OU Press, in conjunction with Gefen Publishing, announces the publication of Unlocking the Torah Text – Devarim: An In-depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha by Rabbi Shmuel Goldin.
In this volume of Unlocking the Torah Text, the fifth and final of this popular series, Rabbi Goldin follows the successful format of his earlier volumes. For each parsha, he presents multiple studies, each beginning with questions relating to fundamental issues in the text, and surveying and critically evaluating a wide range of approaches to these basic issues. For example, how do we reconcile the accounts of the episode of the spies in Sefer Devarim with that in Sefer Bamidbar? And how should we explain the discrepancies between the two versions of the Ten Commandments?
In addition to textual questions, Rabbi Goldin also confronts broad themes in Devarim, and their philosophical implications. What was Moshe’s role in Sefer Devarim, and how does Devarim differ from the other books of the Torah? How does the promise of reward and punishment in the Shema accord with our experience of the world, in which divine justice is not readily apparent?
Many sections also conclude with a section of “Points to Ponder,” which relate the Torah section under study to relevant, current issues. For example, in discussing the textual basis for rabbinic authority, Rabbi Goldin addresses the issue of notion of da’at Torah and contemporary rabbinic leadership, citing a range of modern thinkers in juxtaposition to the classical sources. In his studies on the “captive woman,” the “rebellious son,” and the commandment to remember Amalek, Rabbi Goldin acknowledges the discomfort these laws may elicit for the Jew living in the current era, and seeks to explain their eternal message.
Now completed, the Unlocking the Torah Text series stands as a significant contribution to the world of Torah commentary, and in particular, to the body of commentary available in English. The previous volumes of Unlocking the Torah Text have become the focus of numerous informal study groups; have been used by rabbis and educators in the preparation of sermons and classes; and have served as the basis for countless hours of family discussion over the Shabbat table. Now that this series is complete, its popularity should increase even further. Whether as a personal purchase to enhance one’s own journey into the text, or as a welcome gift for others, the five volumes of Unlocking the Torah Text are certain to make a fine addition to Torah libraries across the globe.
OU Press publishes many books of in-depth studies on the Chumash by leading Jewish thinkers, including Rabbi Norman Lamm’s Derashot LeDorot; Rabbi Ari Kahn’s Echoes of Eden; Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ Covenant & Conversation; and the Chumash Mesoras HaRav; an anthology of the writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, compiled as a running commentary beneath the text of the Chumash.