A series of essays written by rabbis, educators, and Jewish leaders, Text Messages: A Torah Commentary For Teens focuses on insights into the weekly Torah portions combined with thoughtful advice about living a Jewish life in contemporary society. Profound questions are posed that have the potential to motivate young people to continue to develop their Jewish identities and to think further about who they are as people. The book communicates Jewish values in a way that young people can relate to and learn from without sermonizing. Readers are encouraged to examine their own lives and evaluate who they are and who they hope to become. One essay by Rabbi Joseph Pesner, for example, asks “What kind of leader are you?” providing an opportunity for readers to think further about the role of leadership in Judaism and in the secular world. In another essay, Rabbi William G. Hamilton writes, “Even if you risk embarrassing yourself, it is never wrong to do the right thing.” Wise advice and worth thinking about! Recommended for ages 13 and up.
Nathan Weissler is a senior in high school and lives in Chevy Chase, MD with his family. He has been writing reviews for Jewish Book World for two years. Nathan loves to read, especially books related to Judaism and history.