חכמה בינה ודאטה 160Wisdom, Understanding and Data
Arye Schreiber Hesder Machzor 28
Dabri Shir

Acclaimed by President Emeritus of the Israeli Supreme Court, Professor Aaron Barak, as "fascinating and profound", this is a unique Hebrew-language monograph on privacy and biblical scholarship. Each chapter highlights an interpretive difficulty from a weekly Torah reading, and elucidates it based on insights from the field of data privacy. Lord Wolfson of Tredegar, KC, wrote: "Arye Schreiber's innovative, thought-provoking but accessible book brings together the weekly parasha and contemporaneous legal and related issues.... the deceptively short essays cover large and important topics. Arye's sources are broad, his learning is deep and his insight is sharp - and the combination is both fascinating and original." For more details, see our page on the Torat Har Etzion website.

Arye Schreiber specializes in Privacy and Data Protection, advising tech and finance organizations, academic institutions, private and public corporations, government agencies, nonprofits and more on all aspects of privacy and data protection law and best practice.  To order >>


ArchitecTorah front cover160ArchitecTorah: Architectural Ideas in Judaism and the Weekly Torah Portion
Joshua Skarf '98
Urim Publications

ArchitecTorah is a collection of 178 short essays that investigate the Torah through the lens of architecture. Each essay briefly introduces a piece of architectural theory, a building, or a section of building code and then reexamines a well-known topic in the Torah to uncover new and insightful interpretations.

Joshua Skarf is a licensed architect living and working in Jerusalem. He studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion for two years and has degrees in architecture from the University of Michigan and Bezalel Academy. He has designed hospitals, train stations, shopping malls, Israeli consulates, army installations, elementary schools, museums, and research facilities in Israel. Skarf was born in Toronto, grew up in Michigan, and has been living in Israel since 2004. To order >>


RCJachter opportunity in exile160Opportunity in Exile: An In-Depth Exploration of Sefer Daniel
Rabbi Chaim (Howard) Jachter '81

In Opportunity in Exile, Rabbi Chaim Jachter offers new solutions to both classic and previously unaddressed issues in the study of Sefer Daniel and Tanach. Combining traditional commentaries with innovative interpretations, Opportunity in Exile provides key insights into the spiritual challenges faced by the Jewish leadership and nation during the period of the Babylonian Exile, and applies the narratives of Sefer Daniel to contemporary Hashkafic issues. Opportunity in Exile: An In-Depth Exploration of Sefer Daniel comprises an intensive study of Daniel, Chanania, Misha'el and Azaria, Nevuchadnetzar, Belshatzar, Daryavesh HaMadi, the expected arrival time of the Mashiach, and more. "Rav Medan's work on Sefer Daniel is quoted extensively, with some very respectful disagreements along the way."

Rabbi Jachter serves as a Dayan (Rabbinic Judge), Beth Din of Elizabeth, and as the Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck.  To order >>


RAL tikva160 Tikva Ledorshecha (Hebrew)
Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l
Maggid Books

The process of repentance presents both challenges and opportunities. While self-scrutiny, confession, and commitment to change are among the most difficult human undertakings, the very process of renewing and reconnecting to ourselves and to God is a gift that can fundamentally repair us, our communities, and society at large. In his annual discourses on repentance, HaRav Lichtenstein zt”l set out to make the elusive path of teshuva more navigable. This book is a collection of twelve of these public lectures, in which HaRav Lichtenstein marshals a broad array of Jewish sources, along with classics of the Western tradition and his own sensitivity to the human condition, to examine the psychological, emotional, and spiritual elements of sin and repentance.


RYMedan KiKarovBemidbar160Ki Karov Eilecha – Bemidbar (Hebrew)
Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Yaakov Medan
Yediot Aharonot Press

Sefer Bemidbar contains a diverse collection of stories, mixed with mitzvot specific to that time, such as assembling and dismantling the Mishkan, inaugurating it, cleansing the Levites and redeeming the firstborn on the one hand, and the commandment to conquer the land and splitting up the land on the other. It also contains many eternal mitzvot, and details the path from leaving Mount Sinai to the land promised to the people, and the conquest of the land east of the Jordan by Moshe. But most of all, it includes the many crises that the people of Israel went through from the day they left Mount Sinai until they came to the plains of Moab on the eve of entering the land. The book ostensibly includes all the forty years of the desert except for the first year until the establishment of the Tabernacle, but in fact it includes a description of the second year of their exodus from Egypt and the fortieth year.

This volume connects the peshat of the verses with the words of the sages. In addition, there is an attempt here to meet the places that the nation passed through, some of which are in the State of Israel today and some in neighboring countries. The comparisons with other Bible stories equips the readers with a new and surprising perspective on the familiar stories.


YZiegler Lamentations160Lamentations: Faith in a Turbulent World (English)
Dr. Yael Ziegler
Maggid Books

Chapters in this book were originally developed as shiurim for the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash.

How do people progress from despair to hope? How does one maintain faith in God’s justice in a world that seems cruel and unfair? What is the nature of Israel’s culpability and to what degree does sinfulness factor in Israel’s calamities? What is the nation’s relationship to its land, to Jerusalem, and to the outside world?

Artfully combining traditional and academic scholarship, Dr. Yael Ziegler weaves together close readings of the book of Lamentations (Eikha) with an integrated reading of each chapter and examinations of larger themes. To the reader’s surprise, Lamentations emerges as a coherent discourse on the way that people – as individuals and as nations – contend with adversity.

Independent essays at the beginning and end of the book, as well as in appendices at the conclusion of the chapters, cover topics such as Eikha’s historical background, poetic techniques, theology, structure, and linguistic and thematic connections to other biblical books, most notably the chapters of consolation in Isaiah. Wide-ranging biblical and religious themes emerge, a veritable journey through the Bible’s most profound questions.

Interweaving careful literary analysis with attention to religious themes, Lamentations: Faith in a Turbulent World illustrates that Eikha is a testimony to the resilient faith of humans, who can persevere through adversity, emerging with a more meaningful relationship with God, with the nation, and with themselves.


ShaynaGoldberg What Do You Really Want160What Do You Really Want (English)
Rabbanit Shayna Goldberg
Maggid Books 

Managing decisions can be a significant source of stress, worry, and regret. In What Do You Really Want? Shayna Goldberg argues that deep self-awareness and an attitude of trust are the best tools for making strong decisions that we can feel confident about. If we learn how to recognize our fears, explore them, evaluate their potential consequences, and contemplate what we want moving forward, we will have an easier time owning and taking responsibility for our decisions.

Whether you are standing on the brink of a major decision, reflecting on those you have already made, or holding someone else’s hand as they face a daunting choice – this book will help illuminate the path toward better understanding, deeper self-awareness, and stronger decisions.

Using true-to-life, relatable, and relevant scenarios drawn from real life questions posed to her by students, friends, and family, Goldberg uses Jewish sources and teachings in order to develop the philosophical underpinnings of these concepts. Furthermore, What Do You Really Want? lays out an invigorating vision for trust-based education that will captivate parents, teachers, community leaders, and everyone else besides.


RABazak Yechezkel160Yechezkel: The Man, The Prophet (Hebrew)
Rav Amnon Bazak
Maggid Books

Chapters in this book were originally developed as shiurim for the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash.

The book of Yechezkel evokes mixed feelings among Tanakh lovers. On the one hand, it contains the prophecy known as the dry bones, and it contains some basic concepts in Judaism, such as the “ma’aseh merkava” and the war of Gog and Magog.  On the other hand, most of the book is not known to the public, and the learner may be deterred due to its style and content. 

This sefer was intended to help make the concepts and ideas of Yechezkel accessible to the contemporary reader, even with no prior background. This volume contains a literary study and analysis combined with explanations of the words and verses. Sensitively and meticulously, the book follows the visible and hidden messages of Yechezkel.


