Looking for a Mother’s Day gift that is thoughtful, timely — and free?
A publishing company called Sinai Live is offering a small book entitled “More Precious Than Pearls,” a collection of 10 essays reflecting on Eishet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), the chapter from the Book of Proverbs traditionally sung to the woman of the house before the Friday night Shabbat meal.
Among the contributors are rabbis, scholars and laymen from a variety of perspectives, including Sara Esther Crispe, who writes on women's issues for Chabad.org, Wendy Zierler, a professor of modern Jewish literature and feminist studies at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman of the Conservative Westchester Jewish Center, and Jewish Week Editor and Publisher Gary Rosenblatt.
What’s most unusual about the collection is that most of the essays were written last week and will be available in book form next week, in time for Mother’s Day (May 13).
Mark Pearlman, the man behind Sinai Live, has always been a man in a hurry. He says his goal is to spread Jewish ideas and inspiration to as wide an audience as possible, offering “practical insight by exploring the intersection of Jewish wisdom with everyday life.”
A marketing and media expert with a special interest in Jewish life and new technology, Pearlman wrote the JInsider column for The Jewish Week for several years and founded Sinai Live to assist spiritual leaders and thinkers in maximizing their impact on the community.
The company recently published four paperbacks of about 40 pages each. They include a collection of writings from Joseph Telushkin, the rabbi, lecturer and author, called “Telushkinisms: Wisdom to the Point”; “Footsteps: Perspectives for Daily Life,” by Rebbetzin Jungreis; “Insights: Thoughtful and Concise Jewish Wisdom,” by Rabbi Benjamin Blech; and “Passport to Kabbalah: A Journey of Inner Transformation,” by Rabbi DovBer Pinson.
“Our goal is not to make a profit but to put wisdom out there in a short, engaging way,” Pearlman explained. “These books can help readers change their perspective on everyday life. A book doesn’t have to be long for it to have a lifelong impact. A single spark of insight is all it takes.”
Another book, “Connecting Moments on High Holy Days,” on how to elevate the High Holy Day experience, will be out by the end of the summer.
Some of these short-form books will be multimedia, combining print with videos of the authors discussing their ideas and teachings, to be experienced on iPads, Kindles and e-books as well as print books.
“The idea is for these short-form books is to provide a personal revelation for readers in an engaging way” that might lead to a long-term connection to Judaism, Pearlman said. “We want to give them a taste of the authors’ wisdom so that they will explore further on their own.”
For information on how to download “More Precious Than Pearls” and order the other books, click on www.sinailive.com.