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What is an 18Forty Book Journey?

If you are a curious, passionate learner looking to build community, foster thought-provoking conversation, and master a topic, 18Forty’s 3-Month Book Journeys will provide the immersive education you seek.

An initiative of I Read This Over Shabbos, Book Journeys are three months with three books, weekly discussion boards, and monthly live Zoom sessions led by your Book Journey leader. These leaders are hand-selected for their impeccable expertise and captivating engagement.

Each Book Journey chooses a central topic and learning objectives, creating a fun, interactive, and enriching experience for anyone seeking deeper knowledge and understanding.

We expect to launch more Book Journeys in the future.

What can I expect to learn from Elli Fischer’s Book Journey?

This 3-Month Book Journey will explore the thought of some prominent figures who attempted to bring the vision of a Torah-governed state to fruition, assess their successes and failures, and examine the realities of one of the most fraught intersections of Halacha and State in Israel today: conversion.

For centuries, Jews have been praying and yearning to return to our ancient homeland, the Land of Israel, and build a kingdom in which God reigns supreme and the Torah is the law of the land. 75 years ago, a Jewish State was indeed founded in Eretz Yisrael, and while in some ways to fulfills our ancient longings, in other ways it remains distant from that vision. This disparity produces a dilemma for those who believe that the State of Israel represents the beginning of the ultimate redemption.

Each month, you will read one book, engage in a weekly discussion board, and join Elli Fischer for a live session. By the journey’s end, you will:

About the Book Journey Leader: Rabbi Elli Fischer, a previous guest on our Zionism series, deals extensively with the relationship between Jewish law and the Jewish state. Ordained by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and working toward a doctorate in Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, Elli’s original writings on, among others, religion and politics in Israel, the interplay between legal and nonlegal elements of the Talmud, Jewish religious culture, and Central European Jewish History have been widely published. A founding editor of The Lehrhaus, he is also the translator of By Faith Alone: The Story of R. Yehuda Amital and the editor of R. Eliezer Melamed’s Peninei Halakha series in English.

When will Zoom sessions and discussion boards take place?

There will be four Zoom sessions — one introductory and three centered around the three books. The schedule dates and times are:

  1. Opening: Beginning the Journey: Sunday, July 2 | 12 or 7 p.m. EST
  2. With Might and Strength: Sunday, July 30 | 12 or 7 p.m. EST
  3. When the State Winks: Sunday, Aug. 27 | 12 or 7 p.m. EST
  4. The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: Thursday, Sept. 28 | 12 or 7 p.m. EST

Two session slots will be accessible to accommodate participants in different time zones: 12 and 7 p.m. EST.

All Zoom sessions will be recorded and accessible in case you cannot attend live.

Discussion board questions will be posted on Sunday nights and will remain open for two weeks at a time.

What materials will I need?

For this Book Journey, you will need:

All discount codes will be emailed to registrants after sign up. The discounts for With Might and Strength and The Invention of Jewish Theocracy are forthcoming.

How much does it cost?

Book Journeys are three months long, and participants pay $18.40/month, which is $55.20/Book Journey.

How many participants can join a Book Journey?

The current size cap for a given Book Journey is 25 participants.

For any questions, please email

Join the Journey Before July 1