Friday, April 9, 2010

Jewish Classics

I once entertained the notion to write book reviews on this blog. However, I am reluctant to pen reviews which naturally would be critical in some respect and hence have refrained. I can understand the Toeles for book reviews in the press, where the public has the need to know how to prioritize their book stipend, but at least the reviewer is paid for his efforts. I fall out of that category.

In any event, I wanted to mention 3 classic Jewish works of literature that I couldn’t find anything to criticize. All for the Boss, Tales out of Shul and Vintage Wein.

All for the Boss is the inspiring story of the life and impact of Rav Yaakov Yosef Herman, a Torah pioneer in early 20th century America. The story is told by his daughter, Ruchoma Shain. The legendary Hachnosos Orchim and staunch fight to uphold Yiddishkeit by the protagonist warms the heart. Not only does one get a flavor of life on the Lower East Side, but the reader gets an added bonus on life in Mir, Poland.

Tales out of Shul is the humorous self-told story of how Rabbi Emanuel Feldman emerged as one of the premier rabbis in North America. What began as a “starter” job as Rabbi of a small Atlanta community blossomed into a long distinguished career of mutual appreciation between the Rav and his congregation. Told with much flair and aplomb, it is one of my all-time favorites.

Vintage Wein, by Dr. James David Weiss is another classic which depicts the trials and tribulations of the rabbinate in general and Rabbi Berel Wein in particular. Very amusing and entertaining. Please add your favorites in the comments section.


  1. I would add the Rav Hirsch biography by Artscroll.

  2. Good choice. That is an excellent work. Personally, although I enjoyed it tremendously, It is not the kind of book that one reads over and over. The list I gave are books that I have read many, many times.

  3. I like the Maggid books by Krohn.


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