AWasser Magefa160Vatei’atzar Hamagefa (Hebrew)
Rav Aharon Wasser ’07H

A time of a plague in general, and especially the time of Corona, brings with it many unique and varied halakhic questions. Many of the questions arise as a result of the significant change in lifestyle during a plague and its influence on the most basic laws in the life of a Jew. The need to quarantine and to socially distance uproot the communal life that is so fundamental in the world of halakhah.

The answers written in this sefer present the sources of halakhah clearly and concisely in an attempt to strive for a clear practical decision. May it be His will that these questions go from practical decisions to ones of learning what was.


RCJachter halachic haircutting handbook160The Halachic Haircutting Handbook (English)
Rabbi Haim Jachter ’81 and Binyamin Jachter

Much confusion persists regarding the laws of pe'ot and electric shavers. Unanswered questions abound regarding these two areas of halachah. The product of thorough halachic and technological research, The Halachic Haircutting Handbook sets out to present what constitutes baseline halachah with respect to these issues.

Included in this volume:

·        How far the pe'ot ha'rosh must extend
·        How short one may trim pe'ot ha'rosh
·        Shaving in halachah
·        The permissibility of electric shavers
·        Breakdown of the types of electric shavers
·        New evidence from Philips Norelco


RYGrunstein Musings160Musings of a Minyaner (English)
Rav Yehoshua Grunstein ’95H

For centuries, Jews have gathered to pray together in a Minyan, the epitome of Jewish prayer. And yet, the many that frequent synagogues often feel uninspired by the services, and at times, even disappointed by the manner in which they are conducted, from the pace and length, to the tunes and chazzan. This book attempts to delineate these very problems that challenge the public prayer service, and suggests both halachik solutions and practical adjustments for a smoother, more inspiring service that will hopefully impact the attendees and leave them with a yearning for more.



RJesseHorn DoubleTake2 160Double Take 2 (English): Biblical Personalities - More Than Meets The Eye
Rav Jesse Horn ‘96
Amud Publications
US release date Sept 18, 2021

The primary goal in publishing this work is to teach Torah and further Yiras Shamayim, both to educate and inspire. In Double Take 2, Rabbi Jesse Horn bridges the gap between the traditional interpretations espoused by Chazal and other Rabbinic authorities on the one hand and the simple and straightforward reading of the Tanach on the other. By rigorous and sophisticated Biblical and Rabbinic textual analysis, Rabbinic sources which at first seems at odds with the text can be read harmoniously. Rabbi Horn uncovers parallels, and answers critical questions such as, Why is this story included in the Torah? Why is this detail left out? Why do these two stories parallel each other? and What understanding does the Torah want us to derive about each character?


RDShabtai HidingHiding in Plain Sight: The Story behing Megillat Esther (English)
Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai ’98
Targum Press

We all know the Purim story, but when was the last time you actually read the Megilah? Not just listened to it on Purim, but read through the story? There's a lot more there than we were taught back in grade school.

What is the point of the Megilah's opening scene of excessive feasting and partying? 

Why did Achashverosh agree so quickly to Haman's plot to destroy the Jews?

What was Esther's actual plan to save the Jews?

Where is God and why doesn't the Megilah ever talk about Him?

While superficially a simple children's story with fairytale-like qualities, a close reading of Megilat Esther reveals a complicated tapestry of political drama, palace romance, and personal ambition. In peeling back the various layers of the story, Hiding in Plain Sight reveals this hidden world. Far from just a brilliantly crafted saga, Megilat Esther emerges as a foundational text of Emunah with a clear message to the Jews in Exile, as relevant in ancient Persia as it is today.


YMirsky RKOOK160HaRav Kook: A New Look (Hebrew)
Prof. Yehuda Mirsky ’78
Kin Books

Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook was one of the most influential, and most controversial, rabbis of modern times. He was a philosopher, mystic, poet, leader, mentor, pioneer. He lived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and he realized that times change, that the world is facing a great upheaval, that what was will no longer be. He stood out in his special attempt to understand and articulate the meaning of the new historical reality and to offer a cosmic and existential explanation for the revolutions of time. He created a new spiritual language that challenged both secular and religious. It is impossible to deeply understand the Jewish reality of today without knowing the teachings of Rav Kook. It is impossible to deeply understand the State of Israel today without recognizing in it the traces of Rav Kook’s teachings.

This volume draws biographical lines for Rav Kook’s life, and theoretical lines for his thought and legacy.

He addresses both readers who become acquainted with the rabbi for the first time, and opens a window to his world, and the readers who are familiar with his writings, who will discover in the book surprising connections and new perspectives.


Ot Pashut160Pashut Lainyan (Hebrew)
Rav Yossele Ote ’95H
Sifriyat Beit El

Hundreds of questions have accumulated over the years in the rabbi’s inbox. Questions asked by children on Tanach, faith, mitzvoth, brachot, and the meaning of life. Questions that we all want answered, but sometimes don’t dare to ask. This volume contains questions and answers in a clear and concise style and language, accompanied by colorful illustrations.

This is a book for curious children, which encourages questions and gives them an extensive answer while encouraging further study.



MEisenberg Tree160The Tree of Life and Prosperity: 21st Century Business Principles from the Book of Genesis (English)
Michael Eisenberg ’89
Wicked Son

One of Israel’s most successful venture capitalists uses the words and actions of the Hebrew patriarchs to lay the foundations for a modern growth economy based on timeless business principles and values.

Entrepreneurs, businessmen, and investors are constantly looking for principles and rules that will pave the way for success. Usually, those at the forefront are successful entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley or legendary Wall Street investors. But the principles of economic growth, wealth creation and preservation were written long before the rise of the modern market economy and its heroes.



RCJachter walking line314
Walking the Line: Hilchot Eruvin from the Sources to the Streets
Rabbi Chaim Jachter '81

Learning and mastering Hilchot Eruvin is a daunting challenge. Walking the Line: Hilchot Eruvin from the Sources to the Streets sets forth a practical path to conquer this challenge by bringing Hilchot Eruvin to life. The product of over thirty years of experience helping communities design and maintain their eruvin, Rabbi Chaim Jachter demonstrates how the concepts of Hilchot Eruvin are applied in the field. This work is an indispensable guide for anyone interested in eruvin, whether they are learning the masechet, the Halacha, or are simply interested in helping their community create, expand, or maintain its eruv.  To order...



RAKahn crowns letters314
The Crowns on the Letters: Essays on the Aggada and the Lives of the Sages
Rabbi Ari Kahn '80

Rabbi Ari Kahn's The Crowns on the Letters represents a major achievement in the study of the lives of our sages, as well as in the study of rabbinic aggada.This work is an immensely learned and deeply creative interpretation of many fundamental aggadot relating both to the intellectual biographies of the tannaim and amoraim Hillel and Shammai, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Resh Lakish and Rabbi Yochanan, and many others as well as to major themes in Jewish thought including the nature of the Oral Law, mysticism and its perils, the messianic era, teshuva, and Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Kahn's work is refreshingly original and he wears his erudition lightly, so that this is not only edifying scholarship but readable as well.  - Rabbi Menachem Genack  To order...



UriBrilliant kol hatalmud al regel achat160

Kol HaTalmud al Regel Echat (Hebrew)
Uri Brilliant (Hesder 30)
This new sefer takes us on a journey from the Babylonian Talmud to the end. Uri Brilliant teaches him the first page of each massechet in its clear way - and shows how each page is a glimpse into an entire massechet. The issues raised there, the original methods of discussion, the scholars arguing between themselves. From one page to the entire Talmud.
For those who have not yet experienced learning and want to taste - this is an opportunity for a deep and friendly acquaintance with the foreign and magical world of the Babylonian Talmud.
Older learners, who have already had a few pages, tracts or entire rounds - will find Brilliant's special learning method a chance to fall in love with the Gemara again.
Now, come out and learn.

