Books: Anti-Atheism, the Rebbe and Shemini Atzeret

Books: Anti-Atheism, the Rebbe and Shemini Atzeret

Besides mahzorim (prayer books for the High Holidays), here are some new books to discover at Judaica Corner.


“Nonsense of a Higher Order: The Confused World of Modern Atheism” by Rabbi Moshe Averick (Mosaica, 297 pages). Everyone should read this book. It is profound, persuasive and amusing. On the back cover, Dr. Diane Medved wrote, “If you have ever felt bullied by schoolyard atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, I have good news. … Your big brother, in the person of Rabbi Moshe Averick, has just stepped onto the playground.”

“Lincoln and the Jews: A History”
“Lincoln and the Jews: A History”


“Lincoln and the Jews: A History” by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell (Thomas Dunne Books, 272 pages). This fascinating coffee-table book shows in text, documents and photos the American Jewish experience during the Civil War and how Abraham Lincoln welcomed Jews into the highest circles of American society. Sen. Joseph Lieberman wrote, “It’s deeply moving.”


“Stories of the Rebbe: Twenty-Five Wondrous Accounts From the Life of the Rebbe R’Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Lubavitch” by Rabbi Avraham Ohayun, illustrated by Tamar Zeitlin (Israel Bookshop, 56 pages). Each story is amazing, and Zeitlin’s portraits of the Rebbe capture him so well at different ages. For children and adults.


“Our Table: Time-Tested Recipes, Memorable Meals” by Renee Muller (Mesorah Publications, 272 pages). Raised in Switzerland, Muller, a foodie, columnist and food stylist, shares her favorite recipes to make meals memorable for family and friends. Ima’s Coleslaw, Pretzel Sausages, Pulled French Roast Sliders and Healthy Granola Bars are a sampling of the many tested recipes. Her interesting stories and touching commentary, as well as beautiful pictures, add so much to her first professional cookbook.

Children’s Picture Books

“Maya Prays for Rain” by Susan Tarcov, illustrated by Ana Ochoa (Kar-Ben Publishing, 29 pages). One sunny day, Maya is on her way to drop off homework for her friend Wendy, who has a cold, and she is happy for her neighbors of all different nationalities who are taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Then Wendy tells her that it’s Shemini Atzeret, the end of Sukkot, a day to pray for rain. Maya worries about the rain spoiling the day for her neighbors and runs to the rabbi to ask him not to pray for rain. His answer helps her understand the prayer. It’s a sweet story.

Whether celebrating Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah or any of the other beautiful holidays this season, find a good book to savor each day.

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