Book Reviews

The Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur

The Magerman Edition
by Daniel Rose & Jay Goldmintz
Koren Publishers
2014

The Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur is one of the latest in Koren’s growing collection of siddurim (prayer books) geared towards a specific demographic. Koren describes Ani Tefilla as “an engaging and thought-provoking siddur for the inquiring high school student and thoughtful adult.” Koren says that Ani Tefillah has been developed in order “to help the user create their own meaning and connection during the Tefilla [prayer] experience.” The name of the siddur is connected with its objective. Ani Tefilla means “I pray.” 

Before purchasing The...

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First Steps in Messianic Jewish Prayer

by Aaron Eby
First Fruits of Zion
2014

For those starting their journey into Messianic Jewish prayer, First Steps in Messianic Jewish Prayer (FSIMJP), by Aaron Eby, is a great place to start. Many people coming into Messianic Judaism find Messianic Jewish prayer a foreign affair. Therefore, there is a great need of resources to educate in the area of prayer from this perspective. Eby’s work is comprised of three sections. Part one is his teaching on prayer as a whole. Part two is his commentary on specific liturgical prayers. Part three contains the text of specific prayers in Hebrew and in English....

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The Hirsch Pirkei Avos

Chapters of the Fathers
by Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch
Feldheim Publishers
2014

For those who are unfamiliar, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, of blessed memory, was a nineteenth century German rabbi who fought to maintain that Torah observance was not incompatible with a modern life. At the same time, however, he adamantly opposed the compromises being introduced by the rise of both Reform and Conservative Judaism during his lifetime. He is known as the father of “neo-Orthodoxy.” According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Hirsch had a unique relationship with Pirkei Avot in that it both inspired and informed him for his revolutionary approach to Torah study and...

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Jesus: First Century Rabbi

by Rabbi David Zaslow
Paraclete Press
2014

If, like myself, you have never heard of Rabbi David Zaslow until now his name let me happily introduce you to his ground-breaking work, Jesus: First Century Jew from Paraclete Press. Continuing in the line of recent works of interfaith dialogue between Judaism and Christianity, Zaslow takes his place among the key players and pushes the envelop beyond what I have seen from his peers. His Jesus, takes the place of what many within evangelical Christianity and the Messianic movement hoped would become of Shmuley Boteach’s Kosher Jesus. Zaslow, with pure respect for Christianity...

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Hillel

If Not Now, When?
by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Schoken Books
2010

Joseph Telushkin has long been a favorite author of mine. His monumental work, A Code of Jewish Ethics — a multivolume compendium on the various aspects of Jewish ethics — is both a source of inspiration as well as a quick reference to the various facets of ethics from a Jewish perspective. Although released over three years ago, this work on the great sage Hillel is one which is equally important in its own way.

In Hillel, Telushkin works from a simple premise: Even though Hillel is one of the central voices within Judaism, have we forgotten the values he has given...

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Jude on Faith and the Destructive Influence of Heresy

by Rabbi Joshua Brumbach
Lederer
2014

Let’s face it. The book of Jude, in the Apostolic canon of Scripture, is one of the most overlooked and superficially understood epistles in the entire Bible. Within the Apostolic canon, the Pauline epistles are generally the primary focus of both clergy and laymen alike. Although the epistles of James and Jude are highly probable as being written by the actual brothers of our Master, they have been arranged within the canon to reside at the end, almost as an afterthought. After the Gospels, the Pauline epistles take center stage and are the primary texts which shape Christian thought and...

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Rebbe

The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History
by Joseph Telushkin
HarperWave
2014

In 2009, Sue Fishkoff released a book entitled, The Rebbe’s Army. This insightful work introduced us to the world of Lubavitch Chabad and the powerful influence it has had on the world through its shluchim, or “sent ones.” This work has aided both Jews and non-Jews in inspiring their organizations toward purpose and success. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher leader, Joseph Telushkin has brought us an exhaustive biography (over six hundred pages) on this remarkable Jewish leader simply known as “Rebbe.”...

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The Sabbath Table

by Vine of David
Vine of David
2014
The Sabbath Table - imageThe Sabbath Table - image...
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Chronicles of the Messiah

by D. Thomas Lancaster
First Fruits of Zion
2014

One of my favorite things to do is teach the Gospels, particularly when I am introducing others to the Jewish insights into the life and ministry of Jesus. Having good resources are extremely valuable to be able to do so effectively, and often requires an extensive library. But what if we were able to find nearly all of the information we need in a single source? A source such as this would be extremely valuable. I have found such a source in Chronicles of the Messiah from First Fruits of Zion. D. T. Lancaster offers a well-rounded, well-documented approach to the Gospels...

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Mishnah and the Words of Jesus

by Dr. Roy B. Blizzard
Bible Scholars, Inc.
2013

One of my first exposures to Hebraic thought was a book by Dr. Roy Blizzard and David Bivin called, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus. I still have this little book and still recommend it to people who are new to these things. After fifteen years from my first exposure to his work, it’s good to see him producing new titles. Mishnah and the Words of Jesus (MWJ) is one of several works which he has recently released. This particular title caught my attention, because I have been studying the relationship between the words of Yeshua and that of the sages for a...

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