For more information, click here


Michael Eisenberg kol echad moshe rabbeinu
Etz HaChaim veHaKesef - Sefer Shemot
Kol Echad Moshe Rabbeinu (Hebrew)
Michael Eisenberg '89
Sella Meir Publishers 2019 
The technological world is accelerating, and it presents us with unprecedented social, cultural, economic and leadership challenges - from Facebook and Twitter, to medical and financial ventures and to future transportation developments. It is a new world. A world that furnishes opportunities and risks to the individual and the community.

Such a world needs unprecedented political and business leadership. Leadership that combines sobriety, value and humility. An ancient operating system is hiding between the verses of the book of Exodus that interprets the story of Moshe Rabbeinu, the greatest leader who rose for the Jewish people and for humanity. Adopting the principles and insights that come up in Sefer Shemot can help each of us become Moses. All we have to do is ponder and decide.

This new book is the second in the series Etz HaChaim veHaKesef. The first volume dealt with finance and business principles in Sefer Bereishit and onwards.

For more information, click here.



Explorations Expanded by Rabbi Ari Kahn160Explorations Expanded
Rabbi Ari D. Kahn '80
Kodesh Press 2019

Explore Sefer Bereishit and discover breathtaking layers of originality and profundity. Gain new insights into the stories you thought you knew so well in this new-old compilation of creative yet scholarly essays. Distinguished scholar and educator Rabbi Ari Kahn presents a series of strikingly original interpretive essays on the weekly parsha. Drawing upon the vast reservoir of rabbinic literature–from Talmud to Midrash, from Zohar to the Chasidic masters–Rabbi Kahn combines the mystical explorations of Kabbalah with a highly intellectual and broad-minded approach to Torah study, masterfully applying psychology, literary analysis, and Jewish historical perspective to even the most esoteric midrashim. Explorations: Expanded is an exhilarating journey that sheds new light on some of the most difficult narratives of the biblical text.


ShalomEHoltz Praying Legally cover160Praying Legally
Shalom E. Holtz '94
Brown Judaic Studies, Nov 2019

In biblical and other ancient Near Eastern sources prayer is an opportunity to make one’s case before divine judges. Prayers were formulated using courtroom or trial language, including demands for judgment, confessions, and accusations. The presence of these legal concepts reveals ancient Near Eastern thoughts about what takes place when one prays. By reading ancient prayers together with legal texts, this book shows how speakers took advantage of prayer as an opportunity to have their day in the divine court and even sue against divine injustice.

Shalom E. Holtz, Professor of Bible, Dir of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College, is an Assyriologist and biblical scholar interested in Mesopotamian literature and law and their relationships to biblical and post-biblical writings. His most recent book is Neo-BabylonianTrial Records (Society of Biblical Literature Writings from the Ancient World 35; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014). Based on his research on cuneiform law, he has also written several comparative studies of courtroom terminology and imagery in the Hebrew Bible in light of Akkadian legal documents. He is currently working on a book to be entitled Praying Legally, which examines connections between prayer and the courtroom in the biblical world. His research for this project is supported by grants from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and by the Chelst, Schreiber, and Zwas YC Book Fund.



michael eisenberg etz hachaim vehakesef front314

עץ החיים והכסף
מיכאל אייזנברג, בני חו"ל 1989

Hot off the press is a wonderful book by our alumnus, Michael Eisenberg '89. Entitled עץ החיים והכסף, it synthesizes Torah insights, economic insights, and general insights into how our world works. There are twelve chapters, one on each Parashah of Sefer Bereshit (the second volume on Shemot is also in the works.). The book is a pleasure to read, evocative and provocative, and is certain to stimulate creative thought and moral reflection. Michael and his publisher have graciously agreed to make the Introduction available here.
For purchase with a special 20% discount - Click here...   Be sure to enter the promotional code ( AlHaTorah ) so that your discount will be applied.  Also available in digital form.



RHillelGoldberg Countdown to Shabbos160

Countdown to Shabbos
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg '72
OU Press

With one eye on this world, as a newspaper editor, and another eye on eternity, as the author of pioneering works on Jewish spiritual heroes, Rabbi Hillel Goldberg’s Countdown to Shabbos etches how Jews connect this world to the next, via Shabbos. Countdown to Shabbos is as accessible as a newspaper, as inspiring as legend, and as learned as a sefer, showing how Jews can transform their entire lives by bringing Shabbos into the week, and the week into Shabbos. To order...




RTFeintuch Panim el Panim2

Panim el Panim (Hebrew)
Rabbi Dr. Yonatan Feintuch (Hesder 21)
Maggid Books

Panim el Panim presents a profound reading of twelve aggadot of the Sages, wishing to discover the themes, ideas, and educational messages that are embedded in them. Through literary analysis on the one hand, and reading in the halachic context on the other, Rav Feintuch analyzes how Halacha and Aggada merge and connect, collide and complement one another. This new work is based upon shiurim originally released via the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash. To order...





Siddur Avodat Halev

Ed. in Chief: Rabbi Basil Herring.
Asst Editor: Rabbi Dr. Aton Holzer '95

The NEW RCA Siddur is a full Siddur for Weekday, Shabbat, Festivals and Holidays.

Ten years in the making, this outstanding Siddur was produced by an outstanding team of dozens of RCA members and consulting scholars, including essays by Harav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l and Harav Yehuda Amital zt"l, as well as numerous commentary pieces by Har Etzion Roshei Yeshiva, Ramim and Herzog staff. Other outstanding features include:

- Full contemporary, yet accurate, translation
- An entirely new commentary utilizing a wide range of rabbinic as well as academic sources
- Additional prayers for life cycle events, and the observance of Yom Hashoah, YomHaatzmaut, and Yom Yerushalayim
- The entire book of Psalms, in Hebrew and English
- Supplementary essays by leading contemporary rabbinic leaders
- Inclusive of men’s and women’s tefillot
- Detailed on-page halakhic instructions approved by recognized authorities
With all of its groundbreaking features the Siddur Avodat Halev is likely to become the standard Siddur used in English-speaking Orthodox communities for many years to come. Look inside!
To see a detailed listing of many of the special features of the Siddur Avodat HaLev, click here. To order...


Grossman A Story of Beginnings 2D 160Creation: The Story of Beginnings
Jonathan Grossman (Hesder 21)
Maggid Books
The opening narratives in the book of Genesis are unlike any other: the creation of physical reality, the beginning of humanity and man’s encounter with God, the first social interactions and the start of civilization. The sublime promise of a perfect, utopian world swiftly shatters into deep shame and disappointment with the beginning of sin, yet at the same time – like all beginnings – these stories contain the seeds of all that is to come. 

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. Part of the Maggid Tanakh Companions (MTC) this title is the first of a 4 volume set on Sefer Bereishit, all by Prof. Grossman. It is the English translation of בראשית: סיפורן של התחלות. 

RABBI DR. JONATHAN GROSSMAN is an associate professor in the Department of Bible, Bar-Ilan University, and the Department of Bible, Herzog College, Alon Shevut. He earned his MA in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University and his PhD in Bible from Bar-Ilan University, and has taught at Midreshet Migdal Oz. Among his previous books are Esther: The Outer Narrative and the Hidden Reading (2011), Ruth: Bridges and Boundaries (2015), Text and Subtext: On Exploring Biblical Narrative Design (2015), and Abram to Abraham: A Literary Analysis of the Abraham Narrative (2016). To order...


