December 1, 2019 •
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TBA Book Group

with Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg, M.A.R.E, M.A.H.L.
TBA Book Group 2019-2020 with Rabbi Vaisberg
The B’nai Abraham Book Group will have engaging, meaningful, and edifying conversations about different books each month. Together we developed a rich, varied, and provocative reading list for the coming year.
Free and open to the community. Register>>

Wednesdays, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM  @ TBA
December 18, 2019, January 8, February 12,  March 11, April 1 & May 13, 2020

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 7:30 PM
The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-GoshenNofar is an average teenage girl—so average, in fact, that she’s almost invisible. Serving customers ice cream all summer long, she is desperate for some kind of escape. But one afternoon, a terrible lie slips from her tongue. And suddenly everyone wants to talk to her: the press, her schoolmates, and even the boy upstairs. He is the only one who knows the truth, and he is demanding a price for his silence. Then Nofar meets Raymonde, an elderly immigrant whose best friend has just died. Raymonde keeps her friend alive the only way she knows how, by inhabiting her stories. But soon, Raymonde’s lies take on a life of their own. Written with propulsive energy, dark humor, and deep insight, The Liar reveals the far-reaching consequences of even our smallest choices, and explores the hidden corners of human nature to reveal the liar, and the truth-teller, in all of us.

Available for purchase online at Amazon or at other booksellers.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 7:30 PM
Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordechai Richler

Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordechai Richler

Berger, son of the failed poet L.B. Berger, is in the grips of an obsession. The Gursky family with its colourful bootlegging history, its bizarre connections with the North and the Inuit, and its wildly eccentric relations, both fascinates and infuriates him. His quest to unravel their story leads to the enigmatic Ephraim Gursky: document forger in Victorian England, sole survivor of the ill-fated Franklin expedition and charasmatic religious leader of the Arctic. Of Ephraim’s three grandsons, Bernard has fought, wheeled and cheated his way to the head of a liquor empire. His brother Morrie has reluctantly followed along. But how does Ephraim’s protege, Solomon, fit in? Elusive, mysterious and powerful, Solomon Gursky hovers in the background, always out of Moses’ grasp, but present-like an omen.

Available for purchase online at Amazon or at other booksellers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 7:30 PM
Sapiens: a Brief History of Human Kind by Yuval Noah Harari

FrSapiens a Brief History of Human Kind by Yuval Noah Harariom a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller— that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Available for purchase online at Amazon or at other booksellers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 7:30 PM
A Pigeon and A Boy by Meir Shalev
A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev

A mesmerizing novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion—from the internationally acclaimed Israeli writer Meir Shalev. During the 1948 War of Independence–a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages–a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon. The bird is carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend. His growing passion for her, along with a gift from his mother on her deathbed, becomes the key to a life he thought no longer possible. Unforgettable in both its particulars and its sweep, A Pigeon and A Boy is a tale of lovers then and now–of how deeply we love, of what home is, and why we, like pigeons trained to fly in one direction only, must eventually return to it. In a voice that is at once playful, wise, and altogether beguiling, Meir Shalev tells a story as universal as war and as intimate as a winged declaration of love.

Available for purchase online at Amazon or at other booksellers.

Wednesday. April 1, 2020, 7:30 PM
New American Haggadah by Jonathan Safran Foer & Nathan Englander

New American Haggadah by Jonathan Safran Foer & Nathan EnglanderUpon hardcover publication New American Haggadah was praised as a momentous re-envisioning through prayer, song, and ritual of one of our oldest, most timeless, and sacred stories-Moses leading the ancient Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to wander the desert for 40 years before reaching the Promised Land. Featuring a new translation of the traditional text by Nathan Englander and provocative essays by a collection of major Jewish writers and thinkers, it was received not only as a religious document but a magnificent literary and artistic achievement. Now, after two years of patience, those readers who asked for a paperback edition have gotten their wish.

Available for purchase online at Amazon or at other booksellers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 7:30 PM
Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein HaLevi

Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein HaLeviAttempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli commentator and award-winning author of Like Dreamers directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book, empathizing with Palestinian suffering and longing for reconciliation as he explores how the conflict looks through Israeli eyes. And now, in a brand-new Epilogue, Palestinian readers have been given a chance to respond through their own powerful letters. I call you “neighbor” because I don’t know your name, or anything personal about you. Given our circumstances, “neighbor” might be too casual a word to describe our relationship. We are intruders into each other’s dream, violators of each other’s sense of home. We are incarnations of each other’s worst historical nightmares. Neighbors? Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is one Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians and into the hearts of “the enemy.” In a series of letters,

Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is committed to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East. This is the first attempt by an Israeli author to directly address his Palestinian neighbors and describe how the conflict appears through Israeli eyes. Halevi untangles the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide. Halevi’s letters speak not only to his Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately help determine the fate of the region. The paperback edition also includes a brand-new Epilogue, containing heartfelt letters of response from a variety of Palestinian readers.

Available for purchase online at Amazon or at other booksellers.

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