Echoes of Eden

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As Jews worldwide anticipate the beginning of a new cycle of reading the Torah in the synagogue, the same age-old problem presents itself: The challenge of wringing new insights out of the stories we have all come to know so well. How does one uncover new depths of meaning or glean fresh insights from the stories we have studied so often in the past? A sense of renewal and excitement is tempered by a fear that we will fall back into our default understanding of the biblical stories.

The OU Press | Jewish Educational Publications is proud to present a solution to that dilemma. Echoes of Eden on the Book of Bereshit (Genesis), co-published by OU Press with Gefen Publishing, by distinguished scholar and renowned educator Rabbi Ari D. Kahn, reveals new dimensions of meaning for the layperson and scholar alike.

In Echoes of Eden, Rabbi Kahn presents a series of strikingly original interpretive essays on the weekly parsha, noteworthy for their novel approach. Drawing upon the vast reservoir of rabbinic literature — from Talmud to Midrash, from Zohar to the chassidic masters — Rabbi Kahn combines the mystical explorations of kabbalah and chassidism with a highly intellectual and broad-minded approach to Torah study, as he applies psychology, literature and Jewish history to the understanding of esoteric midrashim and the Zohar. Rabbi Kahn takes the reader on an exhilarating journey as his book sheds new light on some of the most difficult narratives of the biblical text.

A renowned lecturer and author, Rabbi Ari Kahn, a graduate of Yeshiva University, received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary where he studied with Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. He is Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he also is a senior lecturer in Jewish Studies. He is also a senior educator at MATAN. Rabbi Kahn is Vice President of Migdal Ohr Institutions in Israel where he works closely with Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, founder and Dean of Migdal Ohr.

Readers who enjoy Echoes of Eden and use it to gain a greater appreciation of the Book of Bereshit need not worry about what will happen when we reach the other books of the chumash. Echoes of Eden is the first of a projected five-volume series by Rabbi Kahn on chumash to be published by OU Press and Gefen Publishing.

Echoes of Eden is the latest publication from the OU Press, the publishing house of the Orthodox Union. The OU Press publishes books that breathe new life and relevance into the classic texts we study and the rituals we practice every day. Echoes of Eden follows in the footsteps of other high-quality OU Press publications on the weekly Torah reading, including Darosh Darash Yosef by Rabbi Avishai David and Unlocking the Torah Text by Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, that explicate the Torah text. Upcoming publications include the Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur, featuring the insights of Rabbi Soloveitchik on the Siddur, published in conjunction with Koren Publishers of Jerusalem.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.