Nobody remembers whether the Torah has ever won a book award before.
But this year’s National Jewish Book Award for non-fiction goes to “Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary,” edited by David Lieber and Jules Harlow (Jewish Publication Society). It’s the Conservative movement’s new volume of the Torah text and commentary, the first new edition published in 70 years.
Nathan Englander's first book, "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges," caused considerable buzz when it was released in 1999. Tall and slender, with a mane of dark curls and soft features befitting a biblical hero, the 30-something author became the darling of the Jewish book-fair circuit, drawing swarms of potential book buyers in Jewish Community Centers and synagogues nationwide.