Title: Joyous Torah Treasures
Author: Dr. Sam Friedman
Publisher: Devora Publishing
In Joyous Torah Treasures, an enjoyable collection of essays on the weekly sidrah, Dr. Sam Friedman provides a smorgasbord presentation of observations and analysis, ranging from classical to modern, on many of the most talked about discussions on each and every parshah.
Each essay begins simply enough, frequently with a well-known midrash, Gemara or Rashi, but then quickly delves into the unfamiliar. The essay takes the path dictated by the author’s eclectic but logical interests. Earlier questions are soon answered, and we’re off in a new but related direction.
The book is made all the more pleasant by Dr. Friedman’s variety of sources (ranging from Chassidic to modern Orthodox) and variety of techniques (among them, gematria, verse similarities, halachic expositions, and classic drash).
The book, divided into two volumes, quotes liberally from the scholarship of contemporary leaders, such as Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, and Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger. I had never heard of many of these Torah experts, and one of the great services the book provides is to introduce the reader to fascinating ideas and fascinating people.
The brief biographical info about all of the Torah commentators who are quoted (both contemporary and those from over 1,000 years ago) help with this introduction.
The book is also an inspiration, for it was written not by a professional rabbi or communal leader, but by a medical doctor, who takes his seat among the congregants.