The Heart of Torah.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I recently had the privilege of spending some time every Shabbat with Rabbi Shai Held, who is the president and dean at the Hadar Institute – a center for advanced Jewish learning that includes an egalitarian yeshiva and interdenominational adult education and continuing education for rabbis and educators. Hadar’s stated purpose is to create a Jewish community living an interpretation of Torah (in the broadest sense of the word) that reflects the traditional and modern worldview of its founders, of whom Held is one.
When I heard Held had published his own Torah commentaries, I decided to read his commentary on that week’s Torah portion every Shabbat. This is a two-volume set, and for each Torah portion, Held provides us with two short essays. Each essay is at most five or six pages. They are succinct yet full of rich material culled from a variety of sources, such as classical Jewish texts, modern Bible scholars, modern-day theologians (both Jewish and other than Jewish), and more.
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