Tuesday, August 12, 2014
By Joseph Teluskin
This past month, the Chabad community of Myrtle Beach hosted a wonderful program. It was a book review, and discussion of the life of Rabbi Schneerson. Not just the orthodox community came. But, the rest of the Jewish community of Myrtle Beach was represented. Which included Temple Emanu-El, Temple Shalom, and Temple Beth Elohim. Apparently all over the United States, each Barnes and Noble invites the Chabad community to talk about the books. Incidentally, there are two others that came out about the Rebbe recently as well. This comes on the twentieth anniversary of his death.
I grew up in Michigan, and in New Jersey. Raised Jewish in a conservative temple. I went to hebrew school. But, my family never exposed me to the orthodox community.Living in New Jersey, and occasionally saw girls in long dresses, and lots of babies and was curious, but not overly curious. The same in Miami. Where I lived, which was not a " community of Jews". I lived in a mainly christian area all my life.
But, when I moved to Myrtle Beach, a small coastal town. The Chabad community sticks out. Seeing them every Saturday walking to shul. I was very curious about the orthodox community of Jews. I came to know them, because I became friendly with one of the teachers. She occasionally called on me to substitute at the Chabad school. I learned more and more about Chabad, and the community.
Then a couple of us, wanted to start a Rosh Hodesh group. This is when I learned about the Chabad community. When I got into their circle. I was then invited to Rosh Hashanah dinners, and Shabbat dinners occasionally. Where I learned more about practices the traditions and rituals as a Jew.
Now, I will introduce you to Rebbe, by Joseph Teluskin. Rebbe is a fascinating book. It divides the chapters up in different topics of the Rebbe. It is a fast, and easy read. Not, too academic for the lay person. The book is over 600 pages.The Chabad headquarters is in Crown Heights in New York City. You learn about the many emissaries that go into towns to start a outreach. You learn a bit about his life. How the Chabad started in Europe. How he became the successor for his father in law. Who would become his successor? What happened to his many books? What his ideas are, what he thinks about politics, what his thoughts are about boys going to college, etc. etc.
I have and own a couple of Joseph Teluskin's books, and enjoy reading them. This book, was not a disappointment. I would like to thank, Harper Collins for giving me a review copy. Here is a link about Rabbi Schneerson. Here is another link for more specific information. If you are orthodox, and looking for information on Chabad here is their link.
Also, here is a review by one of my favorite Jewish author's, Dara Horn.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Revisiting People of the Book
A few years ago, I read, and posted The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I have always been swayed back and reminded about the book, someway. This time it was from one of my fellow book bloggers. She is reading the novel, and I sent my link from my posts. After reading and reminiscing about the book. I had put the book to rest. But, I still think there is much to talk about with the novel. Especially, what is going on in the Middle East. The People of the Book links Jews to Muslim, and visa versa. It reminds us we are all human and linked to each other. Not, just about killing each other.
So, I decided to google and see what else pops up recently. There was an amazing program on PBS. Here is the link. Here is some pictures as well. You can visit my previous posts about these amazing artifacts, and here are my other posts about the Hagaddah.
But something new also based on the Sarajevo Haggadah is Music of the Book. You can read the article here. It is about a Bosnian woman that wrote music based on the true story of the Sarajevo Hagaddah. A program in Boston is showing now and around the world. Something else- the people of Bosnia may loose the book once more if they don't find somewhere to keep this important Jewish artifact. You can find the article here. Then an article at the Huffington Post about why the artifact was unable to travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in NYC. I hope someone may initiate the care of this important, and beautiful artifact. That seems to be like us, the
" WANDERING JEW"This is taken from the author's website:
Available now, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, an intricate, ambitious novel that traces the journey of a rare illuminated Hebrew manuscript from convivencia Spain to the ruins of Sarajevo, from the Silver Age of Venice to the sunburned rock faces of northern Australia.
I have been thinking in the last couple years after reading this novel. To have our Jewish community read, People of the Book. Even though it is not a recent bestseller anymore, I think it makes great discussion and a wonderful book if you have not heard of it, or read it. Happy Reading!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
The organization is called, Gracie's Hope. I have posted about Susan's daughter previously. But to refresh your memory, I will give you the short tail of it.
Abbey a few years ago, gave birth to triplets in LA but then a complication happened. Abbey, became paralyzed. Her parents, Paul and Susan, brought Abbie back from California to Myrtle Beach, SC and took over her care.
Since then Susan has been an advocate for her daughter's care. She is doing a fundraiser next month to bring Gracie's Hope to Myrtle Beach. The treatment not only will help Abbie but others like Abbie.
The care center will help veterans that have suffered from weapon injuries, it will help people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and many other brain injuries.
