Introducing “Rin’s Bookshelf” – A New Series Exploring Jewish Life in Literature

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. But before we were all staying at home, I wasn’t reading as often as I used to. Life got busy and time got away from me. Now that I have more time, I’m reading more than ever, thanks to my local library having an extensive e-book selection. 

One of my favorite genres is Historical Fiction. Something that I’ve noticed though, is that it feels like the majority of books featuring Jewish people are based during the Holocaust. I think that these books are extremely powerful in helping to remind younger generations about this horrific period in recent history. I also worry that this one time and one place portrayal of our people can have a downside: that this single moment defines all Jewish people today. 

As one of my rabbis told me, the Shoah is not the defining moment of the Jewish people. It is a piece of a larger history that spans thousands of years. So, where am I going with this? I’m taking a journey through my library and bookstores to find a diverse selection and representation of Jewish life (along with some non-fiction, too) and sharing it here with you.

Some of these stories may tie back to the Holocaust, but hopefully many of them will shed different lights on our community. The diversity of the Jewish people, the complexity of how we practice our culture and spirituality, and mostly that we are just ordinary people trying to get through life the best we can. 

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