In response to the worldwide epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other preventable conditions, a Rabbi and medical Doctor invested 10 years to prepare the new book Body & Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, And A Holy Life. Jewish tradition has 3,000 years of wisdom on this subject but until now it has been scattered across many books, most of which have never been translated. In partnership with doctors and dietitians, Body & Soulincludes current medical information (with references to medical literature) on what is known about nutrition, exercise, weight loss and longevity, as well as related topics such as environmental toxins.
Body & Soul is a thought-provoking, motivating book which, for the first time, brings together in one place, hundreds of Jewish sources translated into English, about health and diet along with the most recent, reliable, evidence-based science of food, diet, nutrition, exercise, and much more to aid in leading a vibrant and balanced life.
Taking a comprehensive approach, Body & Soul highlights the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of well-being using a practical blueprint – including proven strategies and attainable goals. By bridging the gap between traditional Jewish teachings and modern wellness pursuits, the book offers a nuanced perspective on the integration of spirituality and physicality, fostering a greater appreciation for both realms.
Body & Soul features practical information and tips such as:
● A look at special Jewish food challenges ● Creating a balanced diet and conquering a sweet tooth ● A Torah view of exercise ● Helping children develop healthy habits ● The importance of sleep ● A Jewish view of intermittent fasting
Body & Soul is not only informational it’s also motivational; encouraging readers to make the changes needed for a healthier life.
About the Authors Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, PhD, heads Jewish Spiritual Literacy, Inc. (JSLI), a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Jewish education. His previous books include The Art of Amazement: Discover Judaism’s Forgotten Spirituality and The Art of Kavana.
Dr. Daniel Grove, MD, is board certified in general internal medicine, critical care, and pulmonology and is affiliated with MedStar Health hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington region. He is the author of The Weight Loss Counter Revolution.
Body & Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, And A Holy Life Publisher: JSLI Press -Feldheim, Pub. Date: June 1, 2023 512 pgs., Price: $24.99 ISBN: 9781680259155
“Naomi Ross’s desire to impart culinary knowledge is baked into every page. Her warm heart weaves the healing effects of food into each chapter.”
-Susie Fishbein, author, Kosher by Design series
As Jewish home cooks, we are constantly kept busy in the kitchen, whether for weeknight dinners or for Shabbos and Yom Tov entertaining. Beyond just feeding ourselves, we also strive for “culinary chesed”, and there is no better way to do that than through home-cooked dishes. Whether we are supporting new mothers, comforting mourners, or visiting the infirmed, food cooked with love has the potential to nourish both body and soul. In addition to delicious and easy-to-follow recipes for the Jewish calendar, The Giving Table gives home cooks a step-by-step guide to “cooking it forward.”
Author, chef, instructor, social media personality and former culinary director of Apron Masters Kitchen, Naomi Ross guides home cooks through the best and most delicious ways to seize giving opportunities. Throughout the cookbook, Naomi has included heartwarming articles and anecdotes from her extensive experience, inspiring us all to give through cooking. Included are recommended menus and recipes to take the guesswork out of deciding how best to “cook it forward”. The Giving Table contains 160 kosher recipes, each with accompanying photography, step-by-step guides with pictures, and QR codes to learn new techniques. Featured recipes include The Carnivore’s Lasagna, Chocolate Chip Scones, Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup, Protein Smoothies, and Honey-Mustard Lollipop Chicken. The Giving Table will be a companion for the home cook and will build bridges, spreading kindness well beyond the kitchen.
About the Author For Naomi Ross, her kitchen is her canvas. She believes in inspired kosher cooking, infusing meaning into the everyday kitchen experience. A cooking instructor for the past 18 years, Naomi has taught all ages and stages, developing innovative culinary curriculums, courses, and workshops for camps, schools, and community organizations. Naomi writes articles and web content connecting the fun of good cooking with Jewish inspiration. She is a regular contributor to Fleishigs magazine, Binah magazine, OU Jewish Action Magazine, and Kosher.com. She is excited to release her first cookbook, The Giving Table, for Chanukah 2022.
Naomi lives in Woodmere, NY with her husband and four children. www.NaomiRossCooks.com @naomirosscooks
“Zieglitz’s Blessing follows a man’s life through love, loss, anger, and redemption. At times funny, often heart-wrenching, and consistently thought-provoking, Goldberg’s novel will touch you in ways that will surely surprise you and stay with you long after reading it.”
