An Exclusive Peek Inside Ben Shapiro’s Very Jewish Bookshelf by the Forward

An Exclusive Peek Inside Ben Shapiro’s Very Jewish Bookshelf

On Sunday, Vanity Fair published a lengthy profile on Ben Shapiro’s rise to fame — but all Jewish Twitter seemed to care about was Shapiro’s bookshelf.

I was immediately intrigued by the fact that Shapiro’s bookshelf featured the Hebrew/English version of the Mishnah (the codified version of the Oral Law) published by Artscroll, and the Hebrew/English version of the Talmud (which includes rabbinic elucidation of this law, referred to as the Gemara) published by their biggest competitor, Koren. Though their titles are not clearly visible in the Vanity Fair photo, their spines are easily identifiable to Anglo Jews who study Torah regularly.

I wasn’t alone in my curiosity. Dovid Bashevkin, Director of Education for the Orthodox youth organization NCSY, tweeted:

Others attempted to identify other books on the shelves:

We reached out to Shapiro to set the record straight.

Many have noticed the unconventional choice of having an Artscroll Mishnah set and a Koren Talmud set. How did you choose which editions of the Mishnah, Talmud, and other works to purchase?

Ben Shapiro: My dad has a lot of the Artscroll Gemara, so I’ve diversified.

How many Sefarim (Judaica books) would you estimate you own?

BS: I haven’t counted; probably a couple hundred.

What books are the most often pulled off the shelf?

BS: Aruch Hashulchan, Tanach, Mesilat Yesharim, Gemara

To set the record straight once and for all, here’s the official unblurry view of Shapiro’s Sefarim:

Now we can get back to debating about his politics.

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s deputy opinion editor. Contact her at or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins


Laura E. Adkins

Laura E. Adkins

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s Opinion Editor. Follow her on Twitter @Laura_E_Adkins or email

Ben Shapiro’s Very Jewish Bookshelf

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

An Exclusive Peek Inside Ben Shapiro’s Very Jewish Bookshelf

Thank you!

This article has been sent!