Recommended Books

Recommended Books

You are here:

DID YOU KNOW that these and other top Jewish books are now listed in a searchable index on

Good ol’ fashioned books are still relevant to inspiration and wisdom. You can take a book to the beach. You can pull out a book while waiting in line. You can share a book with a friend. You can write in a book, underlinehighlight. A book never needs re-charging, just pull it off the shelf.

Classes and other experiences can fade with time, but a book in hand keeps on giving. For all of these reasons, JSLI promotes the use of user-friendly paperbacks as a follow-up tool to any kind of Jewish programming, whether you are the teacher or the student. Below is our judicious yet growing list of recommendations. See also our JSLI Publications page.

The Art of Amazement

How do you feel when watching a breathtaking sunset?

Why are such moments so fleeting?

This book is a step-by-step manual on how to nurture that sense of amazement every day, in every area of life. After reading this book, you will see Judaism as a masterful ancient spiritual system for unleashing the power of amazement.

The Art of Amazement – Hebrew Edition (אמנות ההתפעלות)

Know an Israeli or Hebrew speaker who is looking for a deeper Jewish spiritual connection without becoming “religious”? This ground-breaking book is for them. Get it here in North America or here in Israel or read more about it here.

The Art of Kavana

The foundation of pleasure and the basis of Jewish spirituality is the discipline of mental control, of focusing the mind at will.

Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide

by R. Aryeh Kaplan. For readers who have mastered The Art of Amazement, Rabbi Kaplan’s Jewish Meditation is a natural follow-up. Presents a guide to a variety of meditative techniques.

Meditation and the Bible

by R. Aryeh Kaplan. This is what they should have taught us in Sunday School – that meditation is central to Judaism.

Click here to watch Rabbi Kaplan (z”l) explaining Kabbalah.


by R. Akiva Tatz. We don’t like recommending hardcover books because they tend to stay at home. We prefer portable books that you’ll take with you and read. But this book is worth it. Rabbi Tatz presents the fundamental Jewish philosophy that our senses deceive us reality is very different than what we perceive. He then shows how our life circumstances and various Jewish practices are custom-designed to teach us this wisdom.

Living Inspired

by R. Akiva Tatz. Rabbi Akiva Tatz shows how an understanding of some of the deeper ideas and patterns of Torah thought can illuminate our everyday experiences. He brings into focus life in general and its ordeals in particular in the areas of relationships and unexpected events. Problems and doubts become springboards to inspiration.

Jewish Matters

by Doron Kornbluth (ed). In this lightweight, pocketsize book, twenty-three Jewish leaders, thinkers, and educators offer their insights and knowledge on topics as varied as relationships, prayer, mysticism and happiness.

Jewish Women Speak about Jewish Matters

by Doron and Sarah Tikvah Kornbluth (ed). Each of the twenty-four top-notch essays illuminates a different issue affecting Jewish women of today.

Missles, Masks and Miracles: The Astonishing True Account of the Invisible Shield Protecting Israel During the First Gulf War

by Rabbi Shmuel Veffer. The story of the Divine protection of Israel’s citizens during Iraq’s unprovoked attack with 39 Scud missiles during the First Gulf War. These personal stories of miraculous survival remove any doubts about the reality of Divine Providence. Great to share with children.

Between Silence and Speech: Essays on Jewish Thought

by R. Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo. One of the most renowned author and lecturers from Jerusalem examines some of the most controversial topics in Jewish thought and law.

The Lonely Man of Faith

by R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik. A profound Jewish approach to existentialism, built on the story of the creation of Adam, who represents humanity and whose predicament represents the human condition.

Do One Nice Thing: Little Things You Can Do to Make the World a Lot Nicer

by Debbie Tenzer. An upbeat collection of easy ideas for small deeds that anyone can do to make the world a better place.

The Anthology of Jewish Mysticism

by R. Raphael Ben Zion. This collection includes English translations of some of the major works in Jewish mysticism: including the spiritual-Mussar work Tomar Devorah (Palm Tree of Devorah) and the complex dissertation, “Patach Eliyahu” (The Speech of Elijah, an introduction to the Tikkunei Zohar).

Book of Our Heritage

by R. Eliyahu KitovThe greatest overview of the Jewish lifecycle ever written. No matter what your level of Jewish knowledge, you will find that this wellspring of information and stories will engage you year after year.

The Committed Life

This modern classic by Holocaust survivor Esther Jungreis weaves together true anecdotes to inspire readers toward increased commitment, responsibility, charity, peace, prayer, forgiveness, banishing fear, compassion, faith, hope, and gratitude.

Get The Committed Life and watch Rebbetzin Jungreis speak about anger.