-Randy Auerbach, Film Executive and Producer
“Michael Goldberg’s new genre-bending novel is itself a blessing: an unorthodox rabbi’s quixotic search to heal the wounds he has suffered and inflicted since his bris. Though an entertaining send-up of biblical contradictions and rabbinical hypocrisy, Goldberg’s book also explores his sinner’s inherent decency, honor, and love of family. Zieglitz’s Blessing carves a memory not soon forgotten.”
-Lou Gorfain, President, New Screen Concepts
Zieglitz’s Blessing is that rare mix: religiously serious fiction filled with irreverent humor. From childhood, Rod Zieglitz questions the truthfulness of his Hebrew name, which means “God will show mercy.” Sometimes that name seems fitting. At other times, though, it strikes Zieglitz as a cruel joke. Only on his deathbed, grappling with the challenges he’s faced, does Zieglitz rightly understand the notion of God’s blessing for the first time. Touching readers in ways that will surprise them, Zieglitz’s Blessing is sure to stay with them long after they’ve finished it.
About the Author Michael Goldberg is a nationally-acclaimed writer and speaker. He has held university chairs in religious studies, worked with an international strategic management consulting firm, served as a professional ethicist with the Georgia Supreme Court and various hospital ethics committees while additionally providing support as an ICU and hospice chaplain. Among his other books are: Jews and Christians, Getting our Stories Straight (1985); Why Should Jews Survive? (1995); and Raising Spirits (2010).
In 1892, when Jews denied accusations of eating the blood of Christian boys, the response was: “Can everybody be wrong and the Jews right?” In 2002, when the news media buzzed with accusations of the IDF massacring Palestinian civilians at Jenin, the then Secretary General didn’t even ask: “I don’t think the whole world can be wrong and Israel be right.” And yet, not only were they both wrong, but this time, getting it wrong has put the entire global democratic experiment at risk. Drawing on his familiarity with the dynamics of apocalyptic movements, Richard Landes examines the political and journalistic scene at the turn of the third millennium (2000-2003) and the radical mismatch between two millennial styles, an Islamist pre-modern and a Western post- modern.
Landes, a medievalist and historian of apocalyptic movements who has written extensively on apocalyptic expectations around the year 1000, now turns his attention to the year 2000. In Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong?: Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism, and Global Jihad, he documents how a radical inability of Westerners to understand the medieval mentality that drives Global Jihad prompted a series of misguided reactions that have shaped our so-far unhappy century. Misinterpretations of unfolding events on the world stage in 2000 (the “murder” of Muhammad al Durah), 2001 (9/11), 2002 (the Jenin “massacre”), contributed fundamentally to the ever- worsening moral and empirical disorientations of our information elites exemplified in the disastrous Western response to the Danish Cartoon riots (2005-6). These radical disorientations have created our current dilemma of pervasive information distrust and its attendant proliferation of conspiracy theory, deep splits within the voting public in most democracies between information elites and the populace, the politicization of science and tribalization of politics, and the inability of Western elites to defend their civilization even as they adopt increasingly self-destructive ideologies, and instead, to stand down before an invasion.
As the world comes closer to the second quarter of this century and the political arena has become more polarized and distrust in the media has become more pervasive. Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong?: Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism, and Global Jihad offers original and compelling insights into our current trajectory.
About the Author Professor Richard Landes was trained as a medievalist and taught in the Boston University History Department. His book, Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience (2011), examines apocalyptic and millennial movements from Ancient Egypt to Global Jihad. He is now an independent historian living in Jerusalem. His work focuses on apocalyptic beliefs at the turn of the first millennium (the Peace of God) and the second millennium (Global Jihad, Woke).
Title: Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong”?: Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism, and Global Jihad Author: Richard Landes Publisher: Academic Studies Press PB ISBN: 9781644696415 534 pgs. , Price: $24.95, Digital ePub.: 9781644699942 Price: $24.95 Library HC ISBN: 9781644696408 534 pgs., Price: $129, Digital PDF (library purchase only): 9781644696422 Price: $150 Pub date: Dec. 2022
“Featuring well-chosen primary sources, magnificent artwork and memorable infographics …provides readers with a magnificent one-volume guide to Jewish history, teachings and practices.” – Jonathan Sarna, Brandeis University
A comprehensive 496‑page coffee‑table‑style book exploring the teachings, observances, and history of Judaism.
