New from OU Press: “The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom” by Rabbi Natan Slifkin

June 17, 2015

Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal KingdomOU Press, the publishing division of the Orthodox Union, is happy to announce the publication of The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom, Volume One: Chayot/Wild Animals, The Samson Edition, by Rabbi Natan Slifkin, published in conjunction with The Biblical Museum of Natural History and Maggid Books.

In The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom, Rabbi Slifkin, as the renowned “Zoo Rabbi,” has created a magnificently illustrated and thoroughly researched repository of information about the animals in Tanakh, the Talmud, and the vast corpus of Torah literature. This volume contains some thirty chapters covering everything from the fearsome to the furry—for example, lions, leopards, bears, hippopotami, hyraxes and hares. (As to where the hippopotamus is mentioned in the Torah, Rabbi Slifkin argues that this is the identity of the “behemoth” described in the Book of Job: “Behold now behemoth, which I made with you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold now, the strength of his loins, and the power in his belly…”) Rabbi Slifkin combines Torah erudition with wide-ranging knowledge of zoology and natural history to explain an abundance of sources regarding the identity, laws, symbolism and significance of these animals in Jewish thought and observance.

Adding to its appeal, the appearance of the book is spectacular, with full color photographs on virtually every page. Stunning images of animals in their natural habitat make this large-format book as appropriate for the coffee table as for the library or classroom. With its engaging style and beautiful photography, The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom is sure to become the definitive resource on this topic.

OU Press publishes high-quality Jewish books for a contemporary audience. Other recent books from OU Press include Headlines: Halachic Debates of Current Events by Dovid Lichtenstein, an in-depth examination of many current issues from a halachic perspective; Letters from Mir: The Correspondence of Ernest Gugenheim, a first-hand account of a student’s experience studying in the Lithuanian Yeshiva of Mir; and The Covenant Kitchen: Food and Wine for the New Jewish Table, a unique and sophisticated cookbook by Jeff and Jodie Morgan, owners of the acclaimed Covenant Winery.