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The traditional Jew has always accepted the study of Torah as central to his or her way of life. But without the ability to effectively analyze and interpret the text, one misses the opportunity to gain a deep and authentic appreciation of the Torah's beauty and profundity. In Studying the Torah: A Guide to In-Depth Interpretation, Avigdor Bonchek equips the reader with the proper analytic methods to make reading the Bible both a serious pursuit and a pleasurable pastime. In order for the reader of the Torah text to delve into its veiled, but ultimately visible, layered messages, he or she must first learn the appropriate interpretive techniques. These skills are the same as those used by the classic Jewish Torah commentators (Rashi, Ramban, Ibn Ezra, and others), all of whom were experts in what scholars today refer to as a "close reading" of the text. Among the "Keys to Interpretation" discussed in this book are the significance of word order, opening sentences, repetitions, word associations, psychological dimensions, and similarities and differences between texts. Each key is illustrated by several examples that offer fresh insight into otherwise familiar text, and the author offers his own original and comprehensive in-depth interpretation of two central biblical stories: the story of Joseph and the ten plagues.
'This is an effective 'do it yourself' guide to Torah study. Bonchek's style is lucid and lively, his language simple and precise, his genuine enthusiasm for Torah study quite contagious. Seasoned scholars as well as beginners will find much to enjoy here.' -- Shubert Spero, Professor of Jewish Thought, Bar-Ilan University
How shall we teach the Torah with integrity? How shall we bring the fruits of modern Bible study to teens and adult beginners? And how can we do this without losing sight of the traditional approaches that have enriched the lives of generations of our people? The answers may well be found in the new commentary, The Torah: Portion-by-Portion, by Seymour Rossel being released this August by Torah Aura Productions.
Whether you are thinking about studying the Bible for the first time or you’re simply curious about its history and contents, you will find everything you need in Essential Torah. George Robinson, author of the acclaimed Essential Judaism, begins by recounting the various theories of the origins of the Torah and goes on to explain its importance as the core element in Jewish belief and practice. He discusses the basics of Jewish theology and Jewish history as they are derived from the Torah, and he outlines how the Dead Sea Scrolls and other archaeological discoveries have enhanced our understanding of the Bible. He introduces us to the vast literature of biblical commentary, chronicles the evolution of the Torah’s place in the synagogue service, offers an illuminating discussion of women and the Bible, and provides a study guide as a companion for individual or group Bible study. In the book’s centerpiece, Robinson summarizes all fifty-four portions that make up the Torah and gives us a brilliant distillation of two thousand years of biblical commentaries–from the rabbis of the Mishnah and the Talmud to medieval commentators such as Rashi, Maimonides, and ibn Ezra to contemporary scholars such as Nahum Sarna, Nechama Leibowitz, Robert Alter, and Everett Fox. This extraordinary volume–which includes a listing of the Torah reading cycles, a Bible time line, glossaries of terms and biblical commentators, and a bibliography–will stand as the essential sourcebook on the Torah for years to come. From the Hardcover edition.
Whether you are thinking about studying the Bible for the first time or you’re simply curious about its history and contents, you will find everything you need in Essential Torah. George Robinson, author of the acclaimed Essential Judaism, begins by recounting the various theories of the origins of the Torah and goes on to explain its importance as the core element in Jewish belief and practice. He discusses the basics of Jewish theology and Jewish history as they are derived from the Torah, and he outlines how the Dead Sea Scrolls and other archaeological discoveries have enhanced our understanding of the Bible. He introduces us to the vast literature of biblical commentary, chronicles the evolution of the Torah’s place in the synagogue service, offers an illuminating discussion of women and the Bible, and provides a study guide as a companion for individual or group Bible study. In the book’s centerpiece, Robinson summarizes all fifty-four portions that make up the Torah and gives us a brilliant distillation of two thousand years of biblical commentaries–from the rabbis of the Mishnah and the Talmud to medieval commentators such as Rashi, Maimonides, and ibn Ezra to contemporary scholars such as Nahum Sarna, Nechama Leibowitz, Robert Alter, and Everett Fox. This extraordinary volume–which includes a listing of the Torah reading cycles, a Bible time line, glossaries of terms and biblical commentators, and a bibliography–will stand as the essential sourcebook on the Torah for years to come. From the Hardcover edition.
"This book provides a highly readable, engaging introduction to Jewish biblical interpretation." - Jewish Book World "Cherry has analyzed the biblical commentary of some of the renowned Jewish scholars of the last 2,000 years. The result is a work of excellent scholarship and imagination." - Booklist ?Cherry shows how the Torah functions as literature that is fluid, compelling, and persistently generative of new meanings.? ? Christian Century Every commentator, from the classical rabbi to the modern-day scholar, has brought his or her own worldview, with all of its assumptions, to bear on the reading of holy text. This relationship between the text itself and the reader's interpretation is the subject of Torah Through Time. Shai Cherry traces the development of Jewish Bible commentary through three pivotal periods in Jewish history: the rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. The result is a fascinating and accessible guide to how some of the world's leading Jewish commentators read the Bible. Torah Through Time focuses on specific narrative sections of the Torah: the creation of humanity, the rivalry between Cain and Abel, Korah's rebellion, the claim of the daughters of Zelophechad, and legal matters concerning Hebrew slavery. Cherry closely examines several different commentaries for each of these source texts, and in so doing he analyzes how each commentator resolves questions raised by the texts and asks if and how the commentator's own historical frame of reference -- his own time and place -- contributes to the resolution. A chart at the end of each chapter provides a visual summary that helps the reader understand the many different elements at play.
The study of Rashi, like all of Torah learning, requires serious effort. This notable work enables the reader to meet the intellectual and spiritual challenge of learning Rashi: to appreciate Rashi's unique style and language, and to comprehend the analytical logic that lies behind his brilliant interpretation. This volume focuses on Rashi and the Ba'alei HaTosafos.

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