A Rabbi Reads the Torah distils a lifetime of Bible study by a Jewish scholar devoted to popularising the study of the Hebrew Bible in its original language, helped by the wealth of centuries of Jewish interpretation and debate, as well as the best of modern literary approaches. The Jewish tradition of reading a section of the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, on a weekly basis during the course of single year, is a challenge to find something new each time in a familiar text.
These short studies, based on a popular radio series, offer unexpected insights into the very different materials to be found in these Biblical books, as well as indicating their relevance to the realities of personal, social and political life today.
Rabbi Magonet's personal engagement in interfaith dialogue opens the world of Jewish tradition to the widest audience of those within and beyond our different faith communities.
Some people manage to write in just a way that mirrors their personality. Jonathan Magonet is one of those outstanding writers - his clarity, warmth, gentleness and deeply knowledgeable and insightful reading of the Bible is both extremely rabbinic and also mirrors perfectly his personality. This book is a superb reading of the Bible for Rabbis and lay people of all faiths and none. -- Laura Janner-Klausner
The first chapters of the Hebrew Bible (the Torah) are vividly brought to life by Rabbi Dr Jonathan Magonet with is characteristic wit and wisdom. He shows how the moral issues that the rabbis debated are still relevant today. I hope the book will encourage churches to include the Old Testament readings and clergy to preach about them.-- Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke,President of the World Congress of Faiths
This worthy successor to Rabbi Magonet’s A Rabbi Reads the Bible and A Rabbi Reads the Psalms, is a superb collection of fifty two musings on aspects of the Torah, book by book and portion by portion in chronological order. The origin of the material lies in a series of radio broadcasts delivered by Jonathan Magonet over a number of years in Germany. None of the fifty two chapters is especially long, though a few are shorter than others, but each contains thoughtful and wise analysis, a beautiful use of language, and the potential to inform and educate. A Rabbi Reads the Torah would make a perfect gift for anyone who is Jewishly engaged, as well as for non-Jews keen to experience a master-interpreter’s Jewish perspectives on the Pentateuch. It would work very well for a book club, or study group, or even as an alternative to the actual Torah reading on a Shabbat morning!-- Rabbi Dr Charles H Middleburgh
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