The reason Susan is fundraising to bring the care center to Myrtle Beach, it is a far drive to Huntersville, NC. It is costly to the families, not many private insurance companies will allow for the treatments. There are many treatments before it can take affect. Gracie's Hope offers grants to families that can't afford it. It will help many people that have brain injuries and genetic brain disorders.
The treatment is called, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is simply an intermittent, short-term, high dose oxygen inhalation therapy. HBOT is an AMA recognized medical treatment which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as part of an overall medical care plan. The oxygen level in the patient’s blood-stream is raised many times above normal, which helps control infections and promote healing in many kinds of illness or injury.
What conditions are being treated?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has helped thousands of people with conditions such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis and other brain disorders. By delivering high levels of oxygen under pressure, hypoxic tissue can be restored allowing healing to take place. Since hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not an FDA approved treatment for neurological conditions, most insurance companies do not cover HBOT treatment costs. As a result there are very few centers and physicians that provide this therapy.
G-d willing Gracie's Hope will be coming to Myrtle Beach in September.
Susan, and Gracie's Hope are having a fundraiser next month. If you are unable to attend you can give a donation. The address is listed on the flyer below:
Changing the World...One Breath at a Time
The local inaugural fundraising dinner for Gracie's Hope, a 501(c)(3) organization operating Healing Centers that provide hyperbaric treatments, other therapies, counseling and additional services to special needs children and adults, including our veterans will be held on
The Surf Golf and Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach
The Surf Golf and Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach
Please join us for dinner, followed by a short preview screening of the award-winning documentary, "Halfway Home." This film features our guest speaker, SSG Tommy Rieman. This documentary shows first hand that the toll of war extends far beyond the battlefield. Additionally, Gracie's Hope Director, Eric Sutton, will share the story of Gracie's Hope and the extraordinary success of hyperbarics with our special children and our nation's heroes.
Tickets are now available by contacting Susan Cohen, local fundraising chair, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 843-361-1006
You may make your reservations at one of the following levels:
$250.00 includes a private reception at 5pm, followed by dinner, video presentation and dessert buffet
($190.00 is tax deductible)
$100.00 includes dinner at 6pm, video presentation and dessert buffet
($40.00 is tax deductible)
$20.00 includes video presentation and dessert buffet at 7:15pm,
($5.00 is tax deductible)
Tables of eight (8) reservations are available for $2000
The evening also includes a Chinese Raffle
with lovely prizes donated by local businesses and individuals
Your support in helping to bring Gracie's Hope to North Myrtle Beach
will enable many families to find comfort, hope and an improved quality of life for their loved ones.
For more information and our mission statement, please go to
Please contact Mrs. Cohen as noted above
Michael D. Peters, M.D.
Gulf War Veteran
Gracie’s Hope National Medical Director
Gracie’s Hope North Myrtle Beach Medical Director
Please pass the word on to anybody interested in helping support our cause or any individuals who may benefit from treatments.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I was so unsure if my book blog would be ready for re-design for the carnival today. I was ready to post and I could not find the sign in on either of my book blogs. Then, my mouse wouldn't work. So, now I reverted to my second option, my laptop thank goodness. Anyway this is great timing for launching my new redesigned book blog and hosting the Jewish Book Carnival. What could be sweeter!!
So what do you all think about my new Jewish book blog?? I love it, not so crazy though about the muted colors. But, I love the work that Lori, from imagination did. It fits me quirky, and mystical at the same time.
Next up we had our Jewish Ladies Night Out with Rabbi Debbie. It was successful as ever with almost 40 people in attendance. The novel, we choice with the recommendation of the Jewish Book Council was, Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner.
The most exciting news that I can't wait to share with Jewish Myrtle Beach, Maggie Anton is coming to town in February 2015! Circle your calendars everybody. Her new anticipated sequel to Rav Hisda's Daughter will be published at about the time the Jewish high holidays start. The newest novel is called, The Enchantress.
I contacted Maggie as soon as I learned about her publishing and touring for her next novel. I don't know many authors that would go out of their way to help us get her to Myrtle Beach. She is asking for basically just for her air fare, and someone in our Jewish community hosting her for the night. I believe hashem works in mysterious ways.
How many authors do you know who would do that. She is wonderful.
We have been trying to get a author to come to our area for the last couple years. But we did not have any financial backing. Now, with Maggie coming. This will start up for other authors to come to us. We are very excited. She is still working with us and other Hadassah chapters from Atlanta and other areas are coming on board so her travel expense for us is minimal.
Now on to the subject at hand, the Jewish Book Carnival. I know everyone is busy with their happy, summer lives. I did not expect a lot of jewish book blogger sending me their links. I am happy though, that the Jewish book bloggers that participated this month are awesome posts.