What is Judaism? What does it mean to be a Jew? What is Judaism’s message to the world? The Book of Jewish Knowledge offers 1200 answers in 1200 voices, presenting the story of Judaism via the variety of media that capture the Jewish experience: a Biblical account, a traditional Jewish practice, a painting by a Jewish artist, a Midrashic parable, a Talmudic discourse, a historical document, a poignant photograph, a gefilte fish recipe, a prayer from Psalms, a Scriptural aphorism, a Halachic (Jewish law) responsum, a Kabbalistic diagram, a philosophical essay, a 12th-century travelogue. Collectively, these present the reader with an encyclopedic overview of Jewish history, an in-depth examination of four millennia of Jewish wisdom, and an intimate tour of Jewish traditions and observances. This groundbreaking volume surveys the full scope of Jewish teaching and Jewish life, while also doing justice to the depth and beauty of Judaism. Whether this is your first book on Judaism, or if you are approaching it with a lifetime of learning and engagement, you are sure to gain a new appreciation of the range and grandeur of Jewish knowledge and experience.
The Book of Jewish Knowledge consists of five sections: Jewish History, Jewish Teaching, Jewish Practice, The Jewish Year and Lifecycle Milestones. These sections are further divided into 160 sub-sections and topics (e.g., “The First Jews,” “The Exodus,” “Business Ethics,” “The Synagogue,” “Shabbat,” “The Passover Seder,” ”Education, ”Marriage,” etc. ) Contains a short biographical description of each of the 225 personalities and works cited in the book. There are works from over 100 artists and photographers and 78 full-color graphs, tables and maps. The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) Serving learning centers in over 2,000 communities and on the internet JLI is the world’s preeminent provider of adult education. JLI’s mission is to make Jewish learning accessible and personally meaningful to every Jew, regardless of background or affiliation. JLI’s insightful curricula utilize cutting-edge pedagogic techniques, embracing the multiple intelligence model and utilizing multimedia and an array of approaches to engage, educate, and inspire all kinds of minds in a dynamic Jewish learning experience. The courses are translated into nine languages, offer continuing educational credits for multiple professions and are taught by JLI trained and certified instructors.
The Book of Jewish Knowledge Pub.: The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, Pub. date: Sept. 30, 2022 496 pgs., Reg. Ed., $79 ISBN: 978-1-63668-011-8 Slipcase Gift Ed. $99 ISBN: 978-1-63668-012-5 Editor in Chief: Rabbi Yanki Tauber, Creative Director: Baruch Gorkin
I wrote this book because I firmly believe that the Cain and Abel story has indispensable moral messages for our violence and hatred plagued planet. It is a foundational story of the human experience, and I wanted to convey its power to a modern audience.
2. How is the Biblical story of Cain & Abel story relevant in 2021?
As I write in the book, we humans with our big brains have never been able to do more damage to each other and to the planet than we can do currently. For all our technological sophistication, morally we still too often miss the mark when it comes to being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Rather than lecture us about the imperative to do good, the story of Cain and Abel draws us into its moral message with an intriguing narrative that inspires us to ask each other new questions and seek new answers about being decent human beings.
3. Why should a modern reader read this book?
My book uses the dynamic framework of modern courtroom drama and crime stories to look at the world’s first great crime against humanity. I take a wide variety of explanations and comments from Jewish tradition on the story to make the story – and our application of it – come to life in entirely new ways.
4. What will a modern reader gain from the book?
At the very least, a modern reader will find an entertaining and invigorating new way to study and argue about one of the world’s oldest and most famous stories. At the very most, a modern reader will read my book and be able to act more justly and courageously upon that greatest of lessons found in this story: we must act as each other’s’ keepers.
Around nine years ago, I devised a six-week relationship enrichment program geared towards individuals and couples. With permission from the participants, I recorded our discussions. I walked other practitioners and rabbis through it as well. I also taught the program as a series of classes to students in our local yeshiva. Along with the earlier recordings, I recorded and transcribed the classes. Although I faced a small setback when losing some recordings from a damaged USB flash drive, I found the entire experience to be fruitful and insightful. When Mosaica Press reached out to me and expressed interest in doing a joint project, I was excited to already have a Google Doc with sixty-four pages to devote to writing a book.
