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library resources

08/19/2021 02:25:39 PM


Aileen Grossberg, Librarian

We are in the middle of Elul, month that leads up to holidays when we finish taking stock of ourselves and ask for forgiveness.

The library is well-stocked with books on the topic of the holidays, their rituals and concepts like atonement. Check out the book display for suggested reading.

Here are some highlights:

New author Rachel Sharona Lewis updates the beloved Rabbi Small mystery series (Monday the Rabbi….), with The Rabbi who Prayed with Fire, setting the mystery in Providence, Rhode Island and creating Rabbi Vivian, the young assistant rabbi, who happens also to be gay. And what can this have to do with Elul and beyond? The story revolves around honesty, social justice issues, and making amends for moral faults. A highlight of the book is The Pearls of Torah.

Nathan Englander often writes offbeat-even iconoclastic- novels. fits beautifully into the spirit of Elul and the High Holidays with its themes of atonement, personal relations and the ubiquity of God.

This Is Real and You Are Completely unprepared : The Days of Awe as a journey of transformation by the late Alan Lew is a modern classic. Some people reread it every year. Lew offers advice on how we can live our lives in a meaningful and joyful way through prayer and meditation.

If music is your thing, The Judaic Sacred Music Foundation has recoded  Symphony No. 1 JUDAICA (Days of Awe).

The Foundation is also presenting a program of Sephardic High Holidays music including  the world premiere of Three Birkhyot Vignettes for the New Year on Sunday August 29 @ 8p.m.

My Jewish Learning will get you in the contemplative mood with a daily shofar blowing from sites around the world. 

 The group’s website is . Check it for lots of upcoming programs from a variety of organizations and presenters.

A simple key word search will turn up lots of resources for the holidays: recipes, decorating, daily meditations, music, etc.

BUT there’s still time before Tishrei 1 to explore other topics, too.

Professor Burt Visotzky has almost completed his three part series entitled Aphrodite and the Rabbi: how the Jews adapted Roman culture to create Judaism as we know it. Visotzky, an excellent speaker, is entertaining and enlightening. Did you know that Jewish art was influenced by Roman funerary art and that much of rabbinic thinking draws on the Stoics? Presented by CSP, the lectures have been recorded. The last lecture on melding Torah and Hellenism is slated for Sunday, August 22 @ 8 PM.

Lastly, peaches are not just for pie. Here’s  a quick tasty way to use up extra peaches with a colorful, refreshing accompaniment for fish or chicken.

Peach Salsa


2 heaping cups unpeeled diced peaches
1 medium ripe avocado, diced (optional)
1/4 c. finely diced or finely sliced red onion
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons  finely minced jalapeno (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
For garnish:
slices of jalapeño
sprigs of cilantro


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the peaches, avocado, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lemon juice, and salt. Season to taste with more jalapeño and salt or a pinch of sugar.
  2. Serve with baked salmon or grilled chicken.


NOTES: Add other vegetables such as chopped tomatoes, cucumber or chopped peppers. The salsa will even work with canned peaches. Try it with mangoes or other fruit. Add a good sprinkle of Chile Lime seasoning (Trader Joe’s). Add arugula to the leftover salsa and now it’s a salad. The salsa will keep for a couple of days without getting soggy.

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784