Brofsky Hilkhot Avelut 2D 160Hilkhot Avelut: Understanding the Laws of Mourning
Rabbi David Brofsky '90
Maggid Books
Hilkhot Avelut: Understanding the Laws of Mourning integrates halakhic, conceptual, philosophical, and historical analysis as it presents the laws of mourning. Each topic begins with its primary sources, be it a talmudic passage, a comment of the Geonim, or a practice instituted by the Rishonim or Aharonim. The author traces the halakha through the early and later commentaries, including relevant debates among the posekim regarding contemporary applications. At times, historical and philosophical sources, as well as traditional “lomdus,” are woven into the chapter. This valuable book also discusses the laws of aninut, burial, avelut, Kaddish, and yahrzeit. In addition to the main text, a practical compilation of the laws of mourning is included. Hilkhot Avelut is the second book by David Brofsky published by Maggid Books, a division of Koren Publishers. It is a companion volume to Hilkhot Mo’adim: Understanding the Laws of the Festivals, also published by Maggid. With haskamot from Rav Mordechai Willig and Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon, and introductions by Rabbi Elazar Muskin and Rabbi Mark Smilowitz. To order...

Rabbi David Brofsky is an educator and author. He has taught Talmud and halakha in yeshivas and seminaries in Israel, including Yeshivat Har Etzion, Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalyim, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Midreshet Torah V’Avodah. He writes a weekly halakha shiur for Yeshivat Har Etzion’s Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash (VBM), and is also the author of Hilkhot Tefilla (2010) and Hilkhot Mo’adim (2013). Rabbi Brofsky lives in Alon Shevut, Gush Etzion, with his wife, Mali, and their four children.



JerryKarp Sacred Training160Sacred Training - A Halakhic Guidebook for Medical Students and Residents
Jerry Karp, MD, PhD '05 and Matthew Schaikitz MD
Yeshiva University Press
For observant Jewish medical students and residents, navigating the system of medical training while observing halakhah is a challenging task. Sacred Training includes essays addressing the complex interface of halakhah and medical training. Each essay introduces fundamental halakhic principles and then guides the reader through the application of those principles to the contemporary question. The essays in this volume, written largely by medical professionals, thoroughly illuminate each topic and provide greater clarity and insight. Topics include taking the Hippocratic Oath, the anatomy laboratory, praying early in the morning or after working the night shift, counseling patients on treatments that violate halakhah, caring for moribund or deceased patients, residency and Shabbat, and many more. This book will be of great value to medical trainees, serving as a resource that can be referenced again and again throughout the long process of training to become a physician, helping to transform these difficult years into a spiritually meaningful journey. To see Table of Contents...



EliShulman yesamach av160Shiurei Yesamach Av
Rabbi Eli B. Shulman '75
MBH Publications, RIETS
Shiurim on massechtot Sanhedrin and Avoda Zara. Click here to read Table of Contents.






Halakhah The Rabbinic Idea of Law Chaim SaimanHalakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law
Prof. Chaim N. Saiman ’96
Princeton University Press
This book traces how generations of rabbis have used concepts formed in talmudic disputation to do the work that other societies assign not only to philosophy, political theory, theology, and ethics but also to art, drama, and literature. In the multifaceted world of halakhah where everything is law, law is also everything, and even laws that serve no practical purpose can, when properly studied, provide surprising insights into timeless questions about the very nature of human existence. The book’s dedication begins “To my Rosh ha-Yeshiva HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l, who would have never written this book, but without whom this book would never have been written.” The book has an approbation from Rosh Yeshiva Rav Mosheh Lichtenstein. Available on Amazon.


Shul With a Viewcover160

Shul With a View: A Rabbi's Personal Journal
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman '79
A car breakdown on a dark and freezing highway leads to an unbelievable (except that it happened) encounter...
A man behind the pizza counter teaches a fantastic lesson in chesed and Divine Providence...
A basket of laundry in a rent-controlled project has the smell of Gan Eden....
Take a look at the world through Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman's eyes: The view is breathtaking! You'll see cab drivers and world renowned gedolim who share a love of Torah. You'll enter the world of a shul rabbi, brimming with unforgettable personalities, joyous events and sometimes tragic misunderstandings. You'll revel in Rabbi Eisenman's honesty and laugh at his humor. You'll marvel at the simplicity of greatness and the greatness of the simple.
Rabbi Eisenman is Rav of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, New Jersey, and a renowned speaker and writer. Shul with a View is based on his popular column in Mishpacha Magazine, and includes much new material as well.
Shul with a View's essays will leave you smiling. Sometimes laughing out loud. Occasionally wiping away a tear. And, always, they will leave you inspired, optimistic, and eager to read the next one! Rabbi Ron Eisenman has an eye that is quick to discern greatness; a way with words that brings people and places to life, and a sense of humor that shines. Available here:  http://artscroll.com/Books/9781422622179.html 


Jachter Depths of Yonah160Depths of Yonah, Unleashing the Power of Your Yom Kippur
Rabbi Chaim Jachter '81 and Binyamin Jachter
The Jachters present here a fresh and thorough exploration of what is for many a highlight of the Yom Kippur service, the book of Yonah. This work is a beautiful blend of classic, contemporary and new insights into the beloved book of Yonah with an eye as to why Yonah cuts to the core of what we should be accomplishing on Yom Kippur. Readers of the Depths of Yonah will emerge with a deep appreciation for the richness of the book of Yonah and invigorated for a more meaningful Yom Kippur.  
Rabbi Chaim (Howard) Jachter is an American Modern Orthodox rabbi, dayan (rabbinical court judge), educator, and author. He sits on the Beth din of Elizabeth, New Jersey as a dayan and get (Jewish divorce) administrator. Noted as an expert on the laws of Jewish divorce, he also chairs the Agunah Prevention and Resolution Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He serves as the Rabbi of Sha'arei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, and is a faculty member at the Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC). Author of five books and many online and journal articles, he writes and lectures extensively on contemporary topics in Jewish law.
Available here:

Softcover: http://www.blurb.com/b/8870724-depths-of-yonah

Hardcover: http://www.blurb.com/b/8871031-depths-of-yonah


david milston eternity160

Eternity: Jewish Values as Revealed in Nevi'im Rishonim

Rav David Milston '83

Midreshet HaRova, 2 volumes, 2018

Following on from "The Three Pillars" on the weekly portion, and "Ki Va Moed" on the Jewish calendar, Rav Milson now brings us "Eternity," a series of fascinating explorations into the Prophets. He takes selected episodes from the Tanakh and extracts eternal life lessons as relevant today as they were over 3,000 years ago. These essays will add insight to some familiar stories, enhance your discussions around the Shabbat table, or simply deepen your knowledge and understanding of these oft-overlooked works. Volume 1, dedicated in memory of Rabbi Yaakov Don HY"D and Rabbi Michael (Micki) Mark HY"D, deals with Yehoshua, Shoftim and Shmuel Alef. Volume 2, dedicated in memory of Mr. Pinchas Kurnedz z"l, covers Shmuel Bet, Melachim Alef and Bet. Available at Midreshet HaRova.

YGrunstein beyond routine

BEYOND ROUTINE: Turning Ritual Into Meaningful Jewish Practice

Rabbi Yehoshua C. Grunstein H28

Urim Publications, 2018

Beyond Routine cleverly addresses the routine commandments and rituals in Judaism and explain show they can become more meaningful. Judaism is filled with many customs, such as shaking the four species on Sukkot or lighting candles to welcome the Sabbath. Rabbi Grunstein noticed that while many Jews know the "how" of performing these mitzvot, they do not understand how these mitzvot can elevate their own level of holiness. Looking at these rituals in this light, Beyond Routine: Turning Ritual into Meaningful Jewish Practice addresses questions such as: How is each custom significant? What emotions should one have while and after performing the commandment? How can a technical observance actually influence a person? It is the goal and hope that the reader will gain an understanding of the mitzvot themselves, and perform them with greater appreciation and personal meaning. Available at Urim.

