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My before and after life

IN her second novel, My Before and After Life (St. Martin’s Press), Risa Miller tackles the intellectual and emotional challenges of faith when she creates a plot of two sisters, Honey and Susan, attempting to rescue their elderly father from what they believe is his “born-again” discovery of Orthodox Judaism while he is on vacation in Israel.

Set in Brookline, a neighborhood of Boston, Miller weaves a family’s story and a Jewish community’s story, each struggling with its own complex relationships; the former is about the relationship between adult children and their parents, and the later is about the relationship between the Orthodox and the secular — faith and reason.

On a more profound level, Miller has both stories and the relationships struggle with the idea of truth — the Ultimate Truth — in a transcendent sort of way.

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 07:38 )

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Israeli, and Israel, coming of age

ISRAELI writer Haim Sabato’s newest novel, From the Four Winds creates a multi-textured story of survival and renewal based on families carried to Israel from the proverbial four corners of the earth by the force of hope. It is a story told slowly, rich in the development of the protagonist and a more subtle development of the narrator, a child. While it is a family story of survival it also a coming-of-age book for Sabato himself and for the State of Israel, both “growing up” in the late...

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 February 2010 08:39 )

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Who is a ‘good person’?

Who is a ‘good person’? SARAH’S Key is a novel about Sarah, a 10 year old girl, caught in the Vel’d’Hiv roundup in Paris during the summer of 1942. It is also the story of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living in Paris in 2002, assigned to cover the 60th anniversary of the roundup by French authorities. Jarmond is horrified to learn that 13,000 Jews, including thousands of children, were taken to a large indoor cycle track in the heart of Paris, as a holding space before loading all of the Jews onto buses ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 November 2009 01:40 )

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Genesis: the first principles of Judaism

IF you were looking for something new on the Torah as the reading cycle starts up again, may I suggest Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ Covenant and Conversation, a weekly reading of the Jewish Bible?This first volume, on the Book of Genesis, is a profound look at the narratives of the Torah’s central protaganists.For Sacks, chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, the Torah has a Jewish message, but a universal message as well. In his writing, he is concerned with reaching out to both communities. ...
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How long does a Holocaust debt live on?

IN her novel, The Pages in Between, Erin Einhorn brings Holocaust novel writing into a new era. She deals with the unexpected relationship between survivors and their non-Jewish saviors and the next generation of both. An American journalist, Einhorn sets out to revisit her mother’s ancestral home in Bedzin, Poland, hoping to find the woman who saved her mother in 1941. As is often the case when revisiting old family history, Einhorn learns more about herself, as she uncovers the details of he...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Foreign Affairs Committee’s Royce and Engel to visit Israel

Marcy Oster Reps. Ed Royce and Eliot Engel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will visit Israel this week. ... [Link]

Turkish Jews can stay mum on Israel’s Gaza op, Turkish Jewish intellectuals say

Marcy Oster Jewish citizens of Turkey are under no obligation to comment on Israel’s operation in Gaza, a group of Jewish intellectuals in Turkey said in an open letter. ... [Link]

U.S. calls on Israel to reverse land appropriation

Marcy Oster The United States called on Israel to cancel the government appropriation of West Bank land in the Etzion bloc, while Israeli ministers praised and panned the decision. ... [Link]

Artists in Brazilian exhibition protest Israeli funding

Marcy Oster Most of the artists participating in a major Brazilian art event protested funding for the show from the Israeli government. ... [Link]

Thousands rally against escalating anti-Semitism in Britain

Marcy Oster Thousands of people gathered for a rally in central London to protest the rise in anti-Semitism in Britain. ... [Link]

New children’s books: a tale from Spain, easing a young girl’s pain

mbrodsky Jacqueline Jules was inspired to write “Never Say a Mean Word, A Tale from Medieval Spain” by a Torah commentary she read — more than a dozen years ago. ... [Link]

U.N. peacekeepers flee Syrian rebel captives

Marcy Oster Filipino troops from the U.N. peacekeeping force on the Syria-Israel border escaped from the Syrian rebels holding them captive. ... [Link]

ICC prosecutor: ‘Palestine’ can file war crimes charges against Israel

Marcy Oster “Palestine” is eligible to join the Rome Statute and file war crimes charges against Israel, the International Criminal Court prosecutor said. ... [Link]

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