web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


You Can Tell This Book By Its Covers


book-from-where-i-stand

You can tell Rabbi Yossy Goldman’s book From Where I Stand: Life Messages from the Weekly Torah Reading by its covers. The front cover is a photograph of a rabbi in a shul that is full of light. The beautiful burgundy curtain on the ark has Hebrew letters that read “For Torah shall go forth from Zion” embroidered in gold, dancing above “and the word of God from Jerusalem.” Rabbi Goldman stands to the right of the ark; his wide smile indicates a man who relishes what he is doing.

He is looking at the reader from where he stands to teach the Torah portion for each Shabbat and Tom Tov. The insights he has shared with his congregation are collected in this book. You might guess from the cut of his beard that he is a Lubavitcher chassid, an observation confirmed by a photograph on the back cover that shows Rabbi Goldman speaking at a conference of Lubavitcher emissaries (shluchim); a portrait of the Rebbe hangs on the wall. On the first page of his Introduction Rabbi Goldman informs the reader that “Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, of sainted memory” was his “mentor and teacher.”

Three other photographs on the back cover show Rabbi Goldman’s friendship with Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and Rabbi Dr. Avraham J. Twerski. The former chief rabbi of Israel, the chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, and the American Orthodox psychiatrist and author all appreciate Rabbi Goldman’s ability to relate the Torah to contemporary life – to be, in the words of Rabbi Sacks, “witty and wise, learned yet accessible.”

In a take-off on the title on the front cover, the back cover has the heading “Where They Stand…” These distinguished leaders from three continents “stand” together in recommending ideas that Rabbi Lau calls “riveting and relevant…succor for the soul.” They consider the Sydenham Highlands North Synagogue in Johannesburg fortunate to have him as its rabbi since 1986.

The nature of Rabbi Goldman’s appeal is evident in the honesty with which he reveals upfront in the Introduction that “though some of the content in this book is original, most is not.” He calls himself a melaket, a collector; he builds brilliantly on what he gathers. To give one example from many: he recounts an interview he heard on the BBC with the late Malcolm Muggeridge, the former editor of Punch, the very funny but sharply satirical British magazine. The interviewer questioned how Muggeridge, who had been a famously free spirit, had become religious as he aged. Muggeridge answered with a lesson he had from an accomplished yachtsman: “If you want to enjoy the freedom of the high seas, you must first become a slave to the compass.”

Rabbi Goldman sees the analogy to a Torah life. As a sailor must obey the compass for the wind to catch his sails so that he can experience the exhilaration of the high seas, so Jews must take the Torah as our compass to give us direction through the seas of life. This is his argument for free will within the structure of Torah observance.

This short account encapsulates Rabbi Goldman’s approach: everything, even a radio program that one listens to while driving, can enhance one’s appreciation of Hashem and the Torah.

His phrasing is memorable: “Revolutions may come and go, but revelation is eternal.” His jokes and anecdotes flow from his sense that learning should be enjoyable. The reader is uplifted by his joy in learning Torah and living a Torah life. On Friday night, Shabbat morning before shul, or Shabbat afternoon, the two pages Rabbi Goldman devotes to each parshah offer a pleasant read that will enhance one’s appreciation of the relevance of Torah at all times.

About the Author: Dr. Rivkah Blau is the author of “Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah,” a biography of Rav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz; the Hebrew translation is entitled “V’Samachta B’Chayekha."


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “You Can Tell This Book By Its Covers”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Fortress Rachel (Rachel's Tomb)
Netanyahu Warns World Leaders to Take A Stand on Terrorism in Israel
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-062615

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

On-The-Bookshelf-logo

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

On her first ever trip to Israel last week, popular radio talk-show personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, whose spirited broadcasts regularly attract millions of listeners across North America, paid a visit to OneFamily headquarters in Jerusalem in order to learn more about the physical and emotional challenges faced by victims of terror in […]

With the famous Touro Synagogue, a variety of mansions, each with its own distinct personality, as well as the beautiful coast, Rhode Island makes for an excellent vacation spot.

To avoid all this waste and unnecessary anxiety, let’s break the task down step by step and tackle each one at a time.

While there are those who insist they need full-color photos to be truly entranced by a recipe, I suggest you get over that particular requirement because the written word here will draw you in and cause you to salivate as you peruse the recipes scattered throughout The Well-Spiced Life (Israel Book Shop).

For those who couldn’t go off base, a personal parcel was priceless in its ability to convey a feeling of home.

With the danger of being discovered always a possibility, the partisans not only moved around in the forest, but also eliminated any collaborators.

We never cease to be students, even when we are no longer in school. Therefore, everyone can learn from these elements of thought.

Whether the rest of us admit it or not, covers draw our attentions and create the initial impressions we have with books.

More Articles from Dr. Rivkah Blau
Rav Yosef Rosen, the Rogatchover Gaon

His phenomenal memory encompassed the Written Torah, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, and all the major commentaries.

book-diversity-divine

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

Of course it is disingenuous to tell a person from a non-rabbinic, non-rosh yeshiva home to make an effort.

When I give this book, the parents look at the gold Caldecott Medal on the front cover and smile, but look up quizzically – a book for a newborn?

Determination is now being studied by educators and psychologists who want to understand why some people born with every gift do not achieve a meaningful adulthood, while others born into a challenging existence rise above their beginnings to enjoy accomplished lives.

I had heard singing from across the street several times at the end of Shabbos but hadn’t realized the singing was a prelude to Havdalah.

“Radical,” from the Latin word for “root,” means going to the foundation. The foundation is what we have to think about when celebrating a simcha. Instead of peripheral concerns – photographing the proceedings, for example – we should attend to the meaning of the event.

You can tell Rabbi Yossy Goldman’s book From Where I Stand: Life Messages from the Weekly Torah Reading by its covers. The front cover is a photograph of a rabbi in a shul that is full of light.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/you-can-tell-this-book-by-its-covers/2013/02/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: