My Rebbe

Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz - 2014
    During his forty years of leadership, Rabbi Schneerson transformed Chabad into a global movement marked by extensive outreach activities and a closeknit network of emissaries stationed around the world. His passionate devotion to education, social change, and acts of charity and kindness inspired countless people to embrace spirituality in their daily lives.In My Rebbe, celebrated author and thinker Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz shares his firsthand account of this extraordinary individual who shaped the landscape of twentieth-century religious life. Written with the admiration of a close disciple and the nuanced perceptiveness of a scholar, this biography-memoir inspires us to think about our own missions and aspirations for a better world.

Suddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots

Barbara Kessel - 2000
    One man as he was studying for the priesthood. Madeleine Albright famously learned from the Washington Post when she was named Secretary of State. "What is it like to find out you are not who you thought you were?" asks Barbara Kessel in this compelling volume, based on interviews with over 160 people who were raised as non-Jews only to learn at some point in their lives that they are of Jewish descent. With humor, candor, and deep emotion, Kessel's subjects discuss the emotional upheaval of refashioning their self-image and, for many, coming to terms with deliberate deception on the part of parents and family. Responses to the discovery of a Jewish heritage ranged from outright rejection to wholehearted embrace. For many, Kessel reports, the discovery of Jewish roots confirmed long-held suspicions or even, more mysteriously, conformed to a long-felt attraction toward Judaism. For some crypto-Jews in the southwest United States (descendants of Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition), the only clues to their heritage are certain practices and traditions handed down through the generations, whose significance may be long since lost. In Poland and other parts of eastern Europe, many Jews who were adopted as infants to save them from the Holocaust are now learning of their heritage through the deathbed confessions of their adoptive parents. The varied responses of these disparate people to a similar experience, presented in their own words, offer compelling insights into the nature of self-knowledge. Whether they had always suspected or were taken by surprise, Kessel's respondents report that confirmation of their Jewish heritage affected their sense of self and of their place in the world in profound ways. Fascinating, poignant, and often very funny, Suddenly Jewish speaks to crucial issues of identity, selfhood, and spiritual community.

The Rabbi of 84th Street: The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser

Warren Kozak - 2004
    Always wearing an easy smile, Hasidic rabbi Haskel Besser spreads joy wherever he goes, enriching the lives of his many friends and congregants with his profound understanding of both Orthodox Judaism and humannature.With warmth and admiration, journalist Warren Kozak writes about the rabbi's extraordinary life—from his family's escape to Palestine in the late 1930s to his witnessing of Israel's rebirth in 1948, to his move to New York City, where he lives today.A rare window into the normally closed world of Hasidic Jews, The Rabbi of 84th Street is also the story of Judaism in the twentieth century; of the importance of centuries-old traditions; and of the triumph of faith, kindness, and spirit.

Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Stanley Lane-Poole - 1898
     Stanley Lane-Poole’s acclaimed biography Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem is a complete study of the life of this noted leader: his youth, rise through twelfth-century Middle-Eastern politics, career as a military commander and the conquest of Egypt and Syria, and his intriguing clashes with Richard the Lionheart. Throughout his life, Saladin established himself as a military commander of genius, a man of honour and an intrepid statesman, cementing his place in the annals of Middle-Eastern history. The result of a lifetime of study by eminent historian Lane-Poole, Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem benefits from the rich and colourful chronicles of Arab and Moslem historians, providing us with a unique insight into the life and deeds of this fascinating figure. “Stanley Lane-Poole has rendered valuable service in his different works by presenting various phases of Oriental history and life in such a way as to interest even those to whom such subjects are ordinarily a sealed book”.—The American Historical Review Stanley Edward Lane-Poole, 18 December 1854, was a British orientalist and archaeologist. Born in London, England, from 1874 to 1892 he worked in the British Museum, and after that in Egypt researching on Egyptian archaeology. From 1897 to 1904 he had a chair as Professor of Arabic studies at Dublin University. He died in 1931.

The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust: A Memoir

Noam Chayut - 2013
    For that girl, I embodied absolute evil ... Since then I have been left without my Holocaust, and since then everything in my life has assumed a new meaning: belongingness is blurred, pride is lacking, belief is faltering, contrition is heightening, forgiveness is being born.” The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust is the deeply moving memoir of Chayut’s journey from eager Zionist conscript on the front line of Operation Defensive Shield to leading campaigner against the Israeli occupation. As he attempts to make sense of his own life as well as his place within the wider conflict around him, he slowly starts to question his soldier’s calling, Israel’s justifications for invasion, and the ever-present problem of historical victimhood. Noam Chayut’s exploration of a young soldier’s life is one of the most compelling memoirs to emerge from Israel for a long time.

Leviticus:The Book of Holiness (Covenant & Conversation 3)

Jonathan Sacks - 2015
    Rabbi Sacks fuses Jewish tradition, Western philosophy and literature to present a highly developed understanding of the human condition under God's sovereignty.

Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge

Said K. Aburish - 2000
    He explains why Saddam behaves as he does by suggesting that his life has been marked by a series of personal quests: for recognition after being orphaned and brought up by a destitute uncle; for control of his country; for leadership of the Arab world; for mastery of the technology of destruction, and the fight for Iraq's survival.

Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly - Reviewed

Anthony Granger - 2014
    along with a glossary of the important characters and terms used in the original book. Just in case that’s not enough for you, I’ve also included a list of possible study questions (book club discussion topics) and quotes from the book that I found interesting.Wrapping it all up is a discussion of the critical reviews for Killing Jesus as well as my overall opinion of the book. Plus much more!Whether you’re reading this for a book club, school report, or just want to get a quick preview before diving into the full length book, you can use this book review and study guide to get the most out of your experience reading Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly.I hope you enjoy this review summary book...~ Anthony Granger ~

RedCon 1: Memoirs of a Fallujah Marine

Michael Scot Smith - 2014
    Most of them are honorable, but in the end, they are just attempts.Michael S. Smith’s memoir, on the other hand, is the reality of modern combat.Gear up and settle in, but don’t get too comfortable—you’re joining a platoon of United States Marine Corps scouts as they make their way through a pre-deployment workup, a transition to the Middle East, and ultimately into Operation Al Fajr, an assault to retake Fallujah, Iraq. It will be the largest and deadliest American battle since Hue City, Vietnam. The memoir is a microscopic and unwavering look at personal interactions, struggles, nightmares, and scars of the men in the platoon, its 1st Section in particular. They grow from an untested unit into a seasoned group of combat veterans. In addition to life amid the horrors of death and destruction, Smith also delivers the hilarity lost in most accounts of war, which the men must maintain in order to keep their sanity.You’re going to be frightened as you slug it out with the enemy, but with that come unwavering friendships forged in battle and the irrefutable honor in the defense of freedom.

They Must Go

Meir Kahane - 1981
    This classic was written by Rabbi Kahane in 1980 while he was serving a prison sentence in Israel for essentially warning his people about the very dangers they are today experiencing! The book outlines the problem posed by the Israeli-Arab minority, the failure of successive governments to solve the problem, and the one solution.

An Odyssey in War and Peace

J.F.R. Jacob - 2011
    Of this, the Baghdadi Sephardic community is very small in number but has produced one of India???s greatest contemporary soldiers, Lt Gen. Jack Jacob. This is his fascinating story. As a small boy, Jacob, who was from a business family, was sent to a residential public school in Darjeeling along with his two brothers. When the Second World War broke out, Jacob without informing his family joined the army in 1941 to fight against the Nazis! After Independence, Gen. Jacob became a gunnery instructor for some time and subsequently was trained in an advanced Artillery and Missile course at Fort Sill in the US. A quick learner, he commanded infantry and artillery brigades, headed the artillery school, and finally the Eastern Army. Rubbing shoulders with some of the stalwarts who strode the Indian political and military arena in those times, Gen. Jacob sometimes fell foul of his bosses and twice came close to resigning. But he stuck on and the pinnacle of his career came in 1971, when he planned and oversaw operations leading to the fall of Dacca and obtained an unconditional public surrender, the only one in history, of Gen. Niazi and his army of 93,000. Written lucidly, this autobiography comes to life as a historical document recapitulating some of the most important events of the 1960s to the 90s ??? from the defeat of the Naxalites in West Bengal, to the problems of Nagaland and Sikkim and the politics of Goa and Punjab. This is not only the story of the life of one great soldier, but provides glimpses of some of the most influential and colourful personalities who wrote the history of those tumultuous times.

Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior

Mark Rathbun - 2013
    This autobiographical history of Scientology is told by one of L. Ron Hubbard’s staunchest defenders.

Chosen?: Reading the Bible Amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Walter Brueggemann - 2015
    Are modern Israeli citizens the descendants of the Israelites in the Bible whom God called chosen? Was the promise of land to Moses permanent and irrevocable? What about others living in the promised land? How should we read the Bible in light of the modern situation? Who are the Zionists, and what do they say?In four chapters, Brueggemann addresses the main questions people have with regards to what the Bible has to say about this ongoing issue. A question-and-answer section with Walter Brueggemann, a glossary of terms, study guide, and guidelines for respectful dialogue are also included. The reader will get answers to their key questions about how to understand God's promises to the biblical people often called Israel and the conflict between Israel and Palestine today.

From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences

Elie Wiesel - 1990
    Included are Wiesel's landmark speeches, among them his powerful testimony at the trial of Klaus Barbie and his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.


Ben Hecht - 1997
    Over 30 years out-of-print, Perfidy is back, with murder, conspiracy and deep betrayal at its disturbing core. Playwright and historian of public conscience, Ben Hecht chronicles one of the most sensational yet least remembered stories in the history of Israel.