For “the people of the book”, here are some recently released Jewish and Israel related must-read books:
- The Elected and the Chosen: Why American Presidents Have Supported Jews and Israel: This book by Denis Brian details the unique relationships American Presidents have had with the Jewish people. It was especially interesting as it presented from secret documents and family diaries – not commonly reported in the media. The book was very well researched and an excellent read, reminding me of the unique role Jews – and Israel – play in America. It’s especially timely reading today as some are now questioning the unique alliance between America and Israel.
- John Lennon and the Jews: An enjoyable philosophical read about why this generation of Jews should be Jewish, written by Ze’ev Maghen, Chairman of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar-Ilan University. It’s a humorous, philosophical and thought provoking book: it raises many touching points about the people of Israel. It discusses the communal feeling of being Jewish – and the importance of simply loving our people. Thought provoking and enjoyable (it reminded me of a less “religious” version of the amazing Gan Emunah by Rav Shlomo Arush).
- Sarah’s Key: A touching book, based upon the French movie. It tells the story of the young Sarah and her family before, during and after the Holocaust. It is captivating and will leave you crying, like many holocaust stories and tales.
- The Balancing Act: How to bring the power and passion of Torah into our homes, our children – and ourselves: Many of us struggle daily with ethics, life balance and so many other important Jewish issues and laws. This book by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller answers many of these questions in a down-to-earth, practical manner.
- Beyond Courage – The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust: Tales of Tough Jews were widespread during this most difficult time in Jewish history. The stories in this book will give you goosebumps.
- Menachem Begin: A Life: The first major biography of one of the historically formative leaders of the Jewish nation. This book tells the story of an ardent follower of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who lived a proud Jewish life, and forever changed Jewish history, is a must read.
These are worthwhile books, with a lot of wisdom inside them.