Remember My Soul

by Lori Palatnik. A comforting voice of wisdom at life’s most painful moment. A guided journey through shiva and the stages of Jewish mourning.

The First Hebrew Primer: The Adult Beginner’s Path to Biblical Hebrew

Nothing beats a great live teacher, but for going it alone, this book is the best we’ve seen. You will be reading and understanding Biblical passages in only a couple weeks.

The Science of God

by Dr. Gerald L. Schroeder. “Schroeder, a physicist and Bible scholar, attempts to reconcile the Genesis account of creation with current scientific knowledge about the origin of life…. His biblical interpretations draw on an exclusively Jewish tradition, including Kabbalah, Maimonides, and selected passages from the Talmud….”

To Become One

by R. Ezriel Tauber. The secret to a successful marriage is contained in Genesis 2:24, and those who know the secret can improve their relationship with their spouse immediately. For over three decades, Rabbi Tauber has been counseling and helping couples, from newlyweds to those married for many years.

The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet

by R. Michael L. Munk. This fascinating best-seller weaves these golden threads into a glorious tapestry, presenting hundreds of ideas and comments on the Aleph-Bet.

The Word: The Dictionary that Reveals the Hebrew Source of English

by Isaac Mozeson. This landmark book features massive data suggesting that the roots of all human words are universal. Recommended for word buffs and anyone learning Hebrew.

Soveya’s Incredibly Easy & Healthy Cookbook: 300 No Sugar, No Flour Recipes (Gluten Free)

by Zakah Glaser. If you would like to eat healthier, but are daunted by food preparation or simply don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen, this cookbook is for you. Soveya is a non-profit organization educating and coaching adults, children, communities and schools about nutrition, wellness and obesity-prevention.

On the Reliability of the Old Testament

by Kenneth Kitchen. Prof. Kitchen is one of the few archaeologists who has world-class credentials in BOTH Egyptology and Biblical Studies. In this fascinating book, he takes Biblical revisionists to task and offers a firm foundation for the historicity of biblical texts.

Pharaohs and Kings

by David RohlEgyptologist Rohl concludes that that some pharaohs ruled simultaneously, shifting the established timeline by several centuries. Along the way, he finds possible historical matches for biblical characters such as Joseph and Moses. Even if you are unconvinced by his argument, his high-quality illustrations, charts and maps will take you on a journey through Egyptian archaeology worthy of a PBS special.

Gossip: Ten Pathways to Eliminate It from Your Life and Transform Your Soul

by Lori Palatnik and Bob Burg. The purpose of this book is to extinguish the fire of evil speech and help us live in a gossip-free environment. The result? Positive interactions with the people around us, the healing of relationships and a more complete self.

Knee Deep in the Funk: Understanding the Connection Between Spirituality and Music

by Tzvi GluckinMusic is spiritual – find out how. Learn about the power of the intuitive experience in music; the links between music, intimacy, spirituality, meditation, prayer, human communication and so much more.

Click here to get the book or here to watch Tzvi jamming.

Spice and Spirit: The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook

This cookbook is a staple in many Jewish homes, with practical guidelines interwoven with spiritual insights into many aspects of Jewish life and observance. Recipes range from traditional favorites such as blintzes and chicken soup to Szechuan chicken, aduki-squash soup and many other international and gourmet specialties. Clear, easy-to-use format with helpful symbols, charts and illustrations.

The Secrets of the Stars: The Significance of the Night Sky

For many of us, whose knowledge of the heavenly spheres is limited to planetarium visits and school projects, the night sky represents a vague, unexplored territory of secular terms and explanations. Yet there is an entire cosmos concealed above ours encompassing our past, present and future. Discover the myriad secrets teeming in the night sky.

Josephus: The Jewish War

 Josephus is one of the most influential historians in history. While writing for a Roman audience, he was Jewish, a brilliant writer, and the focus of his writings is the Jewish people. As an eyewitness to the Roman War (known in Rome as the Jewish War) he is our only non-archaeological source of much information about ancient Israel, such as the Masada story. A must-have for every Jewish bookshelf.

The Moon’s Lost Light

a short (134 pages) scholarly interpretation of the spiritual greatness of Jewish women. From an Amazon reviewer: “A surprisingly interesting take on the changing role of women as reflected in seemingly contradictory passages in the Talmud and other sources. Enlightens as to why the reality of the modern woman is actually foretold in the original accounting of the creation of the moon. Highly recommended.”

For a searchable index of amazing Jewish books for children and adults, as well as games and other activities, please visit is an Amazon Associate: when you use any of the above Amazon links, Amazon shares a small percentage of your purchase with this site, which we in turn use to maintain this free, not-for-profit resource.