It's a Mitzvah

The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival sets our literature-lovin' hearts ablaze

The last week prior to a presidential election is one of the most draining spans in the American experience. There's the usual sniping, second-guessing and name-calling -- and you and the spouse have to deal with the onslaught of last-minute campaign ads. Please. It's a tough week. But if you did your civic duty, you deserve a little vacation. But who can get away this time of year?

Let us take this opportunity to remind you of the restorative powers of a good book. Coincidentally, the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival arrives this week, just in time to soothe your battered psyche.

Lily Tomlin (pictured) kicks off the series at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, with a special comedic performance that doubles as the keynote address for the series.

After Ms. Tomlin, why not a little nosh? Maggie Glezer, author of A Blessing of Bread: Jewish Bread Baking Around the World provides a cooking demonstration at the JCC Chesterfield (16801 Baxter Road) at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 7. Then feed your soul with Rabbi David Aaron's 10:30 a.m. discussion of his book The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine Within You on Tuesday, November 9. The Rabbi demystifies the Kabbalah, a spiritual path greatly loved by Madonna/ Esther and the new Britney Federline.

Other notable authors include Rich Cohen of Rolling Stone discussing the sublimely named Machers and Rockers: Chess Records and the Business of Rock & Roll November 10 at 8 p.m. at Temple Israel (Ladue and Spoede roads) and the divine Dr. Ruth discussing the 52 Lessons on Communicating Love at 7:30 p.m. on November 16. In light of the past year, we could all do with more of the zest and playfulness (and gettin' it on) Dr. Ruth prescribes.