Here are the wonderful links for the Jewish Book Carnival for this month:
My contribution to the Jewish Book Carnival is two novels that I enjoyed reading. Both of them earn 5 bagel rankings. Both are written by Jewish authors. The first novel, Love and Treasures by Ayelet Waldman. The novel is based on the Hungarian Gold Train, which I didn't know about. It is basically about lost, and stolen treasure secured by the Nazi's and eventually were taken by the U.S. government for safe keeping till the government decided what could be done with all the art, jewelry, and goods that were taken from the Jews during the holocaust.
The next novel I read doesn't have any Jewish themes, the author is Jewish. The book I am referring to is, The Art Forger. I highly recommend:
Art Forger is a novel based on the Gardner Museum art heist in 1990.
On to the other contributors for the Jewish Book Carnival for July:
From Erika, on her blog, Machberet she shares her appreciation for Anita Shapira's Israel: A History( trans. Anthony Berris).
From Lorri M, who happens to be one blogger I have followed for years since I started blogging. She is one of my favorite blogs I tried to follow each week. She has read a novel, that I have been wanting to read for awhile. I hope to finally get to it soon.
From Anne, is a coloring book pages, it's a roundup of summer relates coloring pages called, Noah's Swim a Thon, about a boy that learns to swim. Here is another link here.
Rhapsody in Books reviewed To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris.
About a New York dentist looking for meaning, and hoping to find it among the Jews - that is, as long as he doesn't have to believe in God..…
From Batya, from Yisrael who had a hard time writing her review since the tragedy of the three young men in Israel were killed. I can't imagine how the state of Israel felt after the discovery. I am sure the state was in terrible shock, mourning and anger. May g-d bless them, and their families.
Barbara Krasner, of The Whole Megillah interviews author Norman H. Finkelstein and Calkins Creek editor Carolyn P. Yoder about their new book, Schools of Hope, about Julius Rosenwald and his philanthropic efforts to build schools throughout the American South.
From the Reading Rabbi:
The Reading Rabbi has been very busy reading three great reads of literature,
I actually have the the first novel listed and of course it is sitting on my desk. I am after reading her review will get to it sooner.
From Tzivia, I love this post, since I am very partial of Kimmel. He is my all time favorite kids author. I used to read stories to my son, David who is now almost 24 years old. That tells you about how long he is been around. I am sure even longer. I used to enjoy the stories as much as my son.
The Best Chapter writes, about her take about a happy ending. This comes from her interview from writer, Dan Williams from Jerusalem on his spy novel featuring a female Mossad agent.
From Lauren, at Behrmann Publishing House has sent us a nice link from a rabbi, how each of us should follow the ten commandments when we use facebook, twitter, etc.
Also from Lauren is Jewish education is always changing and we want to help you stay ahead with a free Kindle edition of a chapter from The Ultimate Jewish Teacher's Handbook.
Then the last link Lauren is sharing which is interesting, is an app for your child's ipad, or android device to learn the aleph bet.
And last but, not least the organizer of the Jewish Book Carnival, Heidi has shared her pictures of the Association of Jewish libraries in Las Vegas, take a gander. Looks like fun.
I would like to thank everyone that contributed to the Jewish Carnival this month. See you next month in August, happy reading!
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Love and Treasure
By Ayelet Waldman
Publsished by Knopf
I am so happy I was given the opportunity to read Love and Treasures. I would like to thank Amy from, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for asking me to host. I am so honored with this wonderful book.
Thank You Amy! :)
I learned about this novel months ago by the Jewish Book Council. I contacted the publishers with great excitement. Asking if they would like to participate in donating a few copies for our Jewish Night Out with Rabbi Debbie. They gladly gave us a few copies.
But then, Amy also helped me out, because I didn't receive them. She asked if I would like to review. Of course, she didn't have to break my leg or anything. I have always wanted to read Ayelet Waldman's work. I have not read any of her novels. But, this one sounded so interesting and something I did not know anything about. It is rich in history and detail I couldn't pass it up. But also, it may be a book that we will pick for our Jewish Grand Strand Reads which will be decided on in August.
This is one book I want to do justice to. After I finished it I had to absorb, digest and process my thoughts and then ponder it again. There is so many themes, and resources on the internet. After you read the novel, if you are like me you want to do your own research.
From the book Jacket: A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes. Ayelet Waldman's Love and Treasures weaves a tale around the fascinating true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War.