With Liberty Justice Cover 160

With Liberty and Justice: The Fifty-Day Journey from Egypt to Sinai

Senator Joe Lieberman with Rabbi Ari Kahn '80

OU Press and Maggid Books

Passover and Shavuot are two acts in the same drama. The Exodus on Passover remains incomplete without the Revelation on Shavuot. Charting the fifty-day count of the Omer between the two holidays, Senator Joe Lieberman – together with Rabbi Ari Kahn – presents fifty short essays on the interplay of law and liberty in our lives. Drawing on the Bible and rabbinic literature, U.S. politics and modern legal theory, Jewish humor and American folklore, the authors follow the annual journey from Egypt to Sinai, illustrating that there can be no liberty without law, no freedom without justice. Available at Koren Publishers

SZAster Reflections of Empire 160Reflections of Empire in Isaiah 1-39: Responses to Assyrian Ideology (Ancient Near East Monographs 19)

by S. Zelig Aster '87
SBL Press - 2017  Available on Amazon.

In this new book Shawn Zelig Aster relates the prophecies found in Isaiah 1-39 to the historical events of the 8th century BCE, when Assyria controlled much of the ancient Near East. Aster elucidates the arguments of Isaiah 1-2, 6-8, 10-12, 14, 19, 31, and 36-37 by explaining that the passages contain hidden polemic along with the imperial propaganda of the Assyrian empire. Aster illustrates that the prophet adapts motifs from Assyrian propaganda, while subverting Assyrian claims to universal dominion. Aster argues that Isaiah does this in order to promote belief in a single omnipotent God, more powerful than any human empire. The book exposes the meaning behind these passages of Isaiah, as well as the history of Israel in the period 745-701 BCE.

Shawn Zelig Aster is Senior Lecturer in Land of Israel and Biblical Studies at Bar-Ilan University, in Israel. He is the author of The Unbeatable Light: Melammu and Its Biblical Parallels (Ugarit-Verlag), and many articles. 


Eliav Silverman Meishiv Nefesh v2 106Meishiv Nefesh Vol. II (Hebrew)

Yeshiva University Press

Hardcover – 2017

by Rabbi Eliav Silverman

This is the second volume of shiurim given by Rav Eliav Silverman at the RIETS Israel Kollel. These shiurim provide the conceptual background and “lomdus” of the halachot of ma’achalot assurot and are geared toward enhancing the learning experience of those learning these topics l’halacha. The sefer is dedicated in memory of Moreinu HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l. To see the Table of Contents and Divrei Peticha, click here.

cjachter reason to believeReason to Believe: Rational Explanations of Orthodox Jewish Faith

Menorah Books

Hardcover – June 28, 2017

by Rabbi Chaim Jachter '81

Reason to Believe is veritable tour de force in defense of Orthodox Jewish faith. The author, a veteran teacher of Judaic Studies, an internationally known rabbi and dayan, faces the tough questions and perennial doubts head-on and offers compelling evidence in favor of Orthodoxy from science, philosophy, history, and Jewish tradition. A valuable and timely resource for those who seek answers, Reason to Believe will also anchor and amplify the faith of those who feel secure in their Orthodox beliefs and lifestyle. Available on Amazon.

YitzhakBerger Jonah webJonah in the Shadows of Eden

Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature

Hardcover – July 4, 2016

by Yitzhak Berger '88

Associate Professor Yitzhak Berger advances a distinctive and markedly original interpretation of the biblical book of Jonah that resolves many of the ambiguities in the text. Berger contends that the Jonah text pulls from many inner-biblical connections, especially ones relating to the Garden of Eden. These connections provide a foundation for Berger’s reading of the story, which attributes multiple layers of meaning to this carefully crafted biblical book. Focusing on Jonah's futile quest and his profoundly troubled response to God's view of the sins of humanity, Berger shows how the book paints Jonah as a pacifist no less than as a moralist.  For a look inside the book...


More TasteofEden RAKahn iconA Taste of Eden: (More) Torah for the Shabbat Table

by Rabbi Ari D. Kahn '80

Published by Kodesh Press

In another collection of incisive essays on the weekly Torah reading and Jewish holidays, Rabbi Ari Kahn once again displays his remarkable ability to distill complicated philosophical, theological, and exegetical ideas into brief and accessible language for everyone at the Shabbat table. His writings are deeply steeped in Torah and rabbinic tradition, yet remain relevant to Jews across a broad spectrum of readership. Share these ideas at your Shabbat table, or study them beforehand to enhance your understanding of the parashah each week. 


RAKahn ARiverFlowedFromEden160

A River Flowed from Eden: Torah for the Shabbat Table

by Rabbi Ari D. Kahn '80

Published by Kodesh Press

A River Flowed from Eden is the perfect addition to your Shabbat table. Rabbi Ari Kahn has collected 54 of his thought-provoking short essays, one for each of the weekly Torah portions, in a volume that is sure to spark interest and meaningful discussion. Rabbi Kahn's newest volume raises existential and philosophical issues and culls contemporary messages from the sacred, timeless text of the Torah while retaining fidelity to rabbinic tradition. In the words of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, Rabbi Kahn’s writings are “rooted in text and rooted in values.” Written in accessible, engaging language, each essay examines a single idea from the weekly Torah reading. Grappling with the challenges presented by the text, the trials and tribulations of Judaism's founding mothers and fathers, and the philosophical underpinnings of observance, Rabbi Kahn illuminates the remarkably contemporary issues of morality and faith, society and sanctity contained in each Torah portion.


RAKahn Echoes of Eden Devarim160Echoes of Eden: Sefer Devarim

by Rabbi Ari D. Kahn '80

Published jointly by Gefen Publishing House and the OU

Book 5 of 5 in the Echoes of Eden Series

Tantalizingly close yet ever so far from the Promised Land, Moshe delivers a message meant to encapsulate his life's work. His understanding of the destiny of the Jewish people and his enduring messages of love and faith are the subjects of this last book of the Torah. Above all, Moshe's words empower us to forge powerful, eternal relationships with God. Plumbing the depths of Jewish sources, Rabbi Ari Kahn provides fascinating answers to age-old questions, infusing the parashah with fresh significance. Through provoking questions and intriguing insights, Rabbi Kahn continually inspires us to seek the Godly. Echoes of Sinai completes a five-volume work on the weekly Torah portion. 


DrAdamSFerziger beyond sectarianism160Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism

by Rabbi Professor Adam S. Ferziger '82

Published by Wayne State University Press

Winner of the 2015 National Jewish  Book Award!

In a series of interconnected essays, Rabbi Professor Ferziger traces the evolution of Orthodox Judaism in the U.S., focusing on some of the schisms but also the development of what some consider to be the “triumphalism” of American Orthodoxy at the present time. He accomplishes this by presenting a debate between two Orthodox rabbis in the 1920s and the current debate over the integration of feminist ideals in communal institutions; a discussion of the evolution of Manhattan’s Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, which served as a model of decorum and the sponsor of an early coed day school; the Orthodox-led Soviet Jewry movement, which brought together a broad cross section of Jews; and the expansion of outreach programs, evidence of a more cosmopolitan focus on the part of right wing Yeshivish and Lubavich segments of the Orthodox community. Read more...


ShlomoBrody guide to the complex160A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary Halakhic Debates

Rabbi Shlomo M. Brody 2001Post College

Maggid Publishers

Winner of the 2014 National Jewish  Book Award!

