Torah Study


Donin, Hayim, To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life

Lamm, Maurice, Becoming a Jew

The Problem of Conversion Today Rabbi Melech Schachter Published by Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America  The Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought.

 My Chosen People  Rabbi Abraham Carmel Printed in The Conversion Crisis (A special edition of Tradition, 1990)

 Book Review of So Strange my Path: A Spiritual Pilgrimage, by Abraham Carmel and Ordained to Be a Jew: A Catholic Priest’s Conversions to Judaism, by John David Scalamonti Review by Gerald F. Murray Printed in Tradition V. 29: No. 2

On Conversions Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Printed in The Conversion Crisis (A special edition of Tradition 1990)

Derech Hashem (The Way of G-d) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (the Ramchal)

The Path of the Just by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (the Ramchal)

The 39 Melachos by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat

The Classic Artscroll Siddur by Rabbi Nossan Scherman/Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz (Ashkenaz)

The Stone Edition Chumash by Rabbi Nossan Scherman

The Living Torah by Rabbi Arye Kaplan

Feldman, Emanuel, On Judaism: Conversations on Being Jewish

Gelbard, Shmuel Pinchas, Judaism for the Rite Reasons

Lamm, Maurice, Becoming a Jew

Wouk, Herman, This is My God

 Basic texts:

*Artscroll or Soncino Chumash

*Artscroll Tanach or The Jerusalem Bible

 Kaplan, Aryeh, The Living Torah

 [alternative annotated translation of Genesis: Grafstein, Shlomo, Judaism's Bible Volume I]

 Gontzfried, Shlomo, Code of Jewish Law (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch), translated by Goldin, Hyman [who also authored The Jew and His Duties: The Essence of the Kitzur Shulchan]

 Tanach (Bible)

Suggested portions:

Genesis 1-4; 6-9; 11-end

Exodus 1-24; 31-34*

Leviticus 9-12; 16-21; 25-26.

Numbers 10-14; 16-17; 19-25; 27; 31-32; 34-36*

Deuteronomy entire book*

*May be done as part of the weekly Parsha cycle

Joshua 1-11; 22-24

Judges 1-4; 11-end

1 Samuel 1-24; 27-end

2 Samuel 1-7; 11-19

1 Kings 1-3; 8; 10-12; 17-19; 21

2 Kings 1-2; 4-5; 7; 12; 17-end

Jonah entire book

Ruth entire book

Esther entire book

Daniel 2; 5-6; 9

Ezrah 1; 3-7; 9-10

Nechemiah 2-6; 8-9; 13


** Artscroll, Koren Publisher, or Metzudah Siddur  (Prayer Book)

 ** Note there are three differing versions of prayer books, referred to as their Nusach - the most common is the United States is the Nusach Ashkenazi common to Jews of European origin. Chassidic Jews (sometimes called Ultra-Orthodox) use a similar version called Nusach Sefard, which has small differences, but follows a slightly different order of prayer, this has also become the de facto Prayer Book used for Ashkenazi Jews in Israel.  And finally, there is Nusach Edot Mizrach used by Sephardic Jews, those of either Spanish heritage or Middle Eastern descent.  There are also minor variations from the three major versions stated here.

Passover Hagaddah  (Again, there are three differing versions among the Orthodox)

Birnbaum, Mayer, Pathway to Prayer: A Translation and Explanation of the Shmoneh Esrei

Donin, Hayim Halevi, To Pray as a Jew: A Guide to the Prayerbook and the Synagogue Service

Kaplan, Louis E., Gates of Mercy: A Guide to the Synagogue Services of the High Holy Days or Sorscher, Moshe I., Companion Guide to the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Prayer Services

Sorscher, Moshe I., Companion Guide to the Shabbat Prayer Service

 For Men:

Kaplan, Aryeh, Tefillin

 For Women:

Kaufman, Michael, The Woman in Jewish Law and Tradition

The Klein Edition:  Women's Siddur- Ohel Sarah Hebrew English, Ashkenaz Yerushalayim

Blu Greenberg: How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household

Ron Wolfson:  The Shabbat Seder: The Art of Jewish Living Paperback

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin: Guard Your Tongue Hardcover


Forst, Binyamin, The Laws of B’rachos


*Cohen, Simcha Bunim, The Shabbos Kitchen (Artscroll) or Rosenberg, Ehud, The Laws of Cooking on Sabbath and the Festivals: A Pictoral Guide

Greenwald, Zev, Illustrated Guides to Jewish Law: Shabbos or Chait, Baruch, The Thirty Nine Melachos

*Grunfeld, Isidore, The Sabbath: A Guide to its Understanding and Observance

Kaplan, Aryeh, Shabbos: Day of Eternity

Trau, Daniel Yaakov, Shabbos: Tasting Eternity

 The Jewish Holidays:

*Kitov, Eliyahu, The Book of our Heritage (3 volumes)


Apisdorf, Shimon, Kosher for the Clueless but Curious

*Grunfeld, Dayan, The Dietary Laws

*Wagschal, Saul The New Practical Guide to Kashruth, or Greenwald, Zev,  Illustrated Guides to Jewish Law: The Kosher Kitchen, or Rosenberg, Ehud, Meat and Dairy: An illustrated Guide for the Kosher Kitchen          

 Family Purity:

Kaplan, Aryeh, Waters of Eden: An Exploration of the Concept of Mikvah : Renewal and Rebirth

*Lamm, Norman, A Hedge of Roses: Jewish Insights into Marriage and Married Life

Schostak, Zev, The Consice Guide to Jewish Family Laws or Sprung, Yaakov, Foundations: the Laws of Family Purity, or Wagschal, Saul, Taharas and Kedushas Am Yisroel: A Guide to the Laws of Taharas Hamishpacha (less Hebrew)

Life Cycle Events:

Kaplan, Aryeh, Made in Heaven: A Jewish Wedding Guide

Kitov, Eliyahu, A Jew and His Home

*Lamm, Maurice, The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning

*Lamm, Maurice, The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage

 Jewish History:

Wein, Berel, Crash Course in Jewish History (tapes or CD’s), or Triumph of the Spirit: The Story of the Jews 1650-1990, Herald of Destiny: The Story of the Jews 750-1650, Echoes of Glory: The Story of the Jews in the Classical Era, 350 BCE-750 CE

 Jewish Philosophy:

Bleich, J. David, ed., With Perfect Faith: The Foundations of Jewish Belief

Kaplan, Aryeh, The Fundamentals of Jewish Faith

Kaplan, Aryeh, The Handbook of Jewish Thought

*Kaplan, Aryeh, Maimonides Principles: The Fundamentals of Jewish Faith