web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Unlocking the Torah Text: Shmot: An In-depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha

Title: Unlocking the Torah Text: Shmot: An In-depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha


Author: Rabbi Shmuel Goldin


Publisher: Gefen Publishing House


 


 


   The secret to making a good sequel to a book is to make one that is original, yet effectively ties into the previous title. If you make it too much like the first one, then you just might as well read the original, because you’re not getting enough new content. If you make it too different than the first, there’s no sense of continuity.

 

   In his previous work Unlocking the Torah Text: Bereishit, Rabbi Goldin set the stage on how to properly dissect the biblical narratives of our forefathers without veering off into some homiletic Neverland. He stayed true to the text and offered innovative commentary that connects the ancient past to the issues we deal with in society today, and made the Book of Genesis accessible to both scholars and laity.

 

   It’s mistaken to think that, having mastered the first volume’s approach to Scripture, one would be able to predict the thematic pieces and unique scholarship in Rabbi Goldin’s commentary on the Book of Exodus. Instead Rabbi Goldin, pleasantly surprises. He examines, for example, the long established speech impediment of Moses. In describing himself, Moses says he is “heavy of mouth andspeech with sealed lip.” The majority of commentators view Moses speech impediment as a real, physical disability.

 

   Rabbi Goldin, however, challenges this approach by quoting the Rashbam, known as the ultimate p’shat (textually oriented) commentator. This scholar maintains that Moses “speech defect” was not at all physical, but the product of Moshe’s sense that, after years of absence, he was no longer adept in the language of Egypt and its nuances.

 

    Rabbi Goldin then suggests another approach based upon the possibility that Moshe was not limited by physical disability. Moses’ argument with God is that he lacks diplomatic skills. He is “heavy of mouth and speech,” the type of person who does not mince words but, rather, calls things the way he sees them. He is the last person who should negotiate with Pharaoh for the release of the Israelites from Egypt, arguing he is unsuited for any diplomatic mission when truth has to be pursued at all costs.

 

   Rabbi Goldin dares to ask why God did not prohibit slavery in the Bible or how come the Torah cannot be more explicit in its terminology when dealing with the issue of “eye for an eye.” Goldin is not afraid to open the curtain on a number of commentaries that deviate from the plain meaning of the text when defending Moses’ action breaking the Tablets of Testimony.

 

   What is truly remarkable is Rabbi Goldin’s statement that “God is the only source of holiness. No man, sanctuary or even the words of God are intrinsically holy. Sanctity is only derived from the people’s relationship with God and their willingness to follow His law.” With the sin of the Golden Calf, the nation of Israel robbed the Tablets of Testimony of their holiness and transformed them into mere stone with words. Moses was thus able to smash them to the ground.

 

   Unlocking the Torah Text: Shmot is not just another commentary that gives it all on a silver plate. Rabbi Goldin begins each section with challenges that will spark thoughtful conversation, thereby walking in the footsteps of Nehama Leibowitz. He concludes with a series of questions that will be debated each week in our homes and synagogues. Rabbi Goldin brings back a passion and a love in exploring biblical text. His sequel was definitely worth waiting for, and all one can anticipate is how the series will continue when he, please God, publishes his commentary on the Book of Leviticus next year.

 

   David Nekrutman is executive director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (cjcuc.com).

About the Author:


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 “Title: Unlocking the Torah Text: Shmot: An In-depth Journey into the Weekly Parsha”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz delivers lecture.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Nothing is Holy to Muslims on Temple Mount except Al Aqsa
Latest Sections Stories
West-Coast-logo

Lester Crown, a perennial member of the Forbes 400 list since 1982 and founder of the prestigious Covenant Foundation, took the stage in Washington, D.C. before a room of high-powered dignitaries, philanthropists, and innovators.

Collecting-History-logo

Not as well known, however, is Keller’s involvement with Jewish and Israeli communities.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

More Articles from David Nekrutman

The secret to making a good sequel to a book is to make one that is original, yet effectively ties into the previous title.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-unlocking-the-torah-text-shmot-an-in-depth-journey-into-the-weekly-parsha/2009/01/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: