Esther in America

Edited by Stuart Halpern

The Book of Esther has inspired and impacted the American project since its very inception. Rabbis and ethicists, abolitionists and artists, preachers and presidents, have understood the text to speak to their moment. It has offered solace to immigrants, forged solidarity, impacted politics, and, in the spirit of Esther 4:14, roused individuals to realize that deliverance was not to come from some other place, but from their own heroic actions on behalf of their people. As we Americans once again find ourselves navigating antisemitism and bigotry, questioning the limits and purposes of power, reassessing gender dynamics, and grappling with how to keep an ethnically diverse empire from imploding, it is once again to Esther we must turn, to the timeless scroll that continues to urge us to find strength and redemptive possibility in the least expected of places. Includes the Megilla text.

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Esther in America

Places in the Parasha
Biblical Geography and Its Meaning

Yoel Elitzur
For the past two hundred years, adventurers, scholars, and other curious travelers have made their way to the Land of Israel to see and experience the places written about in the Bible.

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Places in the Parasha

Iran, Israel, and the Jews
Iran, Israel, and the Jews

Iran, Israel, and the Jews

Symbiosis and Conflict from the Achaemenids to the Islamic Republic

Aaron Koller and Daniel Tsadik (Editors)

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Gleanings
Reflections on Ruth

Rabbi Dr. Stuart W. Halpern (Editor)
A wide-ranging collection of essays inspired by the Book of Ruth. In this volume, contemporary scholars, educators, and community leaders offer their readings of Ruth and insights into its themes, through the prisms of their respective academic interests and professional fields. The topics of these essays range from poetry to populism, social work to American history, elder care to conversion to contemporary immigration.

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Creation: The Story of Beginnings

Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Grossman
In Creation: The Story of Beginnings, Jonathan Grossman unveils the hidden meaning of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. His insightful and creative literary analysis interweaves theology, psychology, and philosophy, extracting a fresh and refreshing understanding of the biblical text. Drawing upon the words of the sages and the great medieval commentators, and employing contemporary literary tools, Grossman journeys back to the beginning of creation to show how human initiative goes hand in hand with both sin and progress. This volume is part of the Maggid Tanakh Companion series and is published in partnership with YU Press.

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Constant Challenge: Sports and American Judaism

Jeffrey S. Gurock
For American Jewish historian Jeffrey S. Gurock, the sports metaphor highlights the challenges that Jewish life has faced in modern American society. Although athletics were once seen as the incursion of a foreign cultural phenomenon into Jewish life, attitudes have shifted in recent generations. What was once branded as an unproductive questionable activity has entered into the American Jewish experience, and has captured the allegiance of Jews on the track, gridiron, diamond, and court. Constant Challenge: Sports and American Judaism brings together nine intriguing essays that explore the different approaches to athletic activities within Jewish life. Together, this anthology identifies and discusses how Jewish communities cope with these challenges, navigating the delicate balance between religious identification and American sports culture. 

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What America Owes the Jews, What Jews Owe America

Jeffrey S. Gurock, Dara Horn, Norman Podhoretz, Rick Richman, Jonathan Sarna, Meir Soloveichik, and Tevi Troy

  • To what extent was the American idea founded on faith and on the Hebrew Bible?
  • Why did Abraham Lincoln feel such a close connection to the Jews?
  • Can religious communities in America remain true to their traditions while living in a secular culture?
  • How did the strong alliance between Americanism and Zionism develop?
  • What are the factors that brought about a migration of Jews from urban centers to the suburbs?
  • What makes Jewish literature “Jewish”?

What America Owes the Jews, What Jews Owe America is a collection of essays that explore the cultural, social, economic, and linguistic factors that have shaped the Jewish-American experience.  Featuring the works of seven thought-leaders and scholars, this volume comprises an essential text for lovers and observers of American and Jewish life.  With essays by Jeffrey S. Gurock, Dara Horn, Norman Podhoretz, Rick Richman, Jonathan Sarna, Meir Soloveichik, and Tevi Troy.

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A Commentary for the Ages

Set of 5

Rabbi Norman Lamm
Between 1952 and 1976, a young, erudite synagogue rabbi named Norman Lamm captivated his congregants with dynamic pulpit sermons. He challenged his audiences to filter out the noise and distractions of modern American life by listening to the divine voice, delving into the wisdom of the Torah. Derashot LeDorot is a selection of essays based on these stirring sermons, culled from the files of the Lamm Archives of Yeshiva University. Each essay features reflections on the weekly parasha, brilliantly illustrating Rabbi Lamm’s masterful pedagogy, deep intellectual rigor, and staunch commitment to the word of God. Today, Rabbi Lamm’s words remain as inspiring as they were when first delivered, passing on his wisdom to the next generations.