Many people encouraged me to “get my message out there.” Like everyone, I needed some encouragement to get started. If it weren’t for certain rabbis’ encouragement to write the book, I’d still be second guessing myself. Since the guiding principles and tools in my relationship program (and book) are sourced in Hashem’s Torah, I didn’t feel like I could take any credit for them. And to boot, the voice in my head constantly reminded me, “You’re not worthy.” Had the rabbis not told me that I must certainly take credit for the ideas, I’d still be stuck. There probably wouldn’t be a book. One rabbi in particular said to me, “I’ve seen some of these Torah sources before. I didn’t see what you see, but now I do. You’ve really got something here. You’re not just allowed to take credit for it. I think you should take credit for it.” I suppose, since I’ve written the book, I may now say that I truly own the ideas.
This led to a burning desire to write down many of the Torah-driven tools and principles that I use in my practice. I brainstormed for a year and typed out more than 500,000 words.I chose to start with this particular book because it focuses on the main thing that we all suffer from, the main ailment that negatively affects our soul, the very thing that always gets us stuck. We easily get lost in the negative labels that we’ve adopted over the years. I’m referring to the old stories which hold us back from moving forward and from having productive and fulfilling lives. I zeroed in on how this affects our relationships and the relationship we truly want to be having with ourselves.
I also wrote the book as a wake-up call. I’m a huge advocate for redefining how we think about and treat people’s problems, especially the most common ones of anxiety and depression. There’s a better way to get unstuck, to grow, and to better one’s relationships than what traditional psychotherapy has had to offer. We have to roll with the times. There is very little point to analysis. How many practitioners claim to no longer embrace the medical model but are still telling their clients: “You may be feeling anxious but it’s more important to find the underlying cause.” The Jewish approach is very different. Both the symptoms and the root of the cause are treated as the same. Psychological analysis can really backfire. Therapists mean well, but are ritually throwing their clients deeper into their most painful struggles. Without Torah guidance, psychotherapy can be very misleading. Like all fields of study, psychology may be one of the wisdoms of the world, but it does not stand on its own. The Maharal begins his Nesiv HaTeshuvah with a quote from Mishlei: חָכְמוֹת בַּח֣וּץ תָּרֹ֑נָּה בָּ֜רְחֹב֗וֹת תִּתֵּ֥ן קוֹלָֽהּ, “Wisdom shouts out into the public fair; in the streets she gives forth her voice.” We know based on a Tanchuma that chochmah is Torah. Why does King Shlomo pluralize the word? It should be chochmah, but instead, he writes chochmos. The Maharal explains that King Shlomo is referring to the different wisdoms that exist in the world. He likens the philosophies and sciences to the limbs of the body. Hashem’s Torah he calls the rosh, the head of the body. Torah is the true brains behind the field of psychology. Psychotherapy should not be practiced on its own.
What did you learn during the process of writing this book? Were there any surprises for you?
Oh, yes, I had many surprises along the way. What I didn’t realize was how much the writing process itself mirrors the struggles of normal everyday life. And for an author, writing is their life. It’s what consumes most of their thoughts and time. There are many stages to the writing process, and just like in real life, it’s not unusual for an author to begin feeling uneasy somewhere along the way.
For example, as I indicated earlier, I had the opportunity to brainstorm for a year. I typed out over 500,000 words. And then came the reckoning. I knew it was coming. I took a creative writing class in middle school. At the time, I submitted a twenty-page paper. I had such a thoughtful teacher. Instead of criticizing my work, she said, “I see that you’ve written many stories here. Just choose one and write that one for me.” So when my writing coach told me that I had to choose one of the books to start with, it was painful. I remember holding on to that pain for about five minutes, and like every uncomfortably muddy feeling along the way, I let it go.
I’ve been watching your videos and really like them. One concept you shared stuck out for me. You said that if someone is insulted or offended in a relationship it is because they are insecure in that relationship—they aren’t confident in the relationship. So, if I am challenged in a relationship, it is really about how I perceive the relationship. Am I understanding that correctly?
Yes, perception is key. When a person is feeling emotionally negative it’s an indicator that they are lacking confidence. When a person feels insulted by another person, the first place to check is the nature of one’s relationship. When our relationship is shaky, it means we lack confidence in the relationship. If we always find ourselves getting offended in the relationship, it might be in our best interests to take a break from this particular relationship.
