Archive | Books & Poetry

China’s jailed Nobel laureate is granted parole after terminal cancer diagnosis

BEIJING — Chinese authorities released detained dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo on medical parole after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, his lawyer said Monday. Liu, 61, is receiving treatment at a hospital in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, according to his lawyer Mo Shaoping. The Norway-based Nobel committee awarded Liu, a […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International0 Comments

The personal peril of being a translator

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — One doesn’t normally think of translating and editing as a dangerous profession, but my experience of working in this field for the last fifty years has had a deleterious effect on me, leaving me seriously incapacitated. Reading literature of any kind, and especially if it has been translated […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea0 Comments

Film Review: Their Finest Hour

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — Since the reviews of the above film were positive on the whole, we decided to make a supreme effort to see it, squeezing it in between two evenings of other cultural activities. The subject was particularly interesting for me because it was set in London during the Second […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea0 Comments

Emily Robbins turns her experience living in Syria into a stunning first novel on love, loss and language

Getting Emily Robbins on the phone is not an easy task. The writer and anthropology scholar is currently living in Jordan, researching her second book. Her first book, “A Word for Love,” is set in Syria. She was inspired to write it after living in the country for multiple years in the early 2000s. Robbins’ […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Middle East0 Comments

Rabbi Sacks essays on the Book of Numbers

Covenant & Conversation, Numbers: The Wilderness Years, A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Maggid Books and The Orthodox Union, Jerusalem, © 2017, ISBN 978-1-68025-294-1, p. 171, plus glossary, $14.95 By Fred Reiss, Ed.D. WINCHESTER, California –  World-renown rabbi and scholar Rabbi Jonathan Sacks begins with the assertion that the Book of […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish Religion, Reiss_Fred0 Comments

Stephen King more profound as author than coach

On Writing by Stephen King; Scribner, Simon and Schuster, 2000 By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — Not being a fan of the horror/fantasy genre of novels, I must confess at the outset that I have not read any of Stephen King’s other books. I do know, however, that he is a very successful and prolific author in […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea0 Comments

The debate about Bob Dylan’s faith is over

Nearly 40 years after Bob Dylan stunned the music world with the release of his overtly Christian album, “Slow Train Coming,” followed quickly with the unambiguously gospel “Saved,” people still don’t know what to make of America’s most enigmatic troubadour. The conventional wisdom is that Dylan took an intense dive into evangelical Christianity for a […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Music and Visual Arts1 Comment

Freud biography heavy reading, yet interesting

Freud: An Intellectual Biography by Joel Whitebook; Cambridge University Press (c) 2017; 496 pages. By Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. SAN DIEGO — When Don Harrison asked if I’d review a new book about Schlomo Sigismund Freud, known to most as Sigmund Freud, I gladly accepted the opportunity. Why? I’m not sure. Not that I’d spend […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Mantell_Michael, Science, Medicine, Education0 Comments

Was the whale created by Jonah’s subconscious mind?

Unusual Bible Interpretations: Jonah and Amos, by Rabbi Israel Drazin; Gefen Publishing House, 2016; ISBN-10: 9652298859; ISBN-13: 978-9652298850 By Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel   CHULA VISTA, California — I would like to begin this book review with a conversation I had with the publisher of San Diego Jewish World, Don Harrison. He asked me whether there […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish Religion, Samuel_Michael_Leo-Rabbi1 Comment

Future historians may rue aspects of U.S. war on terror

By Ken Stone Times of San Diego LA JOLLA, California — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eric Lichtblau, author of an exposé of the Nazi era’s shameful American aftermath, is worried what a future historian might say about today’s War on Terror. With James Risen, Eric Lichtblau won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for revealing […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International, Jewish History, Science, Medicine, Education, USA0 Comments

How does the Jewish calendar work?

The Jewish Calendar: History and Inner Workings by Dr. Fred Reiss; (c) 2017; ISBN 9781544-72382. By Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel CHULA VISTA, California — The study of the Jewish calendar is not one of the easiest topics to research.  It is an area that most rabbis have at best a general knowledge of the history. […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish Religion, Samuel_Michael_Leo-Rabbi0 Comments

‘The Interview’ — A poem for Memorial Day

Editor’s note: Author Bob Holloway served as an enlisted man in the Marines during the Korean Conflict.  He was wounded and later received the Purple Heart.   By Bob Holloway Son, I’m just a punk reporter and I’ve never lugged a mortar so believe me I’ll just listen here tonight For I know you went […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International, USA

Delay tasks? You’re more a Melville than a Moses

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal SAN DIEGO — I never read the book Moby Dick in my youth. Now that I have more time, I decided to read it in my dotage. I failed miserably. Even though Moby Dick is considered one of the greatest works of American literature, I found it ponderous and boring. When […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish Religion, Rosenthal_Leonard_Rabbi

Sex with the powerful: A story of a D.C. intern

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin; Algonquin Books of Chapel Hills; (c) 2017; ISBN pending; 307 pages; tentative price $26.95. By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO — Two young Jewish interns, Monica Lewinsky and Chandra Levy, z”l, as written about in the Washington D.C. media became caricatures of themselves. Lewinsky was the intern whose spotted […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Harrison_Donald_H

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