Amaz­ing Jew­ish Facts and Curiosities

Ronald H. Isaacs
  • Review
By – August 15, 2012
Every­one loves triv­ia. Rab­bi Ronald Isaacs’ lat­est book is a col­lec­tion of facts, super­sti­tions and lore relat­ed to Judaism. The book has sev­er­al sec­tions: hol­i­days, med­i­cine, unusu­al super­sti­tions, Judaism and the occult, odd­i­ties of dreams and dream inter­pre­ta­tion, fan­tas­tic Jew­ish beasts, unusu­al prayers and prayer odd­i­ties, Bible curiosi­ties, amaz­ing mir­a­cles, edu­ca­tion, unusu­al onlys,” and mis­cel­la­neous odd­i­ties. Perus­ing the text, read­ers will dis­cov­er things such as the arche­o­log­i­cal dis­cov­ery of a Hanukki­ah shaped like a point­ed star, a rem­e­dy for a fever, and a prayer for the erad­i­ca­tion of bad dreams. These are fas­ci­nat­ing, but they are mere­ly list­ed with no back­ground infor­ma­tion to explain their con­text. Rab­bi Isaacs has not includ­ed notes or a bib­li­og­ra­phy, so the sources of his infor­ma­tion remain unknown to the read­er. This makes the book mar­gin­al­ly use­ful. The data is inter­est­ing, but the lack of sources makes fur­ther research difficult.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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