Books I Recommend

Image: Four book covers

Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World by Seth M. Siegel. If I were looking for scintillating subject matter for a book, I would probably not think of “water policy.” I began reading this page-turner after hearing from Consul General David Siegel (no relation) that this was a worthwhile book. He had also mentioned that California Gov. Jerry Brown is a fan of the book. Lo and behold, it is wonderful reading. Israel is the world’s leader in water conservation and policy; this book explains how that came to pass.

Judaism in Transition: How Economic Choices Shape Religious Tradition by Carmel Chiswick. This is a fascinating look at the present state of American Judaism through the lens of economics.

Holy War in Judaism: The Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea by Reuven Firestone. Rabbi Dr. Firestone is one of my teachers, and his books always hit a sweet spot in my curiosity. He was thinking about this book my last year in rabbinical school, and his ideas have shaped much of my own understanding of the tensions around Chanukah, among other things. Now I’m finally getting around to reading the book.

and just for fun:

The Thirteen Gun Salute by Patrick O’Brian. This is my third read through O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin 20 volume series. There’s something comforting about this story of a friendship – I read it before I go to sleep.

Readers: What are you reading these days? Recommendations?

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

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