The Heart of Torah, Volume 1: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion: Genesis and Exodus By Rabbi Shai Held, Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Foreword by) Cover Image

The Heart of Torah, Volume 1: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion: Genesis and Exodus (Paperback)

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Shai Held is one of the most important teachers of Torah in his generation.—Rabbi David Wolpe, author of David: The Divided Heart

In The Heart of Torah, Rabbi Shai Held’s Torah essays—two for each weekly portion—open new horizons in Jewish biblical commentary.

Held probes the portions in bold, original, and provocative ways. He mines Talmud and midrashim, great writers of world literature, and astute commentators of other religious backgrounds to ponder fundamental questions about God, human nature, and what it means to be a religious person in the modern world. Along the way he illuminates the centrality of empathy in Jewish ethics, the predominance of divine love in Jewish theology, the primacy of gratitude and generosity, and God’s summoning of each of us—with all our limitations—into the dignity of a covenantal relationship.

About the Author

Rabbi Shai Held is president, dean, and chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar and directs its Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas in New York City. He is the author of Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence and a recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. Rabbi Yitz Greenberg is one of the preeminent Jewish thinkers of our time.

Praise For…

"Rabbi Shai Held offers thought pieces on the parashat ha-shavua whose scope, depth, ethics, and insight will delight readers from all Jewish backgrounds, as well as anyone interested in mining the Bible for its timeless wisdom."—Jewish Book Council

"Shai Held's new book on the weekly Torah portions is the kind of book that people should keep in their tallit bag and peruse during the Torah reading, because he understands the three kinds of questions that we need to confront whenever we study the Torah."—Jack Riemer, Jewish Advocate

"If you want a book that is both accessible and deep, one which will open you to the humanity of all kinds of people, with love and compassion, this is the book for you."—Kol Ra'ash Gadol, Jew School

"A breathtaking commentary."—Parshat Lekh Lekha, madlik

"In Held's deft hand, these divrei Torah teach of human ethical responsibility in the face of pain that is interwoven into God's world. . . . The essays are beautifully written, richly woven, and speak honestly to the challenges facing religious people in the 21st century."—Yoel Finkelman, Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

"A spirited call to moral action and social justice. . . . Held is not content with learning Torah. He insists that we must not only study the word of God; rather, we must both "hear and do."—Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal

"The Torah reading cycle provides the structure not just for the Jewish year but also for countless volumes of commentary on the biblical text, including Rabbi Shai Held's brilliant new two-volume collection The Heart of Torah, Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion."—Ilana Kurshan, Jewish Review of Books

The Heart of Torah is a stunning achievement: textually learned, theologically profound, ethically challenging, spiritually uplifting, and psychologically astute. If you want to know what it can mean to read the Torah today with your whole heart and your whole mind, read this book.”—Rabbi Sharon Brous, founder and senior rabbi at Ikar, Los Angeles

“Shai Held deftly brings the wisdom of Torah to bear upon the contemporary human condition. Christians who read this book can discover fresh dimensions within the biblical text, see more clearly where there is common ground between Jews and Christians, and better grasp what it means to understand and live in this world as God’s world.”—Walter Moberly, professor of theology and biblical interpretation at Durham University

“Shai Held is one of the most important teachers of Torah in his generation.”—Rabbi David Wolpe, author of David: The Divided Heart

Product Details
ISBN: 9780827612716
ISBN-10: 0827612710
Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society
Publication Date: September 1st, 2017
Pages: 400
Language: English