Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rashi's Daughters, Book 1: Joheved - A Jewish Book Mall Review

Well, with our busy duties tending the Jewish Book Mall, we don't often have time to write reviews of individual books ourselves. Of course, we include reviews from readers like you on all products where they're available, but that's a different story.

This book grabbed our attention, though. Rashi's Daughters, Book 1: Joheved by Maggie Anton is a lovely book, and of course it's only the first of a series. You become very quickly transported to medieval France, where you join the family of Rashi, the most famous exegete of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud to this day, 1000 years later. You can see the family around the dinner - or disner - table.

If you want to get a sense of what the life of Rashi and his daughters was like, this is the book. The author says she spent a decade researching it, and we believe it. Certainly with regard to the details of French life then, and also with regard to Jewish life in France, Anton has done her job. She also does a very creditable job with regard to some of Rashi's work, quoting from his known responsa on kosher meat and, of course, wine.

No book is without its imperfections. The small ones we noted were misspelling of the Hebrew word for marriage, which should be nisuin, not niusin(which appears that way at least twice). And while we don't know if Rashi's daughters attended synagogue with him on weekdays, it would be a very different synagogue than what we know if the family would eat breakfast before going and then eat lunch upon returning - Saturday services, being the Sabbath, can last several hours, but weekday services are generally brief so as to allow congregants to arrive at work in a timely fashion.

Other books have been written about Rashi. This one is about his daughters, and of course this is clearly indicated by the title. So do not be surprised that the perspective is decidedly focused not on Rashi or his scholarship, but on Joheved, her sisters, and other female characters. There is sex, and childbirth, and midwifing, and love. True, there is also women engaging in business, agriculture, and Talmud study, alongside the male characters in the story. But this is definitely the book form of what you'd call a chick flick in the film business.

Official Jewish Book Mall rating: 4.5 out of 5.0.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New Tools blog

There's a new Tool of the Day blog that offers a daily explanation of what various tools are.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More on Artscroll Sale

Not to be repetitive and redundant, or to say the same thing twice and then say it again, our fiduciary responsibilities as your Jewish book mavens would be unfulfilled if we didn't emphasize that, if you're thinking of buying anything from Artscroll, now is the time.

So, click here to see Artscroll Talmuds, and here to see other Artscroll seforim, or here to go straight to Artscroll. Nu, do it today.

There, we feel much better.

Jewish Book Mall - Artscroll sale!

Artscroll books - all of them! are now on sale, through June 27, for 20% off! See Jewish Book Mall - Artscroll.

Did we mention that Artscroll's seforim are on sale for 20% off? Well, so is all their software and their audio collection, too!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Kosher Foods -

Almost forgot: for Shavuot, you may need a kosher cookbook so you can whip up those light dairy dishes that are the culinary trademark of the holiday. See Kosher Foods -

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Here's another favorite site of ours: Tools and Reviews.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Shavuot books at

Here are some kids' and adults' Shavuot books: Shavuot books. Of course, Shavuos is zman matan Torah, the time when we commemorate the Giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to you may also want to check out our Torah, Bible, Chumash, Tanach, etc. collection as well.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Jewish Posters

Our Jewish Posters page has what we think may be one of the largest collections of Jewish and Israeli posters in one place. (We've gathered them from several different sources, each of which has some unique items.) You can find anything from Marc Chagall to old Zionist posters to one called Yiddish Cowboy and a Yiddish Eye Chart. Nope, we're not making this up...

Many are available not only as posters, but also as art prints and photos.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Artscroll Talmud / Schottenstein Gemara

Our Artscroll Talmud / Schottenstein Gemara page has just been redone. It now includes the entire set and lists both the full-size and daf yomi editions for each tractate.

We also added more explanation of the Artscroll Talmud page layout, and how the facing English and Hebrew pages work together.