Archives For Judaica


191208: The Complete Psalms: The Book of Prayer Songs in a New Translation A Review of

The Complete Psalms:
The Book of Prayer Songs
in a New Translation

Translated by Pamela Greenberg.
Hardback: Bloomsbury, 2010.
Buy now: [ ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

For thousands of years, the Psalms have been the heartbeat that pulsed life and kept rhythm for the people of God, but sometimes their familiarity can subtly breed mindlessness; we mouth the familiar words and yet miss the power of their words to engage with the oft-brutal realities of living in a fallen world and to transform our hearts and minds.  Out of this familiar milieu emerges Pamela Greenberg’s delightful new translation, The Complete Psalms, which breathes the crisp air of new life into these liturgical songs.  Indeed, Greenberg identifies the compelling force behind her translation as “the impulse of shiru l’Adonai shir chadash, the imperative to sing to God a new song” (xvii).  Her translation process flowed from the tension between the poetic, an attempt “to replicate the emotional passion of the psalms,” and the literal, which in the end resulted in a [dialogical] “middle ground between strict literality and poetic engagement, with the hopes of awakening for the reader new possibilities for speaking with God.”

Consider her verdant translation of the familiar Psalm 100:

Shout out with joy, all who live on earth.

Serve the Holy One with rejoicing.

Come before the Upholder with a ringing cry.

Know that God is a source of wonder.

You created us, and it is to our Creator we belong.

We are shepherded by heavenly guidance.

Come into the divine gates with thankfulness,

the holy courtyards shining with praise.

Be thankful, awed by the Holy Name.

For God is good;

your kindness is toward the world.

From generation to generation, you remain faithful.

Continue Reading…


An excerpt from

Sabbath World:
Glimpses of A Different Order of Time
Judith Shulevitz.
Hardback:  Random House, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Read our review by Ragan Sutterfield here


A brief review of

Memories of Eden: A Journey Through Jewish Baghdad.
Violette Shamash.
Hardback: Northwestern University Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Michelle Van Loon (

Most of us are likely familiar with Kristallnacht, the nights of violence unleashed by the Nazi regime in 1938 against Jews in Germany and Austria. But did you know that more Jews lost their lives during the Farhud, the anti-Semitic pogrom that took place in Baghdad in June, 1941?

It was the beginning of the end of a vibrant Jewish community that had existed in what is now modern Iraq for 2,500 years, since the time of the Babylonian captivity described in the Old Testament. Within a decade of the Farhud, almost the entire Jewish community, hundreds of thousands Iraqi citizens once an integral part of the life and culture of the region, had fled the country.

Violette Shamash (1912-2006) created a first-person memoir of a Baghdad most of us can scarcely imagine. Shamash penned her stories of her upper-class Jewish childhood and young adulthood in the years prior to the Farhud. She put pen to paper over a span of about twenty years in order to ensure that these rich memories would be passed on to her children. Her daughter and son-in-law shaped her remembrances into a fascinating read about a vanished way of life.

Continue Reading…


In our continuing effort to fund the publication and free distribution of The Englewood Review, we are going to be collaborating more intentionally with Christian Book Distributors.  Primarily, we will be offering you the opportunity to buy bargain books from CBD that we think of are interest.  Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition.  You get great books for a great price,  CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.  These books make great gifts!


This week’s bargain books (Click to learn more/purchase):

  • A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus.
    by Emil Schurer
    (Hardback, 5 volumes.) $29.99 !!!
  • A Visit to Vanity Fair.
    by Alan Jacobs
    (Hardback)  $0.99!!!
  •  The Story of the Christ.
    By Scot McKnight (Paperback)   $1.99 !!!