Temple B'nai Israel
Welcome to the TBI book club — we’re hoping to bring even more people together, one page at a time!
We will post the books here month by month!
We meet on designated Thursday’s at This is a Bookstore (check the map below)
Thanks for joining us and we’ll see you soon!
This month we are reading “Kabbalah, A Love Story” by Rabbi Lawrence Kurshner – Here is a brief description from the Amazon page:
Hidden within the binding of an ancient text that has been passed down through the ages lies the answer to one of the heart’s eternal questions. When the text falls into the hands of Rabbi Kalman Stern, he has no idea that his lonely life of intellectual pursuits is about to change once he opens the book. Soon afterward, he meets astronomer Isabel Benveniste, a woman of science who stirs his soul as no woman has for many years. But Kalman has much to learn before he can unlock his heart and let true love into his life. The key lies in the mysterious document he finds inside the Zohar, the master text of the Kabbalah.
This month we will be reading “Honey from the Rock” also by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner.
Amazon describes this book as “An introduction to the ten gates of Jewish mysticism and how it applies to daily life.”
“In the past decade I’ve read Honey from the Rock at least half a dozen times. Every time I read it I wonder if I have ever read it before. Either it keeps changing, or I do. Maybe it’s both…. As someone told me: ‘Lawrence Kushner is a mystic. He gives you flashes of insight.'”
–from the Publisher’s Preface to the Anniversary Edition
In May we will be reading “Born to Kvetch” by Michael Wex
(Amazon) A delightful excursion through the Yiddish language, the culture it defines and serves, and the fine art of complaint!
Throughout history, Jews around the world have had plenty of reasons to lament. And for a thousand years, they’ve had the perfect language for it. Rich in color, expressiveness, and complexity, Yiddish has proven incredibly useful and durable. Its wonderful phrases and idioms impeccably reflect the mind-set that has enabled the Jews of Europe to survive a millennium of unrelenting persecution . . . and enables them to kvetch about it!
Michael Wex—professor, scholar, translator, novelist, and performer—takes a serious yet unceasingly fun and funny look at this remarkable kvetch-full tongue that has both shaped and has been shaped by those who speak it. Featuring chapters on curse words, food, sex, and even death, he allows his lively wit and scholarship to roam freely from Sholem Aleichem to Chaucer to Elvis.
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
The Chosen is the now-classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each.
And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before.
In effect, they exchange places and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again.
In the Beginning by Chaim Potok: All beginnings are hard—that is the lesson David Lurie learns early and painfully in his life. As a boy in the depression-shadowed Bronx, he must begin to hold his own against neighborhood bullies and the treacherous frailties of his own health. As a young man in a world menaced by a distant, horrifying war, he must begin once more—this time to define a resolute path of personal belief that departs boldly from the tradition of his teachers and his own father, a courageous defender of their people.
Learning how to remember his past as he nourishes the future, David struggles to complete his first long journey into ancient beginnings.