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Mitokh Ha-Ohel: Weekday Prayers

Essays on the Weekday Prayers

Yeshiva University Rabbis and Professors
The rabbis and professors of Yeshiva University come together the latest volume of Mitokh Ha-Ohel (Within the Tent) to present scholarly and insightful essays on the weekday prayers. Edited by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman and Dr. Stuart W. Halpern, Mitokh Ha-Ohel offers the insightful and varied perspectives of more than fifty Yeshiva University rabbis and scholars, including Rabbis Elchanan Adler, Yitzchok Cohen, Ozer Glickman, Herschel Schachter, and Yaakov Neuberger.

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False Facts and True Rumors

Lashon Hara in Contemporary Culture

Rabbi Daniel Feldman
In False Facts and True Rumors, Rabbi Daniel Feldman undertakes the vital task of examining the halakhic sources regarding lashon hara, derogatory speech, and applying them to today’s technology-driven world. Combining erudite knowledge of rabbinic texts, philosophy, and psychology, Rabbi Feldman explores this uncharted territory of contemporary Jewish life. Among the questions addressed are: How can it be prohibited to convey facts that are true? How can the innocent be protected and society improved in the context of these laws? How do these laws affect areas such as dating and marriage, therapy, business interactions, and comedic performances? How are modern conceptions of privacy and confidentiality impacted? How has the culture of journalism, the Internet, and political campaigning affected, and been affected by, these laws? False Facts and True Rumors offers an essential guide for communicating in today’s fast-paced world, where important information and petty gossip alike are exchanged instantaneously.

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Torah and Western Thought

Intellectual Portraits of Orthodoxy and Modernity

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Dr. Stuart Halpern, and Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier
Even as the twentieth century will be remembered for the West’s loss of faith, Jewish Orthodoxy itself experienced in that very time a golden age of leaders and teachers who sought to bridge the world of Torah and that of the West. Some of these Torah figures were deeply impacted by an academic field, such as philosophy or literature. Others developed a Torah-based perspective on developments within the West, such as the rise of Zionism, democracy, or biotechnology. Still others reflected on the very nature of religious knowledge itself. The Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University invited twenty-first century thinkers to paint an intellectual portraits of these luminaries, illustrating how each figure bridged the worlds of Torah and the West in a unique way. The essays would thereby serve to inspire Orthodox Jews and all intellectually engaged individuals of faith to learn from their lives, and to have the courage to bridge these worlds as well.

Great thinkers examined include Rabbi Yehuda Amital, Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog, Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Prof. Nechama Leibowitz, Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and Rabbi Dr. Isadore Twersky. With essays by contemporary thinkers Rabbi Shalom Carmy, Dr. Carmi Horowitz, Dr. Alan Jotkowitz, Dr. Yehudah Mirsky, Dr. Daniel Rynhold, Dr. David Shatz, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Yael Unterman, Rabbi Itamar Warhaftig, Rabbi Reuven Ziegler, and Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier.

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Mitokh Ha-Ohel: Shabbat Prayer

Essays on the Shabbat Prayer

Yeshiva University Rabbis & Professors
The rabbis and professors of Yeshiva University come together in this latest volume of the Mitokh Ha-Ohel (Within the Tent) series to present scholarly and insightful essays on the Shabbat prayers. Like its three companion volumes, Mitokh Ha-Ohel on Shabbat Prayers offers essays by many of Yeshiva University's most esteemed rabbis and scholars.

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Mitokh Ha-Ohel: Shabbat Prayer

Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought

The Jews have ever been a people molded by the written word. It is no coincidence, therefore, that certain texts have come to play key roles in the continuum of Jewish discourse. Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought presents ten foundational books written between the tenth and the twentieth centuries that have dramatically influenced the development of Jewish thought, examined by contemporary scholars of Jewish studies. Each scholar revisits a particularly salient work and discusses its themes, its historical context, the circumstances and background of its author, and its relevance to contemporary society.

