Title: The Person in the Parasha: Discovering the Human Element in the Weekly Torah Portion
Author: Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Publisher: Maggid Books
A question Pirkei Avot asks is: Who is wise? To which the answer is: one who learns from every person. Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is a very wise man, and there is a lot we can learn from him. In his new book, he offers to the reader a lifetimes worth of wisdom and insight.
Weinreb is the former head of the Orthodox Union, a former shul rabbi, talmud chocham, and clinical psychologist. His latest book The Person in the Parasha: Discovering the Human Element in the Weekly Torah Portion (Maggid Books), is a compilation of essays on the weekly parasha.
A man of deep feeling and intellect, Weinreb injects each essay with a specific life message, while emphasizing a distinctive message of the parasha. As a psychologist, Weinreb often delves deep into the human psyche, focusing on a wide-spectrum of life events, emotions and sentiment.
The book offers a plethora of personal stories through his life, and at times it’s almost autobiographical. Weinreb shares with us his personal triumphs and tribulations, and lessons from his many travels across the Jewish world.
While there is brevity in all of the essays, each being only three or four pages; Weinreb is a master of straightforwardness and makes his point in a very readable and enjoyable format. Each chapter make a subtle point, often using Weinreb’s work and life experience as a starting point.
Too many speeches focus on lomdus such that the listener is left confused, rather than enlightened. The beauty of this book is that it focuses on the human element, providing the reader with numerous life lessons. Making this most enjoyable book not an abstract lesson in theoretical Talmudic logic, rather a lesson in Toras Chaim – life itself.