Excavating the Bible: New Archaeological Evidence for the Historical Reliability of Scripture
by Yitzhak Meitlis
ISBN 978-0935437-41-6 • $32.95
After many decades of academic secularism, we see that archaeologists and historians are regularly dismissive of Religion and often downright hostile. Few in academia have bothered to read the Bible and even fewer have devoted significant time to its study. Centuries of history are explained away as fabrication, the stories in Scripture merely fables.
Excavating the Bible stands in rebellion against the suppression of religion in Western society. Its author, Yitzhak Meitlis, defends the historical accuracy of Scripture and brings the evidence to the general public. The Hebrew language edition has already been widely-read and debated in Israel.
Meitlis, an award-winning Professor of Archaeology in Israel brings something rare to the back and forth inquiry about the truth of the Bible. It is a deep love of the land of Israel and intimate knowledge of the Bible itself. Dr. Meitlis has built his argument on academic scholarship, excavations of colleagues and his deep familiarity with the geography of Israel.
Biblical archaeology is an imprecise scientific discipline, as the author himself explains, “Tangible finds such as inscriptions, pottery, foundations of buildings, and evidence of destruction must be given life and meaning in order to fit into an historical context.”
Were David and Solomon, in fact, powerful rulers of wide renown, for example, as indicated in the Bible or were they merely minor chieftains of insignificant stature as claimed by some modern-day historians?
These are not idle questions. In our own day, some in the Arab world are claiming, with the support of archaeological minimalists, that Ancient Israel is a myth, that no Temples ever existed in Jerusalem and that Israeli claims to Jerusalem are historically unfounded.
With great skill and meticulous methodology, Meitlis utilizes both the tools of modern archaeological research and his deep understanding of the ancient Near East. He leads the reader on a lively exploration of the ancient cities of the Judean Hills, and the birth of an Israelite nation and the people’s challenge to remaining a people committed to God as described in the Prophets and later Writings. The journey culminates in Jerusalem, where the reader watches the rise and fall of one civilization after another; views the audacious exploits that delivered the city into the hands of David; pictures its glory at the height of its power; and watches in horror as it meets its fiery end.
This excursion through the terrain of the Bible that is found in Excavating the Bible is sure to astonish, even shock many of you, excite others and comfort those searching for validation of their beliefs. . It is a thought-provoking and captivating exploration of the Biblical era in all of its majesty.
Jews on Trial: Judges, Juries, Prosecutors and Defendants from the Era of Jesus to Our Own Time by Ori Z. Soltes ISBN 9780935437430 • $23.95
From the Gospel account of Jesus’ trial and punishment to medieval Blood Libels, from the notorious Dreyfus Affair to the story of Leo Frank’s trial and eventual lynching, and from the State of Israel’s trial and execution of Nazi Adolph Eichmann to Jonathan Pollard’s closed-door trial and ongoing incarceration, it seems that the Jew, one way or another, is always on trial in the courtroom of journalistic and historiographic examination, whether as the accused, the accuser, the jury or the judge.
Unique and provocative, this volume begins by asking when and how law became separate from religion in the Israelite-Judaean world before considering how we might evaluate and understand the Gospel’s narrative of Jesus’ trial and punishment in light of information found within Judaean, pagan Roman and early Jewish literature. Regardless of the details that favor or disfavor the Gospel account, many generations of Christians accept it as unequivocally true, which has shaped their relations with Jews over the past two millennia.
In Jews on Trial, Ori Soltes delivers a concise and extensive review of the history of Christian-Jewish relations that examines that relationship from a legal and quasi-legal perspective and adds significantly to the discourse. There is no other comprehensive text so broadly conceived, yet focused on such an important aspect of human history through a specific lens of religion, law and justice.
We all suffer the pain of loss when a loved one dies. We search for meaning in their lives and try to comprehend the unknowable. For each of us, understanding is a journey of inestimable length.
Rafael Grossman was a successful pulpit rabbi, president of his state’s rabbinical council, and the dean of a Hebrew Day School when his teenage daughter Shoshana—vibrant and energetic, a delight to her parents and everyone around her—became ill and died at the age of seventeen.
After her death, Rabbi Grossman was sure that he would never quite have the same faith in God or regain his joy in living. But as the years went by, he appreciated how Jews throughout history had managed to sustain hope in the wake of personal and communal calamities, and he too regained hope.
My Shoshana is a heartfelt letter from father to daughter as an expression of his love, and his never-ending sorrow, but also as a story of renewal and the recognition that, with our memories, no one is truly lost to us.
The Ashen Rainbow considers various aspects of the arts as they relate to the Holocaust. It is based, in part, on the author’s experience in teaching the course The Theological Implications of the Holocaust for many years at Georgetown University–which has focused in part on writers who wrestle with questions of God and Man—-presence, absence, nature, existence as such—provoked by the extermination of so many innocents with so little opposition from the outside world.
The juxtaposition of the terms “arts” and “Holocaust” is intended to draw the reader’s attention to a paradox: that the Nazis introduced a new level of intensity to the human capacity for destruction; and yet their acts have yielded an unprecedented volume of creative effort, a rainbow tinged with ashes in all directions—writing, music, theater, visual arts, film—during the decades the gates of Auschwitz were open to our own time.
The arts are an extraordinary fulcrum upon which history, theology, psychology and economics may be seen generally to balance. The Holocaust context offers a unique mirror in which to view the broader realm of human experience balancing on that fulcrum. These essays encompass the writing of Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi and Nelly Sachs; music created in Germany and in Teresienstadt Concentration Camp through much of the Holocaust period. The visual art created both in Teresienstadt and elsewhere in the Nazi Reich, by both children and adults—and the works of theater and film—including a full-length essay discussing Steven Spielberg’s epic “Schindler’s List.”
