New Books from OU Press

Summer Reading Recommendations

For those looking to relax this summer with a more intellectually stimulating volume than the stereotypical beach read, OU Press recommends picking up one or more of the following books.

The Return to Zion: Addresses on Religious Zionism and American Orthodoxy—The Karasick Family Edition

By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Translated by Shaul Seidler-Feller; edited by Joel B. Wolowelsky and Simon Posner

This volume is a translation of ten of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s keynote addresses delivered in Yiddish at major conventions of the Mizrachi Organization of America and Hapoel Hamizrachi of America. In these addresses, the Rav mesmerized his audience with his perceptive observations about the state of American and Israeli Jewry, as well as the nature of Religious Zionism. Delivered between 1939 and 1958 against the backdrop of the Holocaust and the newly emerging State of Israel, the Rav’s stirring and profound words are timeless and powerful messages of the unending drama of Jewish destiny.


Letters from Mir: A Torah World in the Shadow of the Shoah—The Correspondence of Ernest Gugenheim

Edited by Claude-Anne Gugenheim; Associate Editor, Martine Bendavid

In 1938, Ernest Gugenheim, a young French rabbi, came from across a continent and a cultural divide to study in the Mir Yeshiva. Letters from Mir consists of the letters Rabbi Gugenheim wrote home to his family and friends describing his experiences, opening a window on a world that was soon to be destroyed. Rabbi Gugenheim’s letters are engaging and humorous, bringing readers into his experiences with the warmth, intimacy and honesty of family correspondence. His sharp eye and charming descriptions make this an unforgettable memoir of a poignant moment in history. 


Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews

By Rabbi Haim Jachter

As the rabbi of a Sephardic synagogue for over twenty years who is himself of Ashkenazic descent and trained in Ashkenazic yeshivot, Rabbi Haim Jachter has a unique vantage point from which to observe the differences in customs and halachot between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. In Bridging Traditions, Rabbi Jachter applies his wide-ranging expertise to explicating an encyclopedic array of divergences between Ashkenazic and Sephardic halachic practice, while also capturing the diversity within different Sephardic communities. Throughout, Rabbi Jachter explains the opinions of both earlier and contemporary posekim and demonstrates how halachah unfolds in often unexpected ways. Bridging Traditions is essential reading for Jews of all origins who are interested in understanding their own practices and those of their brethren.


The Anatomy of Jewish Law: A Fresh Dissection of the Relationship Between Medicine, Medical History, and Rabbinic Literature 

By Edward Reichman, MD

Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman, a world-renowned expert in the fields of Jewish bioethics and Jewish medical history, is professor of emergency medicine and professor of bioethics and an attending physician in emergency medicine. In this novel and innovative work, Rabbi Dr. Reichman traces the medical understanding of anatomy, physiology, and therapeutics across time and genres of rabbinic literature. The accumulated literature of centuries of Jewish legal discourse on medical topics serves as the foundation for contemporary Jewish bioethics. As these writings span the chronological gamut of scientific and medical discovery, it is essential to view each source in its proper historical context. Rabbi Dr. Reichman demonstrates the importance of the historical dimension not only for medical halachic research, but to better understand the unique relationship of Judaism and medicine throughout the centuries.

This article was featured in the Summer 2024 issue of Jewish Action.
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