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Adam Frankenberg "Kol adam" (Manchester UK)

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A Pigeon and a Boy
A Pigeon and a Boy
by Meir Shalev
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.50

4.0 out of 5 stars of the love of pigeons, boys and Israel., 28 April 2011
This review is from: A Pigeon and a Boy (Paperback)
This book is remarkable in many ways, Meir Shalev is one of Israel's most improtant novelest and this story does not disappoint. It fucntions on a number of levels but on the most straight forward it is simply a great story or rather two great stories woven together. One is set in contemporary (or near contemporary Israel) and the other in the period of the Yeshuv (pre-state Jewish community) and the war of 1948. AS the book proceeds these two stories draw more and more together. I found that each story was gripping and i felt for each for the characters. The translation has been beatifully undertaken by Evan Fallenberg. It is written like modern day fable with a dreamlike prose. It is one of those books that stays with the reader after (maybe long after) the it has been finished. I would, in quite moments, find myself thinking about images and scenes from the novel. At the moment i am studying in Israel and another theme of this novel that stands out, is the differnce between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The geography of Jerusalem and the rest of the country plays an improtant role in this novel. I highly recommend it. As might be guessed a central metaphor of the story is messenger pigeons, I know nothing about pigeons and this did not stop me enjoying reading it. I highly recommend reading this novel it will stay with the you and is well worth the efford involved.


LAMY Safari Fountain Pen - Gloss Black Blister Pack
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen - Gloss Black Blister Pack
Offered by Avatar Express
Price: £10.93

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prefect for day to day, 21 April 2011
I have always liked fountain pens and this is one of the best day to day pens I have come across and the the low price is taken into account it is without doubt the best. It is easy to use and to change the cartages when they run out. The window in the side of the pen is especially use in this regard because it makes it easy to tell when the ink is running low.
The pen writes with a smooth flow and it is almost impossible to get it to blot or spill ink. In terms of the quality of the handwriting it produce it is excellent and in terms of the skill required i suitable pen for someone new to penmenship.
Because of the low cost I am not to unhappy when i lose it temopoarily (and on one occasion perminatly).
It is also well designed ergonomically it sit beautiful in the hand and is a pleasure to use. I have brought it as a gift for a number of my friends. While it will not replace my old fountain pens complete in terms of practical product this is an excellent pen. Well worth the price and good pen to for some who is either starting out with a 'real' pen or for regular writting. One final pont it allows for a slightly speed of writing than outher fountain pens that I have come across.


A Short Film About Killing [1988] [DVD]
A Short Film About Killing [1988] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Miroslaw Baka
Price: £7.75

5.0 out of 5 stars masterful but far from easy, 15 April 2011
A short film about killing is now one of the classics of European cinema. Kieslowski was a giant and this is a truly remarkable film, it shows many of the characteristics that came to be indicative of Kieslowski's work. This film marks part of the transition from his earlier work (Dekalog) to the later, more magic and maybe more beautiful, later works such as the three colours trilogy and the double life of Veronic. But a short film about Killing and a short love. (Both of which grow out of the Television series Dekalog) have a beauty of their own and an unmistakable power.
It is now more than fifteen years since I first saw this film and it has stayed with me. Given its name it problem doesn't need stating but in places it is a very hard watch. (indeed so powerful and difficult that it is credited at least in part with changing the Polish law on the death penalty.
I really recommend this film. Epically if you are interested in European cinema, but even if you are not it is still a great film and more than worth the time and money.


Hebrew From Scratch - Part 1 (ivrit min ha-hat'hala)
Hebrew From Scratch - Part 1 (ivrit min ha-hat'hala)
by Hilla Kobliner Shlomit Chayat Sara Israeli
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the standard work, 8 April 2011
This is probably one of if not the standard work in the area of Ulpan (Structured Hebrew study) it was published by the Hebrew University and is used in many university courses. It starts at a totaly basic level and then builds from there integrating grammer and vocabular as it goes along. I found it a good way to learn, although I was learning in a structured enviroment with a teacher. The course book includes a CD and there are numberous lessening exercises in the work.
It is a good book and probably the best that is on offer, i still think that it would be hard to learn Hebrew effectively from it without the help of a teacher.
There are a few places in it where the editing leaves a little to be desired, but those two caviates notwithstanding it is a very good book. I highly recommend it if you are interested in learning modern Hebrew.