Abortion, stem-cell research, conversion standards, female rabbis, DNA testing, animal cruelty, civil marriages in Israel. While today's most hot-button halakhic issues elicit strong opinions on all sides, few understand the halakhic origins of their views, their historical development or social implications. Without fully grasping the issues at hand, respectful dialogue between conflicting opinions becomes impossible. In A Guide to the Complex, Brody presents over 130 of the most provocative, controversial topics in Jewish law today. The book s concise, articulate essays, based on the author's popular Ask the Rabbi column in The Jerusalem Post, cite sources and scholars from across the ideological spectrum in an effort to increase respect for the diversity of voices of the halakhic dialogue. This compendium of highly relevant essays gives an accurate picture of the legal, historical, and sociological factors that are fundamental to understanding halakhic debates.


expanded BetweentheLinesoftheBibleGenesis RYEtshalom160REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION - Between the Lines of the Bible

by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom '83


Published by Urim Publications and OU Press

Hardcover, 300 pages

Publication: 2015

Companion Volume: Between the Lines of the Bible, Exodus


The study of Tanakh has always been a staple of Jewish life. The new windows which have opened up in the last century into the rooms of academia—anthropology, archeology, philology, and literary analysis, to name a few—have given new perspectives to traditional study with greater depth and insight. In this rich volume, Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom presents 26 essays on the book of Genesis that demonstrate the methodology through which traditional study meets academic rigor, and new insights into the meaning of the text and its import come to light.
Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom was educated at Yeshivot Kerem B’Yavneh, RIETS/Yeshiva University and Har Etzion, after which he received rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. While completing his M.Ed. at Loyola Marymount University, Etshalom began his career as an educator and a leading teacher of Tanakh in North America. Rabbi Etshalom resides in Southern California with his wife and five children, where he teaches adults, high school students, and many of all ages via the Internet. 


“[The] lucid presentation of the methodology and premises that represent the backbone of the New School of Orthodox Bible Commentary is particularly meaningful to us at Yeshiva University. . . . This represents the best of Torah Umadda.”

—Richard M. Joel, president, Yeshiva University

“A significant and handsomely produced contribution to biblical studies.”

—Professor Sid Z. Leiman

"...the author takes a superbly sophisticated approach to delving into the complexities of the weekly parsha. I am proud that OU Press is a co-publisher of this impressive work and greatly look forward to using this book in my own studies and teachings."

—Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, the Orthodox Union


DavenYourAge RYGrunstein160Daven your Age, An Adult Journey through the Daily Prayer Service, by Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein (Hesder Machzor 28)

Jews spend endless hours of their lives in prayer, yet many Jews view prayer as an obligation to strike off the schedule rather than enjoy and be uplifted by. Since we generally don t learn about prayer past grade school, we often find ourselves praying with the intellectual awareness of fifth graders and we therefore find prayers to be meaningless and empty. This book bridges that very gap connecting the mind to the heart by allowing the laws of prayer, which people know so well, to influence the experience of praying in ways that have not yet been explored.

Gefen Publishing 2013. 
For more information, click here.




yblau-talmud-iconMedieval Commentary in the Modern Era:  The Enduring Value of Classical Parshanut, by Rabbi Yaakov Blau '88
In this book, Rav Blau advocates for Tanakh study to be an integral component of serious Talmud Torah, and demonstrates the Sugya approach for “reviving” the classical commentaries, Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Targum, and Radak.  Rabbi Blau began his teaching career at the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and will teach at TABC, Torah Academy of Bergen County, beginning in September 2014. 
He notes in his Preface: In Israel I learned with Rav Aharon Lichtenstein in Yeshivat Har Etzion and the Gruss Kollel.  Rav Lichtenstein remains a towering figure for every aspect of Talmud Torah and a model for integrating the best of Western society into a Torah worldview.  Yeshivat Har Etzion also stands at the forefront of serious Tanakh study.  Rav Menachem Leibtag’s shiurim demonstrated how sophisticated Tanakh study can, and should, be.

For more information:  medievalcommentary@gmail.com




the rarest blue-sterman160The Rarest Blue, by Baruch Sterman '79 and Judy Taubes Sterman

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Lyons Press

For centuries, dyed fabrics ranked among the most desirable objects of the ancient world, fetching up to 20 times their weight in gold. Few people knew their complex secrets, carefully guarding the valuable knowledge. The Rarest Blue tells the incredible story of tekhelet, or hyacinth blue, the elusive sky-blue dye mentioned throughout the Hebrew Bible. Minoans discovered it; Phoenicians stole it; Roman emperors revered it; Cleopatra adored it; and Jews—obeying a Biblical commandment to affix a single thread of the radiant color to the corner of their garments—risked their lives for it. But as the Roman Empire dissolved, the color vanished. Then, in the nineteenth century, a marine biologist marveled as yellow snail-gut smeared on a fisherman’s shirt turned blue. What had caused this incredible transformation? Meanwhile, a Hasidic master obsessed with the ancient technique posited that the source of the color  dye was no snail but a squid. Bitter controversy divided European Jews until a brilliant Rabbi proved one side wrong. But had people been deceived by an unscrupulous chemist? In this richly illustrated book, Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the amazing story of this sacred dye that changed the color of history.

For more information



david milston-ki va moed160KI VA MOED
Rav David Milston '83

Ki Va Moed (because the time has come*), is an in-depth, two-volume series offering a fascinating journey through the Jewish Year, sharing refreshing, enlightening and eminently relevant insights into the Jewish calendar and festivals. Rav Milston presents classic sources and thought-provoking questions, always finding contemporary relevance and challenging you to search your soul. These essays will add a new dimension to your celebrations throughout the year, enrich your festive table and provoke lively discussion and debate about a wealth of topics and the very purpose of our modern Jewish lives. For more information. See also Rav Milson’s 5-volume set of The Three Pillars, essays on Torah which weave classical and modern day commentaries into messages for the contemporary Jew. For more information.



echoes of eden - ari kahn160ECHOES OF EDEN
by Rabbi Ari D. Kahn '80

Published jointly by Gefen Publishing and the OU. Hardcover, 350 pages

As the Jewish people embark on their fateful journey toward redemption, we wonder: How did the Jewish people s suffering prepare them for their destiny? What enabled them to receive the Torah? How could the people have perpetrated the golden calf debacle, and how can we successfully learn from their experiences to live wiser, more God-conscious lives? Plumbing the depths of Jewish sources, Rabbi Ari Kahn provides fascinating answers to age-old questions, infusing the parashah with fresh significance. Through provoking questions and intriguing insights, Rabbi Kahn continually inspires us to seek the Godly. Salvation and Sanctity is the second in a five-volume work on the weekly Torah portion.

Rabbi Ari Kahn received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary where he studied with Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. He graduated Yeshiva University with a BA in psychology and an MS degree in Talmud. He is Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he also is a senior lecturer in Jewish studies, he is also a senior educator at the Aish HaTorah College for Jewish Studies, and MATAN.



PASSAGES: Text and Transformation in the Parasha
by Rabbi Michael Hattin '85

Published by Urim Publications. Hardcover, 384 pages


Passages is a journey through the text of the Torah that can transform you. 


Passages is a thought-provoking study of the weekly parasha that deftly weaves literary analysis of the Biblical text with selected teachings of classical Jewish commentary. Revealing the intricacies of the Torah portion and offering innovative readings, Passages applies the Torah’s message to the complexities of modern living. Passages is a journey into the landscape of Biblical study that will both challenge as well as refresh you. This volume of parsha commentary was inspired by Rav Hattin's series Introduction to Parashat HaShavua of the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

MICHAEL HATTIN is a master teacher of Tanakh at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and the Director of the Beit Midrash for the Pardes Educators Program. He studied for semicha at Yeshivat Har Etzion and holds a professional degree in architecture from the University of Toronto. He has served as scholar-in-residence in many communities in North America and Europe. He lives in Alon Shevut with his wife Rivka and their ­ five children.

To order your copy, inscribed by the author, click here.



The Pillar of Volozhin: Rabbi Naftali Zvi yehuda Berlin and the World of 19th Century Lithuanian Torah Scholarship.
by Gil S. Perl '96

Published by Academic Studies Press. 291 pp. cloth

The work of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, the Neziv, ranks amongst the most often read rabbinic literature of the nineteenth century. His breadth of learning, unabashed creativity, and penchant for walking against the stream of the rabbinic commentarial establishment has made his commentaries a favorite amongst rabbinic scholars and scholars of rabbinics alike. Yet, to date, there has been no comprehensive and systematic attempt to place his intellectual oeuvre into its historical context - until now.