These topics are framed by a prologue that considers the intertwine of politics and art in the matter of cultural plunder by the Nazis and an epilogue that offers a definitive summary of the work to recover such plunder that, after a hiatus of half a century, has emerged in the past decade—and with which effort the author has been intimately involved.
Connected by the rubrics “arts” and “Holocaust,” the diverse essays that comprise The Ashen Rainbow were written at different times and places over a fifteen-year period. Each essay stands on its own and together they offer a comprehensive, multifaceted examination of an event that captures humanity in its brightest and darkest moments.
There are thousands of books about wine, but this book is the one authoritative guide to the joys and uses of kosher wine. Whether you are looking for a wine to celebrate a simcha, Shabbos or Yom Tov, or just everyday enjoyment, you’re sure to find just the right vintage here. Selecting the perfect wine becomes as easy as tipping your glass.
Supplying a list of the very best kosher reds, whites and roses, along with his own personal wine list with ratings, Rosenberg advises you what food goes best with what particular wine. With illustrations and helpful sidebars, this book provides delicious ways to cook with wine, wine wisdom and even meaningful toasts.
Do you like a big Bordeaux or a crisp Chardonnay? “A good wine,” Maurie Rosenberg says, “is the wine you like.” Find your favorite kosher wine in this unprecedented guide.
Jacob Stein’s upbringing gave him profound reverence for Jewish tradition and instilled a desire to reach out to his fellow Jews. This led him to become active with Temple Israel, the Conservative synagogue he attended with his wife and children in Great Neck, New York. Stein rose quickly to become Temple President.
In 1969, as a maverick candidate for President of United Synagogue, Conservative Jewry’s main body, Stein won a surprise victory. He immediately launched a series of reforms designed to reinvigorate its stagnant leadership.
Even though he was a newcomer to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Stein was asked to serve as Acting Chairman. He assumed the role at a time when American-Israeli relations were tense. Stein participated in meetings with President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to negotiate the terms of American aid to Israel in its conflicts with Arab states.
In subsequent years, Stein was twice elected in his own right as Chairman of the Presidents Conference. As Chairman, he suffered bitter criticism when he defended the Nixon Administration’s decision to maintain relations with the Soviet government while attempting to free oppressed Soviet Jewry. Convinced that this balanced approach would garner results, Stein stood by it, weathering the storm of personal attacks.
Stein became ever more embroiled in the challenges and controversies of Jewish affairs when he joined the Reagan White House staff as an advisor. His calming influence made him successful in the delicate role of liaison to the Jewish public during battles over the sale of AWACS military aircrafts to Saudi Arabia, when the American government was accused of threatening Israeli interests.
Following six weeks in Geneva as a member of the United States delegation to the 1982 United Nations Human Rights Commission, Stein returned to America to continue his political involvement. In 1986 he visited Israel with Vice President George H.W. Bush as a member of the “Gang of Eight,” a group of Jewish supporters who encouraged presidential candidate Bush to reach out to Jewish voters as well as the Christian right.
Over the next two years of campaigning, Stein and Bush kept up an exchange in which Stein offered the Vice President insight on gaining Jewish America’s support. Their friendship continued throughout Bush’s presidency, and even when they disagreed the two men retained a strong sense of mutual respect and camaraderie.
Despite his great success in business and his deep commitment to family, Jacob Stein has devoted untold time and energy to the American Jewish community. His memoirs reveal a life fully and richly lived in service to his people and his country.
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Journey Through the Minefields:
From Vietnam to Washington, An Orthodox Surgeon’s Odyssey
by Mendy Ganchrow, M.D.
ISBN 978-0-910155-56-9 • $27.00
More than an autobiography of a distinguished Jewish leader, this book mirrors American and Jewish history in the second half of the twentieth century.
Mendy Ganchrow, M.D. was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, where he was instilled with values and beliefs that would never leave him. Throughout his early life, he also exhibited a love of service and a gift for leadership. The Vietnam War was, perhaps, the seminal moment in his life, as he brought both his surgical skills and his spiritual comfort to fellow servicemen.
While in the midst of a very successful career as a surgeon, it was suggested to Ganchrow that he join AIPAC, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee. His faith, combined with his fervor for the American way of life, pointed him to ever more involved levels of political activism, leading to the creation of a successful pro-Israel political action committee (HUVPAC) and eventually culminating in his election to the presidency of the Orthodox Union in 1994.
Ganchrow has met and conferred with many of the personalities who have fashioned our contemporary world—Prime Ministers and kings, American Presidents from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton, members of both the Israeli Knesset and the U.S. Congress, and numerous religious leaders.
Even during the most trying times of his presidency, he demonstrated the same outstanding commitment and leadership skills that spell loyalty to principle, leadership, and a living example of how one can be dedicated to the cause of American democracy, Jewish faith, the Torah way of life, and the welfare of all Jews.
Praise for Journey through the Minefields
Journey Through the Minefields: From Vietnam to Washington, An Orthodox Surgeon’s Odyssey has garnered both critical and reader acclaim in its years of publication, having been featured in the Jerusalem Post, Lifestyle Magazine, Jewish Week, The Forward, The Jewish Press, and many other local and national newspapers. Journey Through the Minefields also received an excellent review as a feature in the Jewish Book Council’s fall 2004 literary magazine, Jewish Book World. The Rockland Jewish Reporter called the book “at times poignant, at times brutally honest, but always full of information,” and noted that “it is not only a glimpse into Ganchrow’s personal and professional growth, but is also an insider’s view into the political process, and in relation, the Jewish community and the leadership of its organizations.”