Love and Treasures are three inter-related stories. From the beginning of the novel at present day. Her grandfather, Jack served in the military during WW2. Natalie came to visit her grandfather. Natalie, has come to visit since her marriage is already in shambles. On his last few days before he dies he wants Natalie to make a promise. He has something that he wants her to find the rightful owner of a piece of Jewelry that he has kept in his possession since the war. He doesn't care if she gives it to the rightful original owner. He just wants her to give it back to the family, someone that is still alive.
here, or you can read the longer version here. I will just warn you it is extensive. Jack, a Jewish American soldier. He is guarded the train. Because what is inside is very valuable. Millions of stolen contraband and treasures are stolen from the holocaust prisoners. It is not junk, but watches, jewels, fur coats, wedding bands, expensive family heirlooms that are stolen and put on this train to Hungary
The United States officers start helping themselves of the linens, towels, dishes, furs, silverware, silver frames,, painting, and expensive jewels, that have been confiscated. But, what can he do. So, instead he helps himself too to it.
Ilona invites him to a party. He meets organizers that are taking survivors over the Italian alps to Palestine. But, he doesn't trust them. The Mossad( which is not the entire name, it is not connected to the Jewish secret police). They are a group trying to get the Jewish survivors over the Italian alps, Iliona leaves him and goes with the group to Palestine. They never see each other again.
Part 2 then bring us back to present day. After Jack dies Natalie searches out for a art dealer that will help her find out about the Peacock necklace and bring her to the owner of the necklace. But the art dealer, Amatai, is a shady, Israeli art dealer. The art dealer recognizes the necklace and thinks it is the same necklace from a famous painting he has seen.
Then the third part of the book was about Nina and a psychoanalyst named, you guessed it Freud. It takes place in Budapest, 1913. Nina's father had thought she was having a medical condition called hysteria. All caused because of her ideas of women's suffrage. He thought it was interconnected with her menstrual cycle. This was the original owner of the necklace.Then we have a young girl back in 1913, and her father has her seen a psychoanalyst by the name, you guessed it, Freud. This part of the story deals with dwarfism and Mengele. It is a very interesting interlocking story how the three stories finally connect.
At first, when I was reading the third part of the story I thought this was far fetched. But after reading and pondering about it. I thought how original. I did read other people's take on this part. Some people liked it, others didn't. But I did.
My Thoughts, I loved Love and Treasures. It is thick in history and very multi-layered. There is so much information. But still the story works. While reading Love and Treasures I did a lot of research on my own. I found so many resources about this time period. There were many events and government legalities that were going on.
The story is not heavy handed in atrocities during the holocaust. There has been too many books written about the holocaust that unfortunately too much has caused people to shy away from it. But this book, Love and Treasures doesn't make it heavy handed
.I enjoyed her writing style, and her prose. The story is very different how it develops. By the third part you may have a hard time dealing with it. Many people I saw said that didn't like the third part, and what was the point.
There is so much history and background information why the Hungarian Gold Train is important to the United States, to the Jews, and even to holocaust survivors that are trying to escape through the Italian Alps to Palestine( Israel).
I am still trying to decide if this will be contention in the Jewish Grand Strand Reads. Or if it would do better in one of my two book clubs. The last book I felt this way was Golem and the Jinni. That one was also rich in history, and character. There is controversy in this story as well. The United States was involved with theft of millions of contraband. There were some of the military that were stationed here. They wanted comfort of living at home. They needed towels, blankets, dishes, silverware. The comforts of home. So where do you think they got it, of course the Hungarian Gold Train. There was a settlement a few years ago in the United States ruling of what restitution will result.
If you like historical fiction, and you are Jewish you most likely will love it. But, even if you are not Jewish the writing is wonderful, and beautifully written.
I also want to share with you a conversation that I found on youtube with her at the Strand Book Store.
About the Author
For more information please visit Ayelet’s website. Her missives also appear on Facebook and Twitter.
Her books are published throughout the world, in countries as disparate as England and Thailand, the Netherlands and China, Russia and Israel, Korea and Italy.
Virtual Book Tour ScheduleTuesday, May 27
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Wednesday, May 28
Guest Post at Passion for Novels
Thursday, May 29
Review at Mari Reads
Friday, May 30
Review at She Reads Novels
Review at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Monday, June 2
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, June 3
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, June 4
Review at Seaside Book Corner
Thursday, June 5
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Friday, June 6
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Monday, June 9
Review at Closed the Cover
Tuesday, June 10
Interview at Closed the Cover
Wednesday, June 11
Review at A Bookish Girl
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, June 13
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, June 16
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Wednesday, June 18
Review at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, June 19
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, June 20
Review at Curling Up with a Good Book
Monday, June 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, June 24
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Wednesday, June 25
Review at Lit Nerd
Thursday, June 26
Review at The Little Reader Library
Friday, June 27
Review at Man of la Book
Monday, June 30
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Just One More Chapter
Interview at Layered Pages
Tuesday, July 1
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, July 2
Review at From L.A. to LA
Review at Mina’s Bookshelf
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews