Books, Books, Books

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The librarian’s been busy cooking these last few weeks.  But she’s never too busy to seek out good books to add to the Lampert Library’s collection.

Since it’s almost officially summer, a time for many of us to catch up on reading, for the next few weeks, there will be a rotating selection of good reads, old and new, light and serious. And some for kids, too, for you to read together Continue reading

D-Day and More

ddayoverlordToday, June 6, we mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

That battle was instrumental in saving the world from Nazi rule. Operation Overlord – as it was officially called- was too late for much of Europe’s Jewry but not too late for the rest of the world.

ddaystarJews played an important part as soldiers and translators. Over 4000 of the soldiers who stormed the beaches or provided support were Jews. Many died. They made up 4.2 percent of American forces, a larger percentage of Jews than in the overall population. Continue reading

Herman Wouk: American Tolstoy

wouk d1What do you say about an almost 104 author when he passes away: that he was old, prolific, made a literary impact?

Herman Wouk died on May 17, 2019 just 10 days before his 104th birthday. While never considered a “great” writer (whatever that means), his impact on the American literary scene and on America’s perception of the modern American Jew was profound. Continue reading

Jewish American Heritage Month 2019

heritage1It’s not as well- known as Black History Month (February) or National Hispanic Heritage Month (September), but there actually is a Jewish American Heritage Month and we are right in the middle of it.

It is annually proclaimed and published in the National Register. This year’s proclamation begins:

“As we observe Jewish American Heritage Month, our Nation celebrates nearly 4,000 years of Jewish history and honors the numerous contributions of Jewish Americans to our country and the world. Rabbi Akiva, a great Jewish scholar, declared that a central principle of the Torah is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jewish Americans have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to this commandment, helping the downtrodden and pursue justice, sanctifying the name of God, and embodying the best of America.”

Continue reading

How is a Haggadah like a Pocketbook?

IMG_0003_3aFor most of my adult life, I’ve been searching for the perfect pocketbook. There were the huge satchels I carried in college and the next few years at the beginning of my teaching career.

Then I went through backpacks, large and small, designed to hold all the baby and small child detritus.

As I got older, the bags seemed to get a little small: they no longer had to hold pacifiers, a container of Cheerios, and an extra diaper.  The books were replaced by a Kindle and then a phone.

Did I need all my credit cards? Maybe a slimmed down wallet would do.

The right number of pockets was essential to be able to find things quickly.

I’m still searching as my lifestyle changes.

Just as there seems to be no perfect pocketbook, there is no perfect Haggadah. Continue reading

Best Books 2019

2019awards22019awards3Every year librarians and readers wait with bated breath for the announcements of the year’s award winning books.

The American Library Association (ALA) youth announcements come at 8 o’clock in the morning no matter where the announcement is made. Continue reading

She Opens her Mouth with Wisdom

purimwomen1Purim is quickly approaching. Kids love the holiday as they can be as loud as they want in the sometimes too rigid atmosphere of the synagogue.

Adults love the holiday, too. They can be as silly as they want and who doesn’t like a good party?

However, underneath this levity is a serious story of courage and creative thinking. Continue reading

Joyful Noise Around Us

music 3The Psalmist said, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” and “Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!”

The Talmud tells us “Three things soften a man’s heart: a pleasant melody, a pleasant scene, and a fragrant odor.” and “Song is obligatory in the ritual of the sanctuary.”

Hasidic master Nachman of Bratslav stated that “Nature is saturated with melody; heaven and earth are full of song.” Continue reading

Stuck Inside Reading

winter readingIt may be a beautiful winter day today, but it’s still winter and there are many more opportunities for enforced days at home.

Those days are great for catching up on movies, binge-watching TV shows you may have missed, making a big pot of soup, and curling up with a good book. So much more enjoyable than straightening the sock drawer. Continue reading

Time to Travel

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Winter is upon us, yet again. Although everyone seems always to be scurrying and hurrying, it’s important to find time to escape our hectic lives.

Unfortunately we can’t always go off to some exotic place. But winter is a fine time to settle into that comfy chair and escape through the magic of reading.

Books will take you anywhere if you let them-even to places that don’t exist. Continue reading