kosher bookworm

More suggestions for summer reading pleasure


This week I bring to your attention a newly published volume by the Torah Web Foundation, “Chinuch: Contemporary & Timeless,” which deals with, as its title tell us, education for our times.

This work, written by leading rabbis and educators, provides parents and teachers with an analysis of issues involving Jewish education (chinuch).

Torah Web was founded in 1999 at the initiative of leading members of the Modern Orthodox community to disseminate both Torah and hashkafa themed to contemporary concerns. Torah Web’s board consists of Rabbis Hershel Schachter, Michael Rosensweig, Mayer Twersky, and Mordechai Willig. With their carefully designed guidance, the issues covered in this work deal with many difficult and sensitive topics such as egocentrism, substance abuse, and divorce, as well as:

•How does materialism influence our youth?

•How concerned should we be about our youth’s sense of entitlement?

•What can be done with the child who is not interested in going to shul?

•What role should discipline play in today’s families?

•How can we effectively select the best school for our children?

•Is the post-high school year in Israel causing a spiritual generation gap?

With questions such as these, Torah Web seeks to generate both discussion as well as methodologies geared toward solutions. This is reflected in both the goals as well as the solutions that are the themes inherent in this book.

Aside from the names listed above, the other authors whose work appears in this problem solving anthology are:

Rabbi Abraham Twerski, Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Rabbi Yaakov Haber and Rabbi Yonason Sacks. Their essays and teaching when taken together provide for us the intellectual groundwork that will ultimately lead to a resolution to many, if not all of the questions posed above.

Given both the prominence as well as the experience of the participating authors I am certain that their brave attention to these challenging issues as well as their willingness to face issues heretofore long ignored will lead to realistic solutions that will serve as intellectual and religious  models in the many years to come.


The Spring 2018 issue of “Hakirah, The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought” provides interesting thoughts, including these articles:

•Rav Hildesheimer’s response to ultra-Orthodoxy, by Gil Student

•Teaching mussar at the FBI, by Cary Friedman

•Historical revisionism by the families of Rav Kook’s disciples, by Eitam Henkin

•Rav Soloveitchik’s new world view, by David P. Goldman

•A tour of the Osler Library of the history of medicine through Jewish eyes, by Edward Reichman and Anna Dysert

•Why no kosher meat or poultry is certified humane, by Heshy Zelcer and Malky Zelcer

Please enjoy some of these fine examples of Jewish scholarship.

Untill next week and part three of this series, shalom.