What the Torah talks about when it talks about food

March 11, 2018

In ‘From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey,’ Diana Lipton compiles an extensive commentary on the themes of sustenance in the Bible. Forbidden Fruit web 2

Jessica Steinberg • The Times of Israel

 

The first thing to know about “From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey,” Diana Lipton’s commentary on food in the Torah, is that it isn’t a book about what people ate during biblical times.

In fact, most of the 54 scholars who contributed to this compilation of essays don’t usually write about food. They write about the Bible.

“That’s what made it so different,” said Diana Lipton, the Cambridge-trained scholar who compiled the book of essays (and a Times of Israel blogger). “It’s not what they usually write about, but everyone’s an expert, no matter what they think.” Read the rest of this entry »

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From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey

January 22, 2018

Rabbi Ari Enkin • Torah Book Reviews

Forbidden Fruit web 2

Hearing about this release certainly “whet my appetite” to get my hands on it. A parsha book that focuses exclusively on food in the Torah was a cool idea, I thought. Although many might mistakenly believe that the Jewish love affair with food originated at the turn of the 20th century in the Delicatessens of the Lower East Side, this book shows that the Jewish love affair with food extends back to the Bible, and by extension, the first days of Creation.

The book includes one chapter for every parsha. Each chapter begins with a general 2-4-page essay on the theme of food in the parsha that is submitted by a different author each time. Following the Read the rest of this entry »


Savoring Each Chapter in the Torah

January 10, 2018

Abigail Klein Leichman • JPost 

Forbidden Fruit web 2

Originally created as an online project to support national food bank program Leket Israel, From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey comprises short essays on gustatory themes in each weekly Torah portion.

A scholar or educator contributes the “main course,” if you will, while Diana Lipton – an adjunct lecturer in Bible at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School – adds thoughtful “side dishes” to round out every chapter’s meal.

Digging into Read the rest of this entry »


Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law

November 27, 2017

Benedict Roth, Jewish Chronicle UK

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Orthodox women could enjoy greater equality if rabbis were ready to pursue it

A new book takes a fresh look at rabbinic sources on women’s prayer

The expressions “gender equality” and “Jewish law” rarely appear in the same sentence and many would expect a book on the subject to be a short one. Gender equality is the language of today’s equal rights movement, while Jewish law contains features that are conspicuously unequal: a woman’s testimony is invalid in a Jewish court and she is categorised with slaves and children for many halachic purposes.

But the true picture is Read the rest of this entry »


Genesis: ‘From The Heart of a Lion’

October 17, 2017

 

Written by Alan Jay Gerber.

Originally appeared in The Jewish Star on October 8, 2017. 

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One of the most charismatic young rabbis in education today is Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, the Mashgiach Ruchani at the DRS High School in Woodmere. Rabbi Cohen has assembled in book form (“From The Heart of a Lion,” Penina Press) a series of eloquent and timely essays themed to each parasha in Bereshis. The content of each chapter fully lives up to the rabbi’s reputation of combining his analytic learning style with anecdotes relating to life’s experiences.

In Noach, next week’s parasha, Rabbi Cohen relates a personal relationship to demonstrate respect for authority especially in terms of religious reverence and mentorship.

The rabbinical authority in this essay was HaRav Nosson Finkel, zt”l, rosh yeshiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who was, in Rabbi Cohen’s words, the “foundation of my life as a Jew.”

The relationship that Rabbi Cohen describes illustrates the author’s style and the greatness of his subject.

“From the time I began to Read the rest of this entry »


Why does Yom Kippur end with “Hashem Hu Ha-Elokim”?

September 28, 2017

To hear some potential answers, check out this video from “Ohr HaShachar: Torah, Kabbalah and Consciousness in the Daily Blessings” author David Bar-Cohn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF9byjr6Ea8

 

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Rabbi David Bar-Cohn holds an MA in clinical psychology and maintains a psychotherapy practice. He also works in music and video production and is the creator of a children’s musical video series. 

 

 

 

 


Redeeming Relevance featured in The Jewish Star’s Kosher Bookworm

September 8, 2016
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Buy Now

Redemption and Relevance for Today’s Jew

by Alan Jay Gerber

“Redeeming Relevance: In the Book of Deuteronomy — Explorations in Text and Meaning” (Urim Publishers, 2016) details some of the little-known themes in Devorim. The following teachings by Rabbi Nataf will hopefully motivate you to obtain and read the full text for a better understanding of what motivated Moshe in his last days of leadership of our people.Among the most gifted commentators on the Chumash in Israel today is Rabbi Francis Nataf, a longtime associate of the noted Jewish theologian and thinker, Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopez Cardozo of Jerusalem. Recently Rabbi Nataf finished his long-awaited commentary on Devarim, the Book of Deuteronomy, which will be the focus of this week’s essay.

“Most readers are aware that the book of Devarim is significantly different from the other books of the Torah,” writes Rabbi Nataf in an introduction entitled “Moshe’s Torah.”

“For instance, words and expressions that don’t appear anywhere else in the Torah suddenly appear here. This is especially pronounced when we encounter a new word or phrase that describes the very same object or concept referred to by different terms on other books.”

Further on, the author is more specific:

“Moreover, entire stories and commandments from the four previous books are now given completely different treatments. Moshe’s new rendition of the incident of the spies that we already know from the book of Bemidbar is the most famous. Many other stories, such as the appointment of administrative judges, and to a lesser extent the actual giving of the Torah, are recounted from a new vantage point as well.

“Yet the most significant change is that Moshe generally now speaks in the first person, often telling us that “God told me…” as opposed to the more common narrative wherein we are told “God spoke to Moshe…” The most obvious reason for this is that the majority of the book of Devarim records a series of Moshe’s speeches given to the Israelites at the end of his life, a time which, significantly, coincides with the end of their journey.”

Continue reading the article here.