Jewish Book Carnival – Sukkot (October) Edition


Homeshuling is delighted to host this month’s Jewish Book Carnival, a gathering of blog posts about Jewish books.  Enjoy your visits to all the participating blogs, and please help promote the carnival by posting a link on your own blog and whatever other social media you use.

Let’s start with the grown-up books (“adult books” just doesn’t sound kosher…)

The Boston Bibliophile reviews the novel The North of God, part of the Art of the Novella  series, by Steve Stern.


On My Machberet, Erika Dreifus shares a review of The Last Brother, a novel by Nathacha Appanah (trans. Geoffrey Strachan) that is inspired by the little-known history of Jewish refugees from Europe who were interned on the island of Mauritius during World War II.

Needle in the Bookstacks writes about online access to a variety of rare mahzorim (high holiday prayer books) with plenty of helpful links to follow.

Ned Beauman (Boxer, Beetle) writes about anti-Semitism of a complex kind for the Jewish Book Council blog.


Here’s a review of John Lennon and the Jews which was linked to on the Jewish Book Council Blog.

Jonathan Kirsch at The Jewish Journal reviews a memoir by Erica Heller, daughter of Jospeh Heller – Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a Catch-22

At there’s a review of the blogger’s own work of biblical fiction, Destiny’s Call.


For kids (and their parents and teachers):

Kathy Bloomfield at continues to link children’s books to the values in the Eilu D’Varim prayer (“These are the obligations…”). This month forwordsbooks is exploring G’Milut Chasadim/Acts of Loving Kindness.

The Whole Megillah shares a review and some interesting information about the creation of Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast.


Syliva Rouss shares a children’s story for Simchat Torah as well as some songs and recipes at her website.

Jane Says writes about the beloved series All of a Kind Family.

Linda K. Wertheimer prepares for the high holidays with a children’s book.

Ann D. Koffsky shares a Rosh Hashanah coloring page.

Here at homeshuling I blogged about using a favorite Kevin Henkes book to teach about Yom Kippur.

And for all you authors:

Heidi Estrin blogs about a Write Your Own Megillah challenge and contest over at the Book of Life.

Moadim L’simcha!

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Sheyna Galyan

posted October 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Nice to know I’m not the only one who has to qualify “adult books.” Thanks for hosting. Chag sameach!

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Pingback: October Jewish Book Carnival | Jewish Book Council Blog

M. Gisser

posted October 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

BOOK RELEASE “Religion of Reason” (2nd Ed. 417 pp)
by founder Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim
Free PDF preview:

Book reviews below by OU Exec. VP Rabbi Steven Weil, and Young Israel Rabbi, Rabbi Reuven Mann.

Jews have succumbed to man-made religion, mysticism and pop-kabballa; a thoughtless approach. Ten years in the making, Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim cites Torah’s authorities, unveiling the fallacy of widespread beliefs. He focuses on Torah’s brilliance and method of decryption; unraveling many Talmudic metaphors and interpreting texts to reveal hidden gems. “Judaism is the only religion based on intelligence: the only key that unlocks God’s wisdom.” Readers will enjoy a long overdue, rational expose of cultural beliefs, and a unique look at Torah’s deep insights.

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim has been a Jewish educator for 25 years. He is the founder of and publisher of the JewishTimes. He continues to write and lecture on Torah, assisting Jew and Gentile alike in their desire to live a rich and fulfilling life as God intended.

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Delin Colón

posted October 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

May I add to the list a review, by Dr. Rabbi Israel Drazin, of my book “Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History”. As described on Amazon:
“This book is a well-documented account of Rasputin as a healer, equal rights activist and man of God, and why he was so vilified by the aristocracy that their vicious rumors became accepted as history. For nearly a century, Grigory Rasputin, spiritual advisor to Russia’s last Tsar and Tsarina, has been unjustly maligned simply because history is written by the politically powerful and not by the common man. A wealth of evidence shows that Rasputin was discredited by a fanatically anti-Semitic Russian society, for advocating equal rights for the severely oppressed Jewish population, as well as for promoting peace in a pro-war era. Testimony by his friends and enemies, from all social strata, provides a picture of a spiritual man who hated bigotry, inequity and violence. The author is the great-great niece of Aron Simanovitch, Rasputin’s Jewish secretary.”

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Ralph Dinlocker

posted October 24, 2011 at 7:45 pm

An excerpt from “THE TORAH-The Director’s Cut”…God & Moses complain to the author about modern translations:

“Lemme see that.” Moses grabbed the book and studied, “Rosh Hashanah.” He tossed the book back to me. “They mean Rosh Hashanah. The New Year. We blew the shofar to get people’s attention so they’d come to pray. They got nothing about that in there either?”
“Like you said, it’s not written by Jews.” I checked the book, “They got the Day of Atonement right.”
“Who would have believed it?” Moses chuckled, “Rosh Hashanah, they miss, but Yom Kippur they got. Go figure.”
“But they didn’t write anything about fasting. They just wrote, ‘deny yourselves.’”
“What? Deny yourselves what? They don’t say what? I distinctly wrote they should fast. I remember.” He turned to God, “I wrote they should fast. You saw it.”
“They should fast . . . I remember,” the Almighty yawned.
“You see . . . you see what we’ve had to put up with? What’s next?”
“Feast of the Tabernacles. The fifteenth day of . . .”
“Sukkot,” Moses sighed. “It’s called Sukkot.”
“Hey! I remember that. You built a framework hut of sticks . . .”
“It’s called a sukkah.”
“ . . . and you hung it with fruit and stuff.”
“You were supposed to live in it, shmendrick, not just build it like a science project.”
“I guess,” I shrugged. “Says here you brought the first parts of the harvest to it along with wine, oil, flour and a lamb that you cooked. And you didn’t eat anything until you offered it to God.”
The Almighty sighed, “The cooking made a smell . . .”
“In Brooklyn, we just had to watch the Rabbis build it.”
“And you wonder why the Dodgers left? What’s next?”

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