Another way to gain confidence in the relationship is by pinpointing and strengthening the glue that’s been holding the relationship together all along. This effort to label and define what binds two people together is what changes our perception of the relationship for the better. There’s nothing more powerful for a relationship than bringing to light the very elements that hold it together.
You also mentioned that I might not be confident in knowledge of something and that could also be part of insecurity in a relationship. Did I get that right?
Not quite. If we are discussing a topic with someone and we feel insulted, it may be due to our lack of confidence about the subject matter. Although it’s easier to put the blame on the other person, educating ourselves about the topic is a better way to go. It allows us to gain confidence about the subject matter, and as a result, be less prone to feeling offended.
Are there some immediate steps you can suggest to someone to become more comfortable in a current relationship?
The best way to grow comfortable in one’s relationship is by focusing on the basics. When one’s relationship is feeling shaky, it behooves him or her to go back and focus on reinforcing the emotional baseline of the relationship. The following two fundamental steps help a person to begin feeling more comfortable in his or her relationship:
1) Create Undivided Moments
Giving someone undivided and focused attention tells him that he is important as an individual. This top-priority individual time builds connection and trust. This time does not necessarily need to be hours — even ten minutes is effective. In times of trouble, people turn to a person who made them feel important. Everyone needs to feel important to someone. Denying a person individual time forces him or her to seek it elsewhere. Whether it be spontaneous or fixed time, we must make sure our moments together are mutually enjoyable. It’s important to listen to the other person. A person wants nothing more but to feel understood. The point is to be a person’s confidant and pillar of strength, providing him or her with emotional security.
2) Focus on Appreciation
Appreciation is crucial to any healthy relationship. Spend five minutes a day appreciating all the good this person adds to my life. (This doesn’t have to be one chunk of time.) Appreciation is something we do for ourselves. Focusing our attention on a person’s best qualities helps combat the anger, frustration, worry, negativity, and overwhelming feelings of daily life. Bringing to mind his or her unique qualities helps us focus on what a gift this person truly is. We don’t want to get to the point at which we have to lose something to appreciate it. Find joy in what you have NOW.
Just to go back to your book. What can a reader expect to take away from your book?
There are times in our lives when we feel anxious, down in the dumps, or lack impulse control; we feel unsure and disconnected from ourselves. How we perceive these moments of instability in our lives directly affects how we define ourselves and our relationships, and how we engage the world as we walk our own path.
We may not always be conscious of it, but much of life takes place smack dab in the muddy middle.
It’s reassuring to learn that none of us are alone when it comes to stumbling into the muck. We all know what it’s like to lose direction in life. Whatever path we’re taking, we’re all bound to get stuck at some point along the way. It’s not always clear how to move from point A to point B. Yet, there’s hope. Every time we pull ourselves out of the muddy middle, the wiser and more confident we become.
Once we are fully aware of our whereabouts, we can always ask ourselves this most poignant question: “Where do I go from here?”
HIP SET is a page-turning thriller set in Tel Aviv. Author Michael Fertik brings together African refugees, Israeli police, and the Russian mafia to create a cool, fast-paced detective noir.
Fertik may not be the author we’d expect. He is a serial entrepreneur and venture capital investor and a strong supporter of Israel. Maybe it is this unusual background (for a mystery writer) that enables Fertik to offer up a fast moving thriller in a city he visits often as a business destination.
Hip Set will introduce many to an unfamiliar side of Israel. Something that makes this book exciting is that Hip Set is a reflection of what Israel is really like today. There is crime, unsavory criminals, and gritty detectives trying to stop them. At the same time, it paints an alluring portrait of the White City’s cafes and beaches that makes you want to hop on a plane and spend your summer with your feet in the sand, gazing at the beautiful people meandering down the boardwalk.
I have to admit it was really cool to have bestselling author Faye Kellerman say that Fertik’s book is “…fast paced with an original, exotic setting, HIP SET is an unstoppable read from first page to last.” I am not traditionally a mystery or thriller reader but I have to agree with Ms. Kellerman, Hip Set grabbed me.
Check out this recent online event which Michael as a guest of the Jewish Book Council and the JCC of Metro Detroit.