In thinking about some new articles I could write about, I noticed a significant lack of coverage of Jewish related topics here on InfoBarrel. Recently, I have been focusing on eBooks (both the books themselves, as well as eBook readers and computer tablets); and thought I would invest some time in examining a variety of eBooks currently available to Jewish readers (and people interested in Jewish tradition and customs). In observance of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), I thought it would be appropriate to examine a variety of Jewish books, the Jewish Bible, and other miscelleneous Hebrew Books just in time for the season. I hope you enjoy this selection of eBooks for the Jewish New Year, and maybe will even decide to look into them even more after reading about them here!
1. The Secret Code of Jewish Years by Rabbi Mordechai Bulua
I found this Jewish book to be very interesting, in part because it reminds me heavily of books like The Bible Code. The similarities are actually very striking, as this books considers heavily the "prophecies" found within the Torah (the Jewish Bible, which is essentially the Old Testament of the Christian Bible). The writings found in the Torah align themselves (so the author states) with relatively recent events that have been occuring throughout the world. Within this $5 dollar book you will find over 100 allusions discussed in detail pointing to real world events and Jewish Scripture. While certainly a controversial book, from some preliminary research on the topic of Jewish ebooks; I found this one had risen to the very top. Needless to say, I checked it out for myself (I mean, who can pass up a five dollar book?); and in the least found it to be entertaining to read. This book will be especially striking if you want to look into the mind of the modern religious Jew (to some degree), and get a taste of the writings of the Torah in a more contemporary book analyzing Old Testament prophecy.
2. The Life-Transforming Diet Based on Health and Psychological Principles of Maimonides and Other Classical Sources by David J. Zulburg
I am quickly learning that Jewish books come in a variety of different themes. While I initially imagined that Jewish writings would have been primarily limited to religious, cultural, and historical discussion; I am very intrigued by books that have a very contemporary and modern twist to them. As a result of this interest, I have managed to find books directed towards Jewish individuals who want to learn how to live a more healthy lifestyle. In this book, there are provided a variety of resources for developing a "life-transforming diet" that is both reflective of modern science as well as writings of a variety of Jewish sources, including the Jewish Bible. No doubt, if you are in need of becoming healthier; this book may certainly satisfy your needs.
3. The Third Key: The Jewish Couple's Guide to Fertility by Rabbi Baruch Finkelstein and Michal Finkelstein, RN, CNM
Fertility (and infertility) are topics that are far to often ignored in modern discussion, except by those who undergo problems related to it. The Third Key is a great book because of it's blend of science, psychology, and guidelines from the Torah that can aid couples failing to conceive a child. While this is certainly a relatively "niche" sort of book, you may be suffering from fertility problems yourself and like what you read; or perhaps are just interested in how Jewish couples deal with fertility problems? Personally, I have no problems with fertility (that I know of); but find learning about this problem to be very interesting, and having the alternative worldview (of Judaism) was also very interesting as well. Of course, I am not a Jew myself and don't particularly agree with most religious ideologies; but many people place their faith in religion, and as a result I very much believe that a book like this could come in handy for many people! On top of this, the book is very well written; and features one of my favorite Jewish authors Michal Finkelstein.
4. As Mountains Around Jerusalem by Rachel Pomerantz
This is a very interesting Jewish ebook, for both Jews and non-Jews alike. The central characters are relatively new to religious Judaism, and as a result we are able to experience what it is like for newcomers to the religion. Many books I have seen and read on Judaism are primarily for the devout Jewish individual, whether that is by religion or by cultural creed. Having a book like this in my library is appealing because of it's story, witty sense of humor, and moreover the importance of the point that new people do not often feel very welcome or "at home," despite how open the arms of religious individuals may frequently be. It takes a very honest writer to observe a phenomenon like this.
5. Torah Therapy by Rabbi Elimelech Lamdan
Rabbi Lamdan is a renowned Jewish therapist, and as a result his Torah-based therapy book will undoubtedly please individuals seeking a better life and lifestyle in the writings of Judaism. While the therapy routine provided in this book will not show you immediate results (this is not the intent), it is an enlightening read and one that will very likely inspire and motivate your towards a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Of all the Hebrew books devoted to psychological health (among other topics), I have found this one to be one of the best. It has received many reviews, even on niche sites dedicated to Jewish e-books; so I would imagine it is very well received within the Jewish community as well.
6. One Above and Seven Below by Yechezkel Hirschman
In this book, a major discussion is held in defining and examining the Chareidim (the most conservative Orthodox Jews, often considered "ultra-Orthodox" Judaism). I am very impressed by this book on many grounds. It reads like a well-written scholarly book, yet is very accessible for individuals just getting into Judaism (whether converting to the religion or just interested in the culture). Overall, I deem this to be a complex book, asking many questions, answering most of them, and leaving us with many more questions to seek answers too. While this may not be the easiest read on this book, I feel it is certainly the most enlightening; and apparently a very important topic of discussion if you are to be taken seriously in understanding Jewish culture and history. One Above and Seven Below is definitely a Jewish book worth checking out!
7. A Daughter of Two Mothers by Miriam Cohen
I chose this because because of it's popularity and subject matter. It is a novelization of a true story about a girl who was adopted (hence, the "two mothers" reference in the title). In keeping with the Jewish theme of this article, this book takes place during Adolph Hitler's rise to power and the imminent Jewish Holocost. While a deeply unfortunate period in human history, this setting is both bleak and one in which a person may potentially rise to the goodness of their humanity. The focus of this story is on separation and reunion, and moreover accepting God's will in our lives. This is a moral that many people will undoubtedly appreciate as they read through A Daughter of Two Mothers.
These are some of the best Jewish books I could get my hand on in the past year or so, and I feel it is important to usher in the Jewish New Year by enlightening yourself with religious, cultural, historical, and entertaining content. Whether you are a Jew yourself (religious or just cultural), or an individual who is interested in learning about a different way of life (like myself); these are essentially must read books to attain your goal of understanding Judaism.
It should be pointed out as well that I write a variety of other articles on the topic of ebooks, including 6 Great E-Books for Ushering in the New Year 2012 and 7 Bestselling E-Books on Health and Exercise Worth Checking Out.