“Getting the Best of Rabbi Fuchs” turned out to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. You would think a writer would be thrilled if another writer thought his work deserved publication. I certainly would. But would Rabbi Stephen Fuchs? Not so much.
Having already published two books: What’s in it For Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives in 2014 and ToraHighlights in October of 2016, he simply didn’t see the need—especially since he also has a blog on which he posts essays and commentaries regularly.
“Au Contraire!” I countered. “Not everyone knows about your blog, and besides, your stuff should be easily accessible in an eBook format.” “I don’t know. Won’t it seem like a vanity publication? There’s enough of that --” “How could it possibly?” I interrupted, “when you aren’t blowing your own shofar—I’m blowing it for you.” And so, it went.
Eventually, I got the okay, and then the real challenge began. Clearly, 350+ blog posts & essays could not be compiled in one book and eBook. Thus, I was faced with some tough choices. For instance, how to choose between “My Other Women,” and “Donald Trump: Spawn of ISIS”?Both titles are fraught with intrigue, and their respective content does not disappoint.
And what about “Letter to my Father,” or “His Response, perhaps…?” The former is guaranteed to jerk tears from the most stoic reader, while the latter will leave chills upon goose bumps. Let’s not forget “Jesus & Me,” in which Rabbi Fuchs discusses his relationship with the Christian Redeemer, and “Unvarnished,” where he grapples with his ego and perceived shortcomings. This list goes on, as did my dilemma, until I managed to pare it down to a mere forty-two titles. Not bad, considering our agreed-upon limit was thirty-six.
Some of the essays were selected because they aptly illustrate his commitment to God, his love of the Jewish people, and his passion for making the world a better place. Others, I chose because they speak to his tender, yet solid devotion to family—his wife, Vickie, and their three children.
The rest are included simply because I like them. At the end of this book is a biography of Rabbi Fuchs, which chronicles his numerous achievements and experiences as a student, educator, rabbi, and advocate. As such, it is my intention that this small anthology affords its readers a glimpse into the Rabbi’s tenets, life, and heart.
Repeatedly in the Bible, it is the woman who gets it and the man who is clueless. Eve has been maligned for generations for the supposed fall of man, when in fact; she is the heroine of the elevation of humanity. ~