Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Book Release: Handy Geography

The Handy Geography Answer Book by Paul Tucci

Geography is more than just maps and finding your destination. It is about the land, the people on that land, the delicate balance of nature, and our very interdependence upon it, despite the miracles of technology and grocery stores. It’s about the effects of nature on places and people, as well as how politics, borders, cities, and towns affect our lives. The Handy Geography Answer Book traces the history of geography from Eratosthenes and Alexander von Humboldt to latitude and longitude, and the latest advances in the Global Positioning System (GPS). It provides insights into economic, social, historic, culture, religious, political, and climate geography, plus oceanography, demographics, and more.

Completely revised and updated, it tours the world, its natural features, and the ever-changing mark humans make on our planet, answering 1,200 questions from the trivia (longest, hottest, tallest) to how geography has influenced history, religion, architecture, and the location of cities, including Who first had the idea that there is a magnetic North Pole? What is interesting about Google’s “Streetview”? How many people are projected to live on the planet in 2050? Which state has the highest annual divorce rate? What are the largest and smallest counties in the U.S.?

Monday, August 1, 2016

New Book Release: The Handy State-by-State Answer Book

The Handy State-by-State Answer Book: Faces, Places, and Famous Dates for All Fifty States by Samuel Willard Crompton

How did colonies, territories, and land purchases shape the United States of America? What differences—and similarities—are there between the states? What does each state bring to the union? From sea to shining sea, The Handy State-by-State Answer Book: Faces, Places, and Famous Dates for All Fifty Statesexplores the history, growth, politics, people, and more of each of the 50 states. It is a resource for learning about the events and personalities that influenced and affected each state, its history, government, cities, and culture. It is a convenient place to look for state facts and trivia.

In addition to the state motto, nickname, and when it entered the union, The Handy State-by-State Answer Book answers intriguing questions about the people, places, and events that lend a unique character to each state's boundaries, government, and places of interest, such as: How important were the Beach Boys to the making of California’s culture? Are the Hawaiians still in charge of their state and its economy? Why was it so easy for the Pilgrims and the Puritans to take over eastern Massachusetts? Who were the first inhabitants of what is now South Dakota? Does it ever stop raining on the Washington coast?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

New Book Release: Haredi Masculinities

Haredi Masculinities between the Yeshiva, the Army, Work and Politics: The Sage, the Warrior and the Entrepeneur by Yohai Hakak

In "Haredi Masculinities between the Yeshiva, the Army, Work and Politics: The Sage, the Warrior and the Entrepreneur," Hakak takes us on a fascinating journey into the world of young Haredi men who dare to leave Jewish Haredi religious seminaries (Yeshivas and Kollels) and explore new territories. Through extensive participant observations in a Haredi army basic training course, an occupational training program in Hi-Tech professions and the Haredi Headquarter of the Likud Party, Hakak explores the interactions between young Haredi men and the cultural and masculine models they meet in these new sites. Hakak's observations expose the varying ways in which Haredi masculinities are being re-shaped through such interactions, and how this is impacting the Haredi minority and Israeli society more broadly."

New Book Release: The Debate in Minsk

The Debate in Minsk

In 1783, an important disputation took place in Minsk between leading Misnagdic geonim and R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi. The debate centered around R. Schneur Zalman's philosophy, which was based on the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov - teachings that the Mitnagdim vehemently opposed.
Penned by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, The Debate in Minsk presents the background and story of this landmark event. Responding to the questions posed to him, R. Schneur Zalman passionately and sytematically outlined the basic doctrines of the Baal Shem Tov, demonstrating their veracity from genuine Torah sources and their place in mainstream Judaism.

New Book Release: Exploring the Soul

Exploring the Soul by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneerson

Once a year, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to perform the required duties. Generally, the entry into this innermost sanctuary was forbidden. It was only on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, that permission was granted for the High Priest alone to enter.
The current discourse, delivered by R. Shalom Dovber Schneersohn, fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, on Shabbat Parashat Acharei, 5679 (1919), analyzes the biblican verse which forbids any human being from being present in the sanctuary when the High Priest entered to seek atonement. If, as the verse in Leviticus states: "No man shall be int he Tent of Meeting" at that time, how could the High Priest himself be present?
By Thoroughly exploring the soul and all of its components, the discourse explains how the High Priest, on Yom Kippur, transcended the normative bounds of human limitation and ascended to the sublime level of "no man." This granted him the permission and sanction to enter the Holy of Holies.
In practical terms, says the Rebbe, this is the challenge of man: To access and utilize the sprarational dimension of the soul to reveal G-dliness within the world, through repentance, the study of Torah, and performance of mitzvot.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Book Release: Shulchan Aruch - Choshen Mishpat

Shulchan Aruch -- Choshen Mishpat by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

The code of Jewish Law of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. The Shulchan Aruch concerns itself with the here and now of daily existence. Indeed, it seems that no detail of mundane life is left unexamined and undisciplined by the law, of halacha, of Torah. With profound joy, we now present the second installment of the new edition of an English translation of Rabbi Schneur Zalman's second magnum opus, Shulchan Aruch HaRav, the Code of Jewish Law. This volume covers: - Laws regarding Jewish business law and ethics.

New Book Release: Native American Almanac

Native American Almanac: More Than 50,000 Years of the Cultures and Histories of Indigenous Peoples by Yvonne Wakim Dennis, et al.

From ancient rock drawings to today’s urban living, the Native American Almanac: More than 50,000 Years of the Cultures and Histories of Indigenous Peoples traces the rich heritage of indigenous people. It is a fascinating mix of biography, pre-contact and post-contact history, current events, Tribal Nations’ histories, enlightening insights on environmental and land issues, arts, treaties, languages, education, movements, and more. Ten regional chapters, including urban living, cover the narrative history, the communities, land, environment, important figures, and backgrounds of each area’s Tribal Nations and peoples. The stories of 345 Tribal Nations, biographies of 400 influential figures in all walks of life, Native American firsts, awards, and statistics are covered. 150 photographs and illustrations bring the text to life.

The most complete and affordable single-volume reference work about Native American culture available today, the Native American Almanac is a unique and valuable resource devoted to illustrating, demystifying, and celebrating the moving, sometimes difficult, and often lost history of the indigenous people of America. Capturing the stories and voices of the American Indian of yesterday and today, it provides a range of information on Native American history, society, and culture.