Old Testament Parsing Guide
Old Testament Parsing Guide
by Todd S Beall
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 8 April 2011
This book is a great refereence resource for the study of the Hebrew Text of the Hebrew Bible (here called the Old Testament) it contains a list of all the verbs in the Bilble listed by book, chapter and verse. And then gives a brake down of whch Binyan they belong to (a Binyan is a family of Hebrew verbs so Kal is passive and Hitpael is reflexive-if you don't know what a Binyan is then this book probably wont be of interest to you or needed) the form of the verb (past or future) as well as its temporal meaning, its root and number and gender. In short anything that you could want to know about it.
I found it very useful while studying Biblical Hebrew and Bible and it is one of those books that i wish i had brought with me on my year studying abroad.
I reall recommend this book if you are studying or plan to study Biblical Hebew or Hebrew Bible. It is very useful in both helping gain an understanding of the text and in self-study/cheeking assigned work from classes.


Lonely Man of Faith
Lonely Man of Faith
by Joseph B. Soloveitchik
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophical and theological consideration of solitude, 2 April 2011
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This review is from: Lonely Man of Faith (Paperback)
Rav Soloveitchik, was among the leading halakhic figures of the last century. In addition to his work in this field he was also an improtant philosophic thinker. He had not only been trained in the classical texts of Judaism but also philosophy in Berlin.
This book is based a seris of lectures given at Yeshiva University. Perhaps because this book is based on a sersis of public lectures it is a very accessable. Dispite the fact that it is higly accessable it is a profound work. Rav Soloveitchik uses the first two chapters of Genesis (which tell two similar but different accounts of the creation of the world and of Adam). Rav Soloveitchik encourprates insighties from philosophy from the likes of kant and Kierkegaard as well as Pyscology.

The basic argument of the book is that there are two Adams and therefore two types of characteristics within each of us (both commanded by God and in that sense both nature and necessary) one the out going individualistic Adam of Genesis One who if he does construct communities does so in a utilitrian way and the other Lonely (if not alone) Adam of Genesis two, who needs to construct a (faith)-community in order to draw closer to God. It is this lonely Man of Faith who gives the book its name.

Probably this book will be of most interest to people with some philosophical background and an interest in Judaism. However, it is accessable to almost any reader and i think that anyone will find much of interest in it.

The Lonely Man of Faith was first published in the magazine Tradition in 1965, however it is still as revelent to a postmodernist society as it was to the morderist one it was written for. It is short book, some ten shortish chapters nevertheless it is a profound work that is worth reading and then re-reading.


The Finkler Question
The Finkler Question
by Howard Jacobson
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars juvenile, 11 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Finkler Question (Hardcover)
I have rarely wished that I could give a book a zero star rating until now. There is really no way to say how poor this work is. It does not even manage to transcend itself and become great despite of its awfulness. This is because it is not so much awful as it is awfully mundane.

The story focuses on and around and on the lives of three men. Julian Treslove, Samuel (Sam Finkler) who are old school Friends and their former teacher Libor Sevcik. Sam and Libor are Jewish whereas Julian, the books hero or anti-hero is not.

Jacobson has attempted to robe his narrative in the question of Jewish identity in contemporary Britain as well as Zionism and Anti-Zionism.

I think that the Finkler question may have been meant to be a satire on Anglo-Judaism and on the whole debate on Zionism and Anti-Zionism in leftwing British life. Not content with attempting all that he also tries to satirise Antisemitism. The only problem with this is that the book simple isn't that funny. There are moments and scenes when the use of a lighter touch could have been funny.

However they are so over written that they have lost any life that they might have had.

In addition the `Finkler question' fails as a novel. The three main characters are poorly drawn, never really escaping beyond the page forever confined as two-dimensional.

The secondary characters in the novel are even more thinly drawn (this problem seems especially acute in the case of female characters). This makes it very hard to care about the angst of the central protagonists or what they think or feel about any of the matters that confront them.

I know that one of the concerns of this book are stereotypes however, this does not prevent Jacobson from drawing heavily on the entire range of standard stereotypes of both Jews and non-Jews.

I am living abroad at the moment but even here I couldn't help but notice how much fuss was being coursed by this work, so I bought a copy to see what all the fuss was about. I can see that the way Jacobson has grabbed his work in issues such as Holocaust denial and Zionism anti-Zionism could be seen as offensive but this book is really too poor to course me much offence.

It is best to describe the whole tone and nature of this book as juvenile, or maybe adolescent is a more fitting term, in attempting to be a biting satire and a political critic (albeit a comedic one) all at the same time.


As a Driven Leaf
As a Driven Leaf
by Milton Steinberg
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world of the Talmud jumps off the page, 1 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: As a Driven Leaf (Paperback)
In this novel Milton Steinberg brings the world of the Talmudic sages and the sages themselves to life. I frist read this book around the time of my Bar Mitzvah. (It was one of my presents). It focuses on the life of Elisha ben Abuyah know in the tradition as Acher (The Other). As well as such great rabbis as Akivah and Meir and others. It is set around, or just before the time of Mishnah and in the period of the Bar Kockba revolt. So the book is filled with political intrigue. But it is so much more than a historical novel. I think that it is the fact that i read this book that frist started my interest in Talmud. It is a fun and exciting novel to read, as well as being litereature and not simply fiction. It is also highly informative but manges to wear its scholarship lightly.


The Five: A Novel of Jewish Life in Turn-of-the-century Odessa
The Five: A Novel of Jewish Life in Turn-of-the-century Odessa
by Vladimir Jabotinsky
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars springtime in Odessa, 12 Nov. 2010
Vladimer Jabotinsky is probably best known as the leader of the Revisionist Zionists (non-Soicalists). But he was also a noted public speaker and was fluent in serval languages. The Five is a Russian novel centering on the life of one Jewish family in Odessa in the early part of the nineteeth century. It is beautifuly written and has been rendured in graceful English by Michael R., Katz. The chapters are relativly short as is the novel itself (it did not take me very many sittings to complet it). But for the space of time that I was reading i felt myself drawn into a strange and exciting world. And now saddly one that is lost forever. I found the five main characters the childern of the family at the centre of the novel. And for whom the novel is named, at turns funny and intriging, annoying and familer. However it was the portrait that Jabotinsky draws of the city of Odessa itself that is the most enticing. Just as there are novels whose reallt main centre of attention is Dublin, London, Rome, or New York, in the Five it is Odessa that sands out most prominantly.


In the Beginning
In the Beginning
by Chaim Potok
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars complex and profound., 10 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: In the Beginning (Paperback)
This is one of Potok's more complex works. Although some of the troops of the book will be familier to those who have read other Potok Novels (The Chosen, the Promise, the Book of Lights, e.c.t.,) they are more subtle in this work than others. The story focuses on the growing up off David Lurie, in a New York Jewish family before and during the great depression. As with many of Potoks work much of the action takes place in a Jewish religious framework (a Jewish School and yeshivah) and another familer Potokian theme is that of what to when confronted with a truth that may challenge ones life-style or belief. The style of the book is more fragmented than some of Potoks other works and is written from the prespective of a man (possible an old man) looking back on his life and remembering what happened. Rather than as a 'real time' novel. I greatly enjoyed this novel. It is, perhaps, not as easy as the Promise. But it is worth the effort. Maybe not the best Potok novel to start with but it will be welcomed by any Potok fans, or indeed others who will give it the time it deserves.


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