Thursday, July 24th 2014  26th of Tammuz, 5774

What I’m Reading- 100 Great Jewish Books

March 26th, 2012 | posted by Rabbi Karen R. Perolman | Email Me

I love to read.  Most days I am in the middle of a few different books (right now: Nathan Englander’s book of short stories What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank and Jodi Kantor’s The Obamas) And, not surprisingly, I am usually also reading a few Jewish books. In fact, I even have a shelf of “to-read” books that are on tap to be read next.

While away at the CCAR conference last week in Boston, I was given a copy of Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s latest work: One Hundred Great Jewish Books. Rabbi Hoffman was my liturgy professor in Rabbinical School and is a prolific author, most famously of the My People’s Prayerbook series that provides history, translation and commentary on Jewish liturgy. For his latest work  he chose works that shed light on the 3000 years of Jewish life and conversation–from the Bible to the contemporary bestseller: Start Up Nation.

As I work my way through Hoffman’s work, I will post some of my own  “Top Ten” from  his “Top 100″ for your consideration and hopefully, reading pleasure. Here are just a few:

(I should mention that Hoffman divides his book into nine sections and I’ve chosen one or two  from each.)

Ecclesiastes I’ve spent many Shabbat mornings over the past eight months studying this book with our Torah Study class. I love this usually-un-read book of the Bible and find its’ messages of introspection, wisdom and the meaning of life to be inspirational. Turns out Ecclesiastes is much more than just an Eagles song.

As a Driven Leaf A must-read historical fiction about the life of early Talmudic figure Elisha ben Abuyah who struggled to find his place in Jewish and Greek society. I am always surprised and comforted at the ways in which contemporary life mirrors the struggles, challenges and achievements of those who came before us.
Stay Tuned for More Recommendations!

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