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Book review of Where's My Miracle by Nathan Rosen


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Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, February March 2011, page 25

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Book review of Where's My Miracle by Nathan Rosen

  1. 1. Reviews of Nonfiction Titles for Adultskey players, who range from the ardent Zionist Chaim grandchildren. She is a successful artist, and some of herWeizmann to the British officer T.E. Lawrence, aka work is included in the book, along with family photographs“Lawrence of Arabia.” (There are wry references to that and charts, and a glossary of Yiddish and Hebrew terms.famous film.) Apparently the nationalism of that era, laced The book is an important contribution to Holocaust memoirswith opportunism, was the greatest catalyst, and the author and is recommended for Holocaust collections in synagogue,soberly concludes that the end result was profound distrust high school, academic and public libraries.among all the nationalities involved, which would have Susan Freiband, Library Educator (retired), Arlington, VAramifications in the days to come. This book is vital for alladult Jewish libraries and Middle East collections. Schwartz, Morey. Where’s My Miracle? Exploring Jewish Hallie Cantor, Acquisitions, Hedi Steinberg Library, Stern Traditions for Dealing with Tragedy. Lynbrook, NY: College for Women, Yeshiva University, New York Gefen Books, 2010. 190 pp. $25.00 (9789652294845). A truly unique book which should be owned by everySchulweis, Harold M. Judaism: Embracing the Seeker. Jersey Book review by Nathan Rosen synagogue library and any person who struggles with theirCity, NJ: KTAV, 2010. 179 pp. $16.95 (9781602801417). perception of the “Jewish” tradition regarding suffering Association ofsixty years, Rabbi Harold Schulweis has For the past Jewish Libraries and death. I have read nearly every English languagebeen a leader, 2011, page 25 Feb/March both within the Conservative movement and Jewish book published on death, dying and mourning andfor the larger Jewish community. Among his gifts has been on this volume unmistakably stands out. It is not intended tohis willingness to seek out and work with potential Jews by replace a traditional “how to” guide nor the many stories of Morey Schwartzs book, individuals coping with mourning. Rabbi Schwartz’s bookChoice. Wheres My book from Exploring Jewish Traditions This short Miracle? KTAV is divided in two parts. opens to the layperson, and even the educated professional,The first section, “Why I am a Jew,” contains 56 statements for Dealing with Tragedy. the truly wide range of Jewish viewpoints. Many peopleon both the process of conversion and what it means to grew up with relatively simplistic interpretations of thethe seekers. Most of the short essays are from the converts Jewish views of death and suffering which can lead peoplethemselves. They talk about their personal paths to Judaism, into challenging (or even rejecting) faith.and the importance Judaism has in their current lives. There Schwartz highlights various alternative ways to look atare also several comments from those associated with them. these serious topics and provides individual options that doThese contributions are by spouses and children, non- not require the person either to reject Judaism or be placedJewish parents and others. They provide their own points in a psychologically uncomfortable position.of view and some surprising insights into their loved ones. Schwartz highlights the position of Maimonides, whoThe second section includes thoughts from Rabbi Schulweis states that in disagreements between sages, where there areand other leaders about the people who choose Judaism no practical ramification but rather issues of faith/belief, weand their role in contemporary Jewish life. The book is also are not obligated to believe one tradition over another. Heinterspersed with five short, powerful poems on the process concludes that our tradition preserved different approachesand its importance, written by Rabbi Schulweis. to dealing with suffering and injustice so that each individual Embracing the Seeker is highly recommended for can use the widest variety of positions to answer certainacademic and synagogue libraries and as a resource for questions one way and other questions another way.rabbis and counselors. Its powerful message, that Judaism’s Rabbi Schwartz spent more than twenty years searchingpower endures, can be used in many settings and with a within Judaism for answers to help him cope with sufferingwide variety of groups. and death, having been an only child who was orphaned at Fred Isaac, Temple Sinai, Oakland, CA an early age. He is an American Orthodox Rabbi who lives in  Israel and is the Director of Curriculum DevelopmentSchwartz, Lola Lieber with Alida Brill. A World After This: at the Florence Melton Adult mini-school at the HebrewA Memoir of Loss and Redemption. Jerusalem: Devora UniversityPublications, 2010. 278 pp. $19.95 (9781936068104). This is a must read book for everyone and is absolutely This story of an Orthodox Hungarian-Polish woman, critical for anyone who has occasion to counsel people.from a wealthy Jewish family who miraculously survived Nathan Aaron Rosen, New York, NYthe Holocaust makes for fascinating reading. It covers theperiod from 1938 when Lola was 15 years old to 1946 when Shoyer, Paula. The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Freeher first child was born. During most of this time she and Recipes from Traditional to Trendy. Waltham, MA:her husband experienced the evil and horrors of the Nazi Brandeis University Press (HBI Series on Jewish Women),killing machine and lost most of their families. They fled from 2010. 312 pp. $35.00 (9781584658351).hiding place to hiding place several times, barely escaping It is always a challenge for the kosher cook to find acapture. After her husband was arrested, Lola worked luscious cake recipe for the grand finale after a holidaytirelessly to free him from prison. Her strong faith sustained meal. Most of the recipes include butter, milk or sour cream,her through many trials. They were able to emigrate to the making it unfit to eat after a meat-based meal. But now thisUnited States in 1947. Today Lola’s growing family includes book offers a wonderful range of recipes that will delighther three children, twelve grandchildren and thirty-six great both new and experienced bakers. The book contains over 25 AJL Reviews February/March 2011