Reviews

Books

A Wrenching Look at Alzheimer’s

In her book, Slow Dancing with a Stranger, Comer details her excruciating journey through the maze of Alzheimer’s, an unforgiving disease. Through this book, she is changing the conversation from acceptance of what is to demanding what should be.
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Reviews

Can a Spiritual Outlook Regenerate Our Social Institutions?

Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture by Peter Gabel. Review by Kim Chernin.

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Books

Peter Gabel Responds

While I appreciate these serious, thoughtful responses to my book by Roger Gottlieb and Kim Chernin, I do not quite see myself reflected in their respective descriptions of the role of spirit (Gottlieb), or the role of hope (Chernin). My …
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Reviews

Visionary Hope

Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture by Peter Gabel
Review by Roger S. Gottlieb

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Culture

Ready and Rising: A Review of Sariyah Idan’s New Album

It seems like every summer there’s an album that comes along and rocks my world. When I first listened to this album in my car during my morning commute, the fierce lyrics and smooth rhythm on Deeper at once captivated me.
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Books

Beyond the Narrow Straits of Memory

We must face stories of suffering children, as well as the stories of suffering that we tell to children, in order to understand the religious tropes at work in American culture…. By facing our wounds across boundaries, we can struggle toward the blueprints of rebuilding our memoryscape.
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Books

To Deserve Such Pain

During his lifetime, Leonid Tsypkin, who survived Hitler and Stalin only to face the sterility to post-war Soviet life, was forced to write “for the drawer.” Discovered by today’s audience, his style, which blurs the background while simultaneously capturing the specific, has special resonance in an age of near-total surveillance.
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Books

A Painful Past Remembered from Within: Frederic Tubach’s Book on the German Experience During the Third Reich

At once a crash course in the history of Nazi Germany and a weaving together of non-Jewish Germans’ personal recollections, German Voices conveys a sense of what life was like for the average person living under Hitler. While acknowledging that no amount of understanding or empathy can heal the generational wounds of the Holocaust, Tubach nevertheless brings an identifiable human dimension to a period of history that is often dismissed as too horrific to comprehend.
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Books

Dream-Wizardry: A Collaboration Between Rodger Kamenetz and Michael Hafftka

Jacob and Joseph begat Freud who begat Jung, who begat the poet Rodger Kamenetz and the visual artist Michael Hafftka. Their collaborative wizardry, published in the book To Die Next To You, is stunning. The poems and drawings (always paired) create vivid, waking dreams on psychological and spiritual subjects—dreams that are as resistant and open to interpretation as Pharaoh’s.
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Books

Faith and the Metaphor Muscle

To grapple well with the big challenges of our times, Hering says, we need to reclaim the language of myth, metaphor, and imagination.
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Books

Joyful Poems of Leave-Taking and Transience

Without a Claim is a book of leave-taking and transience, filled with poems about loss and decline, poems that look at the world intently but refuse to cling or assert dominion.
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Books

A Secular Analysis of Evil

In the second book of his trilogy, Lawrence Swaim explains in strictly human terms what causes aggression to replicate itself and how aggression—when rationalized, concealed, or dissembled—can become evil.
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Books

Very Much Present at the Creation: John Judis’s Book on American Jews and the Establishment of Israel

Judis’s Genesis, which stresses the importance of American Jewish/Zionist activism and lobbying in persuading President Harry Truman to support the establishment of a Jewish state, is not that different from the received narrative. What is different is that Judis makes explicit that he doesn’t understand how American Jewish liberals could so completely forsake their liberal ideas in opposing Palestinian efforts to retain their homeland.
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Books

Alona Kimhi’s Magical Brutalism

Lily La Tigresse is unsparing in its critique, but it’s also seminal in terms of launching its indictment of Israel—a society that, in Kimhi’s view, is no more generous or compassionate than the barbarous terrain of Europe, not to mention the U.S.S.R.
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Reviews

To Know Us, Study Our Arguments

Edmond H. Weiss reviews Judaism’s Great Debates: Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl by Barry L. Schwartz.
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