nicole Krauss has created some of the most memorable and moving characters in recent fiction. In its heartbreaking exploration of hope and survival, of loneliness and the redemptive power of love, The History of Love confirms Nicole Krauss as one of the most remarkable writers of her generation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bernard Malamud - The Assistant
Bernard Malamud’s second novel, originally published in 1957, is the story of Morris Bober, a grocer in postwar Brooklyn, who “wants better” for himself and his family. First two robbers appear and hold him up; then things take a turn for the better when broken-nosed Frank Alpine becomes his assistant. But there are complications: Frank, whose reaction to Jews is ambivalent, falls in love with Helen Bober; at the same time he begins to steal from the store. Like Malamud’s best stories, this novel unerringly evokes an immigrant world of cramped circumstances and great expectations. Malamud defined the immigrant experience in a way that has proven vital for several generations of writers.
Michael Chabon - Moonglow
Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy us In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain in the ongoing magic act that is the art of Michael Chabon. Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession, made to his grandson, of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and desire and ordinary love, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid-century and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of the keeping of secrets and the telling of lies. A gripping, poignant, tragicomic, scrupulously researched and wholly imaginary transcript of a life that spanned the dark heart of the twentieth century, Moonglow is also a tour de force of speculative history in which Chabon attempts to reconstruct the mysterious origins and fate of Chabon Scientific, Co., an authentic mail-order novelty company whose ads for scale models of human skeletons, combustion engines and space rockets were once a fixture in the back pages of Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and Boy’s Life. Along the way Chabon devises and reveals, in bits and pieces whose hallucinatory intensity is matched only by their comic vigor and the radiant moonglow of his prose, a secret history of his own imagination. From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill Prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of “the American Century,” Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional non-fiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most daring, his most moving, his most Chabonesque.
Diane Ackerman - The Zookeeper's Wife
The New York Times bestseller: a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these "guests," and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became "The House Under a Crazy Star." Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story―sharing Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award. 8 pages of illustrations
György Spiró - Captivity
A literary sensation in Hungary, György Spiró’s Captivity is both a highly sophisticated historical novel and a gripping page-turner. Set in the tumultuous first century A.D., between the year of Christ’s death and the outbreak of the Jewish War, Captivity recounts the adventures of the feeble-bodied, bookish Uri, a young Roman Jew. Frustrated with his hapless son, Uri’s father sends the young man to the Holy Land to regain the family’s prestige. In Jerusalem, Uri is imprisoned by Herod and meets two thieves and (perhaps) Jesus before their crucifixion. Later, in cosmopolitan Alexandria, he undergoes a scholarly and sexual awakening—but must also escape a pogrom. Returning to Rome at last, he finds an entirely unexpected inheritance. Equal parts Homeric epic, brilliantly researched Jewish history, and picaresque adventure, Captivity is a dramatic tale of family, fate, and fortitude. In its weak-yet-valiant hero, fans will be reminded of Robert Graves’ classics of Ancient Rome, I, Claudius and Claudius the God.
Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl
Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl in her teens when she was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent 25 months during World War II in an annex of rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her diary, saved during the war by one of the family’s helpers, Miep Gies, was first published in 1947.
Simone Elkeles - How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation
(How to Ruin, #3) Guess who's jetting to the Holy Land this summer! Remember me, Amy Barak-Nelson—a.k.a the queen of disaster? In case you forgot, my boyfriend Avi is in the Israeli army. A visit is definitely in order. Somehow my grandmother convinced me to sign up for two weeks of pure hell in a military training base. Getting up before dawn, peeing in a hole, and playing war games in the desert isn't my idea of fun. But what's worse? Our team leader turns out to be Avi!