In the Pillar of Volozhin, Gil Perl traces the influences which helped mold and shape the Neziv’s thinking while also opening new doors into the world of early nineteenth century Lithuanian Torah scholarship, an area heretofore almost completely untouched by academic research.

Gil Perl (PhD Harvard University) is the Dean of the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South, a Prek-12 private school serving the Jewish community of Memphis. He has earned rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University and sits on the editorial board of Ha-Yedion, RAVSAK’s journal of Jewish education, as well as the advisory council of the Institute for University-School Partnership at Yeshiva University.




Read more.



by Dr. Moshe Simon-Shoshan 

In this new book from Oxford University Press, Moshe Simon-Shoshan '88 offers a ground-breaking study of Jewish law and Rabbinic story-telling. Focusing on the Mishnah, the foundational text of Halakhah, he argues that narrative was essential to early rabbinic formulations and concepts of law, legal process, and political and religious authority. Stories of the Law presents an original and forceful argument for applying literary theory to legal texts, challenging the traditional distinctions between law and literature that underlie much contemporary scholarship.  Available at Amazon.com. This book has been awarded Honorable Mention (i.e. Second Place) in the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards of the Association for Jewish Studies, in the category of Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity for books published between 2010-2012.




Mikra_and_Meaning160MIKRA & MEANING, Studies in Bible and Its Interpretation is the newest release by Tanakh teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot 81. This collection of essays offers an in-depth analysis of selected episodes in Bible, from the life of Abraham to the trials of the Jewish people throughout their desert journey, using the unique literary-theological method for which the author is renowned. Helfgot’s approach towards these biblical narratives revitalizes the text with a refreshing blend of critical awareness, intellectual honesty and religious commitment, thereby facilitating a rethinking of Jewish peoplehood. The book includes a preface by Harav Aharon Lichtensteina and a foreword by Rav Yoel Bin Nun.

Available at Koren Publishers




by Rabbi David Shabtai, MD

Does Judaism allow donating life-saving vital organs? Almost certainly, so long as the potential donor is dead. And this is where the story begins. Medical ethicists and leading rabbis have struggled for decades to determine the precise moment of death. Does death occur at the irreversible cessation of respiration, when the brain is completely gone, or when the heart stops beating? The practical consequences are enormous and they determine when vital organs may or may not be donated. Read More....

Rabbi Shabtai '98 will be kicking off the book launch with a lecture for the Medical Ethics Society of Yeshiva University at The Seforim Sale, this Sunday, February 19th, at 7pm. To celebrate the book’s debut, it is being offered at a 15% discount at the Seforim Sale and in the Glueck Beit Midrash of YU after the lecture. The book is available at Amazon.



by Rabbi Chaim Jachter 

Chaim (Howard) Jachter '81 has just published his fourth volume of Gray Matter.  Rabbi Chaim Jachter selects topics of relevance and interest to contemporary Jews and in his characteristically clear and readable style comprehensively surveys the issues and the varying views of contemporary scholars. Instead of simply presenting the rules, Rabbi Jachter fully explains the sources of the Halacha from the Gemara, to the Rishonim and Acharonim and then to current rabbinic authorities. Rabbi Jachter has created a new style of Halachic literature which not only tells you what to do but allows readers to understand how and why great rabbis arrive at their conclusions. A wide range of Halachic authorities are included in these broad studies. Rav Amital zt"l and Rav Lichtenstein Shlita are quoted extensively in all volumes.

Read reviews. Available at Eichlers.com


gray_matter3  gray_matter2  gray_matter1  chaim_jachter




OPENING THE GATES OF INTERPRETATION: Maimonides’ Biblical Hermeneutics in Lights of His Geonic-Andalusian Heritage and Muslim Milieu
by Mordechai Z. Cohen 

Prof Mordechai Cohen ’82, who has been serving as Associate Dean of the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies (Yeshiva University) since 2008, recently published his second book, Opening the Gates of Interpretation: Maimonides’ Biblical Hermeneutics in Lights of His Geonic-Andalusian Heritage and Muslim Milieu (Leiden: Brill Academic Press, 2011). The biblical hermeneutics of the illustrious philosopher-talmudist Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) has long been underappreciated, and viewed in isolation from the celebrated philological schools of “plain sense” (peshat) Jewish Bible exegesis. Aiming to redress this imbalance, this study identifies Maimonides’ substantial contributions to that interpretive movement, assessing its achievements in cultural context. To order

Last year Prof. Cohen was on sabbatical at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he led an international team of 14 scholars engaged in a research project entitled “Encountering Scripture in Overlapping Cultures: Early Jewish, Christian and Muslim Strategies of Reading and Their Contemporary Implications.” For further details see http://blogs.yu.edu/news/2011/11/21/a-multi-faith-approach-to-scripture/#more-8928



rpollack-bikur-cholimTurning things Around at Bikur Cholim

Dr. Raphael Pollack '74 has performed 1,372 ‘external cephalic versions’ – an alternative to cesarean sections or breech births. A father of six – none by breech deliveries – and the grandfather of one (with another on the way), he still finds the experience of delivering a baby very moving, and even holy. The modern Orthodox physician has done it many thousands of times, and has performed a total of 1,372 ECVs in his career – a record that might qualify him for inclusion in The Guinness Book of Records.  Read more.





by Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein 


In We’re Missing the Point: What’s Wrong with the Orthodox Jewish Community and How to Fix It, the newest publication of the OU Press, Rabbi Gidon Rothstein '82 argues vigorously and convincingly that the Orthodox Jewish community is “missing the point” in many aspects of its Torah observance and mindset. Too often, the Orthodox community’s educational system and cultural institutions place excessive emphasis on the technical aspects of religious observance while ignoring the profound transcendent truths and principles that should animate a rich, authentic religious life. From a thorough study of the classical sources, Rabbi Rothstein identifies those transcendent truths and demonstrates their conspicuous absence in contemporary Orthodox Jewish life.  Read more.





Published by Urim Publications and OU Press
Hardcover, 220 pages
ISBN 978-965-524-117-4
publication: 2012

BetweenTheLinesGenesisWebThe study of Tanakh has always been a staple of Jewish life. The new windows which have opened up in the last century into the rooms of academia – anthropology, archeology, philology and literary analysis, to name a few – have given new perspectives to traditional study and have allowed Orthodox students of our Book of Books to understand, with greater depth and insight, the stories, laws, prophecies and poems that have been our breath for these millennia. In this rich volume, Rabbi Etshalom demonstrates the methodology through which traditional study meets academic rigor, and new insights into the meaning of the text and its import come to light. (“The old will become renewed and the new will become sanctified.” –Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook)

About the Author

Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom was educated at Yeshivot Kerem B’Yavneh, RIETS/Yeshiva University and Har Etzion, after which he received rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. While completing his M.Ed. at Loyola Marymount University, Etshalom began his career as an educator and a leading teacher of Tanakh in North America. Rabbi Etshalom resides in Southern California with his wife and five children, where he teaches adults, high school students, and many of all ages via the Internet. See also volume 1 of this series.




hats_for_soldiersAllow us to feature a member of the Har Etzion Community: Channah Koppel (married to Moshe '74, and aunt of Hesder bogrim Mordechai and Daniel, and media consultant for the Yeshiva!)ckoppel150

"As the mother of an Israeli soldier and the organizer of a local group of handcrafters called "Chicks with Sticks", I began a small grass roots initiative to knit hats for soldiers...and it grew...and grew...and grew. This small, concrete way to send a soldier a little warmth struck a chord with knitters around the world. Thousands of their handmade hats are already in use by combat soldiers on Israel's front lines." Read more about it on these pages. Write to her at kovakoppel@gmail.com or better yet, watch an interview with Channah. Hers is an inspiring story.





The_Black_BannersThe Black Banners - The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda, by Ali H. Soufan.