A thousand years of Jewish thought, seen through the lens of modern thinkers, in one accessible volume:

  • Rav Saadia Gaon’s Emunot VeDeot
  • Rabbi Judah Halevi’s Kuzari
  • Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed
  • Rabbi Joseph Albo’s Sefer HaIkkarim
  • Maharal’s Gevurot Hashem
  • Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi’s Tanya
  • Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav’s Tales
  • Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Nineteen Letters
  • Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin’s Haamek Davar
  • Rav Abraham Isaac Kook’s Orot HaTeshuva
  • Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Halakhic Man
  • Rabbi Isaac Hutner’s Pahad Yitzak

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Mitokh Ha-Ohel: Festival Prayers

Essays on the Festival Prayers

Yeshiva University Rabbis & Professors
The scholars of Yeshiva University come together in this latest volume of the Mitokh Ha-Ohel (Within the Tent) series to present scholarly and insightful essays on the Yom Tov (festival) prayers. Like previous volumes of Mitokh Ha-Ohel, contributors to the latest volume come from every division of the university, and bring a range of approaches to the text including textual analysis, homiletic exposition, halakhic (Jewish law) analysis and academic exploration, but share the common goals of honoring, exploring and elucidating the tefilla text.

This collection of over 30 essays will enlighten, inspire and clarify the Yom Tov prayers for readers of all ages.

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The Lonely Man of Faith

Revised Edition With Introduction By Rabbi Reuven Ziegler

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
The Lonely Man of Faith is a timeless philosophical essay by one of the twentieth century's greatest Jewish philosophers, Talmudic scholars, and religious leaders, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. In this classic work, Rabbi Soloveitchik probes the inner experiences of those who seek both redemptive closeness with God and creative engagement with the world. With characteristic brilliance and eloquence, he delineates the struggle of people of faith to navigate between seemingly contradictory aspects of the human condition: the spiritual and the material, the religious and the scientific, the covenantal and the majestic.

Highlights of this newly revised edition of The Lonely Man of Faith include:  Transliterations and translations of the Hebrew,  fully sourced references,  restoration of the original chapter divisions and a new introduction by Rabbi Reuven Ziegler.

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Derashot Ledorot: Deuteronomy

A Commentary for the Ages

Rabbi Norman Lamm
Derashot Ledorot: Deuteronomy, A Commentary for the Ages is a selection of essays on the book of Deuteronomy based on sermons given by Rabbi Norman Lamm during the years 1952 and 1976, while he served as a synagogue rabbi. These essays, culled from the files of the Lamm Archives of Yeshiva University, feature reflections on the weekly parasha, brilliantly illustrating Rabbi Lamm’s masterful pedagogy, deep intellectual rigor, and staunch commitment to the word of God. Today, almost half a century later, these essays remain as relevant and inspiring as ever. With foreword written by David Berger.

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Derashot Ledorot: Numbers

A Commentary for the Ages

Rabbi Norman Lamm
Between 1952 and 1976, a young, erudite synagogue rabbi named Norman Lamm captivated his congregants with dynamic pulpit sermons. He challenged his audiences to filter out the noise and distractions of modern American life by listening to the divine voice, delving into the wisdom of the Torah. Derashot LeDorot is a selection of essays based on these stirring sermons, culled from the files of the Lamm Archives of Yeshiva University. Each essay features reflections on the weekly parasha, brilliantly illustrating Rabbi Lamm’s masterful pedagogy, deep intellectual rigor, and staunch commitment to the word of God. Today, Rabbi Lamm’s words remain as inspiring as they were when first delivered, passing on his wisdom to the next generations.

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Derashot Ledorot: Leviticus

A Commentary for the Ages

Rabbi Norman Lamm
Derashot Ledorot: Leviticus, A Commentary for the Ages is a selection of essays on the book of Leviticus based on sermons given by Rabbi Norman Lamm during the years 1952 and 1976, while he served as a synagogue rabbi. These essays, culled from the files of the Lamm Archives of Yeshiva University, feature reflections on the weekly parasha, brilliantly illustrating Rabbi Lamm's masterful pedagogy, deep intellectual rigor, and staunch commitment to the word of God. Today, almost half a century later, these essays remain as relevant and inspiring as ever. With foreword written by Rabbi Mark Dratch.

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Mitokh Ha-Ohel: Torah Reading

Essays on the Weekly Torah Reading

Yeshiva University Rabbis & Professors
The rabbis and professors of Yeshiva University have come together in two volumes of Mitokh Ha-Ohel (Within the Tent) to present scholarly and insightful essays on the weekly Torah and Haftara readings. Edited by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman and Stuart W. Halpern, Mitokh Ha-Ohel offers the insightful and varied perspectives of more than fifty Yeshiva University rabbis and scholars, including Rabbis Kenneth Brander, Meir Goldwicht, Menachem Leibtag, Herschel Schachter, and Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler.

