I just love to read and collect books! In addition to trying my best to keep up with my learning of Torah and Talmud, I always seem to have another book I want to read (or many times re-read again). I also love to see what others are reading as well. Here are some favorites of mine along with some that I am currently working on. I'd love to hear what others are reading as well :)

What I am reading these days:

Wise Men and Their Tales / Four Hasidic Masters and Their Struggle Against Melancholy by Elie Wiesel
I had the great privledge of taking Professor Wiesel's class when I was a student at Boston Univeristy. Each year he would give three lectures to the public. Some of the lectures during my time at BU are included in "Wise Men". It has been a lot of fun revisiting in my memories these lectures given back in the early/mid-90's. And in my opinion, you will not find a better teacher of Chassidut then Elie Wiesel. Four Hasidic Masters is a very short but fascinating book on four lesser known Chassidic masters.

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose - Great insight into the Lewis and Clark Expedition! When my sons get older I would love to take them on a "cowboy adventure" and see some of these places mentioned in the book. Someone told me that there are places along the Lewis and Clark trail that more then likely look exactly like it did when they were scouting and hiking it. I hope to read the actual diaries of Lewis and Clark as well.

What I am looking to reread:

A Place Among The Nations by Bibi Netanyahu - Whether you like him or not, Bibi Netanyahu and his family have dedicated a good portion of their lives to the defense and building of the State of Israel. His knowledge of Middle East history is impressive and it would be interesting to re-read this book which came out in the 90's.

As A Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg - Great novel that is taken from a story in the Talmud/Gemera. I have always been fascinated by stories of how heros fall from grace and their struggle. This book tells the famous story of Elisha ben Abuya. On a semi-funny note, I remember getting into a very long conversation with a friend comparing this book to the story of Anakin Skywalker-Darth Vader from the Star Wars saga. I am a big fan of both :)

Views: 3

Comment by Frayda Glass on February 21, 2009 at 10:43am
I am a devoted reader, also. I am drawn in many directions with my readings, and it makes for a wonderfully alive mind and healthy imagination.

Right now I am studying "The Path of The Just" by Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. Let me explain why I used the word studying. I have been a part of the Partners in Torah project for almost 4 years now. The partner that was assigned to me has been a wonderful mentor. She has guided me weekly, via a one-hour telephone discussion, through: studying the weekly parsha (our first two years of study), then reading the book of "Joshua", studying Hebrew with "Ha-Yesod", and "The Path of The Just."

Besides this very concentrated study, I am very interested in Jewish meditation. In this respect, there are books waiting for me on my to-read book shelf:"Meditation and Judaism" Dovber Pinson, "Be Still and Get Going" by Alan Lew.

My secular readings currently include Shakespeare's historical plays, and a study of "Waiting for Godot" by Beckett. The last is among my readings because I'm going to see that play in London during April, 2009, with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. You've guessed it. My secret passion is theater.

By the way, I really enjoyed "As A Driven Leaf" by Milton Steinberg. You're in for a good read with that book.
Comment by Rabbi David on February 21, 2009 at 9:40pm
"As a Driven Leaf" has to be one of my all time favorite books. It took these rabbinic figures that I had hear and read about and brought them to life. Just fantastic!
Comment by "Moreh" Mark Leibowitz on February 22, 2009 at 6:58am
"The Path Of The Just" is one of my favorites too. Although it has been a while since I last learned from it.
Comment by Frayda Glass on February 26, 2009 at 10:56am
OK. I have finished reading and studying Samuel Beckett's "Waiting For Godot." It is depressing. That's the only way to put it. This play is written for what has been labled Theater of the Absurd, and that label is so true - I believe. Beckett creates a world that is aimless an endlessly cyclical. It has been described as the play in which "nothing happens twice."

Like the characters, who can find no order in their lives, we (the audience) can find no meaning or order in the play. When the characters or audience try to find or make order - they quickly learn that thought is futile. This is supposed to paint a picture of our existence as human beings in this world. I can't agree with this view, and it makes me sad to think that others do.


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