This book was co-authored by Har Etzion alumnus Daniel Freedman ('00). Daniel is currently the Director of Strategy and Policy Analysis of The Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy that advises governments, businesses, and institutions on policy, strategy, security, and risk management; and trains law enforcement, intelligence, judicial, and security services. He also serves as the Director of Policy Analysis at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies (QIASS). "This narrative account of America's successes and failures against al-Qaeda is essential to an understanding of the terrorist group. We are taken into hideouts and interrogation rooms. We have a ringside seat at bin Laden's personal celebration of the 9/11 bombings. Such riveting details show us not only how terrorists think and operate but also how they can be beaten and brought to justice."

Read more.


Art Intended to Make the End of Life Beautiful. Artist Tobi Kahn '72  has created art for hospices, hospitals and memorial chapels, ranging from a single canvas to an entire room for meditation, and has several commissions in the near future. Read more.


More than 100 people protested Sunday December 19th outside a Wheaton apartment complex for a local man to give his ex-wife a religious divorce. Har Etzion alumnus Rabbi Jeremy Stern, executive director of ORA, Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, explains.


"While one need not accept the British belief that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, there is no question that within the essentially trivial world of sports, real moral greatness and real moral degradation can be seen. If you see someone on the basketball court who wants only to shoot and score, and defense means nothing to him, this is not simply disturbing to another basketball player, but is morally repugnant." - Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, Developing a Torah Personality Lecture #2

Rabbi Dov Huff '2000 appears to have taken these words of the Rosh Yeshiva to heart, and succeeds in conveying them to his students at Maimonides. Our congratulations to the Maimonides School for being awarded the District Sportsmanship Award. “For me it’s not about winning the game; it’s about playing well,’’ said Sophie Edelman, the varsity volleyball captain. “I want to have a good relationship with my teammates rather than show them I’m the best server in volleyball.’’ Read more.


Hanukka a cappella parody becomes YouTube hit

By Jordana Horn - Published JPost Dec 1, 2010  [Details and picture added by Har Etzion staff]

Maccabeats, a group of Yeshiva University students, has transformed Taio Cruz's hit song "Dynamite" into a holiday parody "Candlelight."


maccabeatsNEW YORK – A group of Yeshiva University students have become a somewhat-unlikely YouTube sensation, by transforming Mike Tompkins’ a cappella cover of Taio Cruz’s hit song “Dynamite” into an irrepressibly catchy and entertaining Hanukka parody, “Candlelight.”

The Maccabeats, an all-male a cappella group at the Orthodox Jewish university, authored and put together the video. The video is a hilarious montage of spoofs on music videos, battle scenes between Jews and Greeks, the inexplicable appearance of a NASA astronaut, and at least one sufganiyah whose fillings cannot be contained.
Immanuel Shalev, associate director of the Maccabeats, spoke with The Jerusalem Post a few days before the group was slated to open for Matisyahu in a special Hanukka concert. Shalev formed the Maccabeats four years ago, along with co-founders Michael Greenberg (Har Etzion alumnus 2006) and Julian Horowitz (Har Etzion alumnus 2005). Read more


English-speakers on the rise in Ariel

by Tamar Morad - Published Haaretz.com November 12, 2010 [Picture added by Yeshivat Har Etzion]

The English-speaking population in Ariel has grown at a quicker pace as of late, albeit still small. Ariel's 20,000 residents are mostly Russian immigrants and native Israelis, mostly secular, who were drawn to the West Bank settlement for its relative cheap housing and central location.

The number of English-speaking families in Ariel has risen from some 15 years ago to around 50 families, largely the result of the Absorption Ministry's Communal Aliyah Program, geared toward immigrants from English-speaking countries but which was cut earlier this year.

Some of the increase is the result of English-speaking immigrants moving to Ariel from other communities, primarily Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem. Many are religious and say they were draBuilding and Reuniting Hillel Maizels and Avi Zimmerman2wn to Ariel because of its diversity. The lack of availability of housing, however, has caused several interested Anglo families to look elsewhere.

Nefesh B'Nefesh, which recruits immigrants from North America, "initially didn't want to get involved in Ariel because of its location, but once it saw the success of our aliyah and were pleased about it, and understood that there is more opportunity here, they began to work with us," says Avi Zimmerman, executive director of the American Friends of Ariel, executive director of the Ariel Development Fund and an American immigrant.

"The seeds have been laid already so that the new immigrants themselves are drawing in other new families," says Reuven Franks, Ariel's British-born aliyah coordinator.

As the number of Anglo immigrants grew, Zimmerman decided it would be good to hire an English-speaking rabbi. Rabbi Hillel Maizels, an immigrant from South Africa, and his wife Yael joined the comminity and rejuvinated one of the dying congregations in the city by attracting both English-speaking immigrants and other residents.

Photo: Rabbi Hillel Maizels '95 with Avi Zimmerman '95. Read more.


Ethiopian rabbi brings synagogue to life

Rabbi Shalom, who immigrated through Operation Moses, woos a congregation of Holocaust survivors
by Itamar Eichner – Published Ynet News October 11, 2010.


It was exactly two years ago that Yedioth Ahronoth's David Regev published a story about the appointment of Rabbi Sharon Shalom, a 37-year old Ethiopian who married an Ashkenazi Israeli and fathered four, to the position of rabbi of Kdoshei Yisrael Synagogue in Kiryat Gat.

His appointment as an Ethiopian rabbi serving a congregation of Holocaust survivors was unprecedented, yet there is only one way to describe what Rabbi Shalom has managed to accomplish in the past two years – a revolution. Under his care, the dying synagogue became the source of a young, modern, thriving community.

Since his arrival, the synagogue is constantly packed with congregants and visitors. On Rosh Hashana alone, 300 came through its doors – more than double what the synagogue is capable of holding.

Read more.


Ziva and David '80 Schapiro, featured in "Planting Hope"
by Ruth Eglash
Published Jerusalem Post Monday, June 22, 2010. 

It’s a Sunday morning at the Ligdol V’lifroah Child and Family Services facility in Ramat Beit Shemesh, just outside Jerusalem.

Zeva and David '80 SchapiroKnown locally as Merkaz Rakefet, the modern well-equipped center is bustling. Phones are ringing nonstop and almost all of the 10 colorful, toyfilled therapy rooms are in use.

Little children hold on tightly to their parents’ hands as they are led through the sun-filled, air-conditioned hallways to participate in a variety of speech therapy, occupational therapy or other type of learning support session.

“It’s always busy like this,” explains Ziva Schapiro, founder and director of the center, who made aliya with her husband, David [alumnus 1980], and two of their four children (the other two were born here) in January 1990. “We provide services for about 450 children a month, about 2,000 children a year.” 

Read more.


Spielberg of the underground

Aryeh Halivni hopes to record testimonies of 5,000 veterans of pre-state organizations and of the War of Independence.

By Yossi Melman
Published Haaretz.com June 5, 2009

aryeh_halivniAryeh Halivni dreams of becoming Steven Spielberg. Actually, the young American-born Orthodox man, who immigrated to Israel a few years ago, has no pretensions of being a successful Hollywood film director and producer. He is merely interested in creating a documentary enterprise in Israel similar to the video archive the famous director has established, which contains interviews with Holocaust survivors. Copies of those testimonies, gathered by Spielberg's Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California, have been given to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Authority in Jerusalem.

Halivni's project, called Toldot Yisrael, has a slightly different twist: "I want to interview, film and perpetuate the memory of veterans of the [pre-state] Haganah, Etzel and Lehi underground organizations, of the clandestine immigration operation Aliyah Bet and of the War of Independence," he explains, noting that the name of his enterprise was taken from the last line of Natan Alterman's poem "Magah Hakesef" ("The Silver Platter").

"My object is to preserve the personal stories of veterans from that period for future generations, by capturing them on video," says Livni, who is 36. "The plan is to build an archive of unedited oral history accounts." Read more.