OU Press Publishes Book to Unlock the Text of Leviticus

April 16, 2010

The hardest book of the Torah just became easier, with the publication of Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s new book, Unlocking the Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha – Vayikra by OU Press and Gefen Publishing House. Many stories in the Torah are easy to understand, even if at only a surface level. The book of Vayikra (Leviticus), however, is notoriously difficult to appreciate. Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, a master pedagogue with decades of experience as a prominent synagogue rabbi and as an instructor at Yeshiva University, uses many tools of his trade in this new book to make the Torah’s teachings understandable and meaningful.

Ritual impurity, sacrifices and priestly duties may seem distant from today’s mindset. With a rare linguistic and moral clarity, Rabbi Goldin takes readers on a journey where different scholars offer competing perspectives, ending with practical lessons we can derive from these esoteric concepts. If you’ve ever wondered what relevance these ideas have for you, Rabbi Goldin provides answers that will speak to your mind and your heart.

This is the third volume in a widely acclaimed series of books that is creatively designed to help readers explore the Torah through its traditional interpretations. The book summarizes select topics within each weekly Torah portion, asks the kind of textual, philosophical and ethical questions that bother many readers, and explains the different approaches that have been suggested by traditional commentators. Rabbi Goldin never takes the easy way out. He makes a point of addressing the tough issues, refusing to skip a section of text simply because it raises difficult questions. Most discussions end with “Points to Ponder,” a feature that takes the ideas from the Torah and applies them to life today.

This book is the latest offering from OU Press, the publishing house of the Orthodox Union that recently published The Royal Table: A Passover Haggadah by Rabbi Norman Lamm. Exciting future books include 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.

Copies of Unlocking the Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha—Vayikra, which cost $29.95 each, are available through http://www.OUPress.org. Those who wish to place a bulk order (at a discounted price) can contact OU Press at OUPress@ou.org.