Unlocking the Torah Text – Vayikra (Leviticus): An In-depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha
by Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
Co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishing House
Hardcover, 304 pages, Regularly $29.95 / Now $25.50 (15% discount), ISBN 9789652294500
Unlocking the Torah Text provides an in-depth journey into the Torah portion through a series of studies on each parsha.
Each study opens with a brief summary of the narrative and then presents probing questions designed to strike to the core of the text. These questions are addressed through a review of traditional commentaries spanning the ages, combined with original approaches.
Deep philosophical issues and perplexing textual questions are carefully examined and discussed in clear and incisive fashion. The actions and motivations of the patriarchs, matriarchs and other biblical figures are probed with an eye towards determining the lessons to be learned from the lives of these great personalities. Clear distinction is made between pshat straightforward literal meaning and Midrash rabbinical exegesis as both of these approaches to biblical text are carefully defined and applied. Finally, thought-provoking connections are raised between the eternal Torah narrative and critical issues of our time. Each study is thus constructed to encourage continued discussion and study of the Torah narrative.
Full review by Rabbi Dr. Shalom Z. Berger in Bookjed: link
Full review by Rabbi Hayyim Angel in The Jewish Press: link
“New and refreshing insights…. Rabbi Goldin acts as a responsible teacher of Torah, letting the text speak for itself.…Unlocking the Torah Text is a very good book indeed, challenging the reader to use his native intelligence in reading the Good Book as God’s Book.”
–Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University
“Rabbi Shmuel Goldin has rendered an extraordinary service… Challenging us with fascinating questions, he presents unique solutions to problems that wemight never have noticed but which are critical to our understanding of the text. Sabbath discussions in the pulpit or around the table will be greatly enriched by his analysis.”
–Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, spiritual leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, New York City
“Rabbi Goldin’s book is original, thoughtful, and provocative. Written with clarity, sensitivity and empathy, it will inspire modern readers of the Torah to grapple with the text and to wrest from it contemporary messages of personal meaning and communal significance.”
–Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, senior scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future of Yeshiva University
“Rabbi Shmuel Goldin is a treasured member of our Jewish studies faculty because of the insight, clarity and love of text displayed in this volume. Employing simple but probing questions, he has produced an eye-opening volume, transforming Biblical story into sacred values. It is a delicious read.”
–Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University
“Superb! …Carefully conceived, conceptually challenging, stylistically elegant… magnificently inviting.”
–Rabbi Maurice Lamm, noted rabbi and author of The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning and other works
“In Unlocking the Torah Text, Goldin provides the reader with a useful aid to understanding the biblical text. Writing in a pleasant, lucid style, he identifies the main questions, and in a modern idiom discusses some of the classic approaches. He carries his learning lightly so as to meet the challenges of the textand stimulate debate of the issues. A highly readable and thoughtful work.”
–Aviva Zornberg, author of Genesis: The Beginning of Desire, winner of the National Jewish Book Award
About the Author
Noted as one of the most articulate spokesmen in the Orthodox community today, Rabbi Shmuel Goldin has developed an innovative educational approach to Torah study, Jewish law and Jewish identity which is enthusiastically received by traditional and non-traditional Jews alike. Rabbi Goldin received his BS in psychology and his MA in Jewish education from Yeshiva University, and his rabbinic ordination from the Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He has served as spiritual leader of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, New Jersey, since 1984. He is an instructor of Bible, Philosophy and Talmud at the Isaac Breuer College and the Mechina Program of Yeshiva University, founding director and lecturer at The Eve Flechner Torah Institute, and currently serves as the first Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America.
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