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Mitokh Ha-Ohel: Haftara Reading

Essays on the Weekly Haftara Reading

Yeshiva University Rabbis & Professors
The rabbis and professors of Yeshiva University have come together in two volumes of Mitokh Ha-Ohel (Within the Tent) to present scholarly and insightful essays on the weekly Torah and Haftara readings. Edited by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman and Stuart W. Halpern, Mitokh Ha-Ohel offers the insightful and varied perspectives of more than fifty Yeshiva University rabbis and scholars, including Rabbis Kenneth Brander, Meir Goldwicht, Menachem Leibtag, Herschel Schachter, and Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler.

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Torah Umadda: 20th Anniversary Edition

Rabbi Norman Lamm
This classic work analyzes and embraces the tension between Torah study and secular learning by exploring the philosophies of Moses Maimonides, Samson Raphael Hirsch, Abraham Isaac Kook and other influential Jewish thinkers. Challenging, illuminating and synthesizing, it offers a seminal mission statement for modern Orthodoxy. This special, 20th anniversary edition includes a new preface by the author and an afterword by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

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The Laws & Concepts of Niddah

The RIETS Practical Halakha Series

Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky
The Laws and Concepts of Niddah is a comprehensive examination of Hilkhot Niddah. It examines the thinking behind the laws, considers their practical application, raises contemporary issues, and offers the opinions of today’s most respected Orthodox halakhic authorities. From evaluating one’s halakhic status to determining how far to rely on medical opinion and resolving unique situations, The Laws and Concepts of Niddah covers a range of challenges of this crucial area of Jewish law.

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Derashot Ledorot: Genesis

A Commentary for the Ages

Rabbi Norman Lamm
Derashot Ledorot: Genesis, A Commentary for the Ages is a selection of essays on the book of Genesis based on sermons given by Rabbi Norman Lamm during the years 1952 and 1976, while he served as a synagogue rabbi. These essays, culled from the files of the Lamm Archives of Yeshiva University, feature reflections on the weekly parasha, brilliantly illustrating Rabbi Lamm’s masterful pedagogy, deep intellectual rigor, and staunch commitment to the word of God. Today, almost half a century later, these essays remain as relevant and inspiring as ever. With foreword written by Meir Y. Soloveichik.

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The Philosophical Quest

Of Philosophy, Ethics, Law and Halakhah

Rabbi J. David Bleich
This volume includes discussions of the axiological principles of faith that define the essence of Judaism, analyses of particular principles such as the nature of the Deity, providence, prophecy and revelation. Other topics addressed are tikkun olam and Jewish responsibilities in a non-Jewish society and obligations derived from natural law or a moral conscience.

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Derashot Ledorot: Exodus

A Commentary for the Ages

Rabbi Norman Lamm
Derashot Ledorot: Exodus, A Commentary for the Ages is a selection of essays on the book of Exodus based on sermons given by Rabbi Norman Lamm during the years 1952 and 1976, while he served as a synagogue rabbi. These essays, culled from the files of the Lamm Archives of Yeshiva University, feature reflections on the weekly parasha, brilliantly illustrating Rabbi Lamm's masterful pedagogy, deep intellectual rigor, and staunch commitment to the word of God. Today, almost half a century later, these essays remain as relevant and inspiring as ever. With foreword written by Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter.

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The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat

Rabbi Mordechai Willig
The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat is a comprehensive presentation of hilkhot bishul and the reasoning behind the laws. In this wide-ranging volume, Rabbi Mordechai Willig presents and analyzes the opinions of the most respected voices in halakhic discourse. He traces the law from the biblical prohibition to rabbinic legislation, and from medieval authorities to decisors of our time. Exploring new issues involving present-day applications and the impact of modern technology, The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat encompasses the range of complexities and challenges of this central area of Jewish law. It is a crucial resource for laymen, students, and scholars alike.

Includes sections on:

  • The Definition of Cooking
  • The Status of Liquids
  • Cooking with Solar Heat
  • The Non-Jew in the Shabbat Kitchen
  • Blechs, Hot Plates and Timers
  • Improperly Heated Food
  • Leaving, Placing and Returning Food to a Fire

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Ennoble and Enable

Essays in Honor of Richard M. Joel

Ennoble and Enable: Essays in Honor of Richard M. Joel is a rich collection of forty-five essays that explore ideas relating to the central themes of the leadership and legacy of Yeshiva University President Emeritus Richard M. Joel. These essays are presented with a deep expression of gratitude to President Joel, a master Jewish leader and educator, who devoted a lifetime of service to the Jewish people. In particular, they are meant to express particular appreciation to the individual who led Yeshiva University with wisdom, dedication, and single-minded, all-encompassing commitment for fourteen years.

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