Just in time for Simchat Torah, OU Press releases two new books to help readers engage anew with Jewish tradition. Coinciding neatly with the celebration of completing the reading of the Torah and beginning a new cycle, these new publications offer windows into the world of Jewish ethics. They address the two fundamental components of the Torah – the Scriptures and the Talmudic tradition – allowing readers to study broad areas of Judaism in just two accessible volumes. Most importantly for our times, the books focus particularly on issues of morality, ethics, and philosophical perspective.
Covenant & Conversation: Genesis – The Book of Beginnings, co-published by OU Press and Maggid, is the first-ever collection of Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks’ essays on the weekly Torah portion. Erudite and eloquent, Covenant & Conversation allows readers to experience Chief Rabbi Sacks’ sophisticated approach to life lived in an ongoing dialogue with the Torah. Rabbi Sacks uses his expertise in modern philosophy and mastery of rabbinic texts to make the book of Genesis seem like a contemporary work. In his reading, the Bible addresses the challenges of our day and offers important ethical and philosophical direction.
In Fresh Fruit & Vintage Wine: Ethics and Wisdom of the Aggada, co-published by OU Press, Ktav and Yeshivat Har Etzion, Rabbi Yitzchak Blau takes the enduring wisdom of the Aggada and expresses it with freshness and vitality. The Aggada encompasses the non-legal sections of the Talmud, using stories and rabbinic sayings to convey the rich world of Jewish ethics, psychology, and wisdom. Rabbi Blau’s lively prose opens a window into this world for scholar and layman alike, showing how the great commentators throughout history have extracted lessons from the Aggada that are particularly relevant to life today.
These two books are the latest offerings from OU Press, the recently created publishing house of the Orthodox Union that earlier this year published The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening, a haggadah commentary based on the teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Exciting future books in the pipeline include an inspiring haggadah commentary by Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm titled The Royal Table, edited by Dr. Joel B. Wolowelsky; a moving commentary on the Tisha B’Av Kinot based on the teachings of Rabbi Soloveitchik, edited by Rabbi Simon Posner and incorporating a new translation of the Kinot by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President Emeritus of the OU; and a new Siddur with a profound commentary based on the teachings of Rabbi Soloveitchik, accompanied by the eloquent translation of the prayers by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the popular Koren layout.
More information about these books is available at www.OUPress.org.