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To Know Torah Vol-V The Book of Deuteronomy

מאת:
הוצאה: | 2018 | 172 עמ'
קטגוריות: יהדות, שפות זרות
זמינות:

15.00

רכשו ספר זה:

In recent years, many books have been published on the weekly Torah readings; the unique feature of this book is its consistent attention to the simple meaning (peshat) of the text, and the breadth of its knowledge (comprehensive exposition with abundant details and multiple opinions), its ability to pick a side in the convoluted web of commentaries, and its honesty (bravely confronting questions and difficulties). Students of Torah who are seeking intellectual, ethical or spiritual challenges will find them in this book.
Prof. Uriel Simon

A fascinating attempt, in clear and direct language to deal with the question of the Torah’s simple meaning, in the spirit of the teachings of Samuel David Luzzatto, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, and the schools of interpretation and knowledge that surrounded them and ourselves. This is significant, refreshing contribution to the library of books dealing with the weekly Torah readings.
Prof. Avigdor Shinan

Someone who asks himself what new can possibly be written about weekly Torah portion, will find that this book shows that the paths of interpretation have not been sealed, and it is indeed possible to offer interesting, in-depth readings that integrate old and new, seeking the golden mean between tradition and modernity, between the simple meaning and its meaning. Perhaps the reader will listen most attentively to the moral voice of Torah, the voice of the good character traits we have been commanded to cultivate, the voice that turns Scripture into teaching that gives life.
Justice Elyakim Rubinstein

To Know Torah is an enlightening encounter between a contemporary interpreter and the glorious tradition of interpretation throughout the ages. This book is a unique combination of the broad, rare riches of traditional Torah commentary with the author’s own deep understandings.
Prof. Moshe Halbertal

Dr. Chamiel’s book is a brave attempt to interpret weekly Torah portions from the perspective of a modern scholar who believes in the holiness of the Torah and observes the commandments. The tension between the original, primal meaning of the Torah as it emerges from scholarship, its religious meaning that is faithful to Jewish law, and the simple meaning of the text emerges from Chamiel’s commentary. He summarizes the positions of many classical and modern commentators, making them accessible to the reader, and enriches him with extensive knowledge, and mature, wise interpretive understandings.

The author’s expertise is in fields other than biblical scholarship, but he does not ignore it. Although educated in Jewish philosophy, his writing lacks the apologetic tendency that characterizes so much writing in that field. The author makes an effort to look directly at the texts, and understand them in a personal way, with loyalty to “Truth and Faith.”
Prof. Benjamin Ish-Shalom

In an exceptional intellectual achievement, Chamiel opens a new window through which to view the familiar, weekly Torah portions, and encounter their less routine aspects. The book brings readers into the depths of Torah, and with common sense, healthy logic, and philosophical intuition creates a renewed and refreshing encounter with the ancient biblical text.
Dr. Micah Goodman

Dr. Ephraim (Effi) Chamiel is an economist and banker by profession. Upon his early retirement from banking, he redirected his energies to academic research and modern Jewish philosophy. In 2014, his doctoral dissertation on Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Chajes, Samuel David Luzzatto, and Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch was published by Academic Studies Press, as The Middle Way: The Emergence of Modern-Religious Thought.

Please note: The price for the printed version includes shipment in Israel only. For shipment abroad, please purchase at Amazon: Dr. Ephraim Chamiel

מקט: toknowtora5

דוגמה חינם לאייפד, אייפון, אנדרואיד ומחשב הורד/י דוגמה חינם לאייפד, אייפון, אנדרואיד ומחשב

דוגמה חינם לקינדל הורד/י דוגמה חינם לקינדל

כדי לקרוא אנא התקן תוכנת קריאה המתאימה למכשירך כמפורט במדריך לקורא


Introduction

Commentary and homiletical exposition of the weekly Torah portion has always been a popular endeavor. Every Torah scholar, indeed every literate individual, reads the Bible in the spirit of his time, place and propensities; and all of these readings are appropriate and worthwhile, in the sense that there are seventy facets to the Torah. Personally, I am not a Bible scholar, my field of expertise is Jewish thought. Therefore, this book is not the product of academic research, but rather one of personal expression, which strives to reveal the intended meaning of the texts from the perspective of a modern scholar who believes in the sanctity of the Torah and is an observant Jew.

Toward this end, I adopted peshat (the plain sense) when interpreting the text- i.e. the primary interpretation of the text, along the lines of its meaning – and its ideas which are inherent to the text. In my reading of the text, I made every effort to avoid speculative interpretation; whether of a mystical-kabbalistic, philosophical-esoteric or midrashic nature. In my opinion, these do not represent the intent of the text, but rather the meaning which the person expounding it wishes to convey to those listening to or reading his commentary.

My reading relies on the modern and post-modern commentary, as well as that of the layers which preceded them. I selected from among all of these interpretations, those which I felt were consistent with the text’s primary meaning, and wove them together to form one fabric. In the course of this research, it became clear to me the degree to which modern commentary is based on its predecessors throughout the generations. I came to understand that the Midrash sometimes presents us with that which contemporary commentators see as the primary meaning of the text; and consequently as the Torah’s view regarding theology and ethics. Nonetheless, I want to emphasize that I view the rabbinical exegesis as but one legitimate interpretation of the Bible. In my opinion, the Sages did not generally intend to offer their opinion as to the primary meaning of the text. Rather, they wished to express their views with respect to fundamental issues or concerns relevant to their era or to institute new enactments or laws; and they interpreted the text in a manner that achieves these goals. Midrash aggadah has its own messages, which often have little in common with those of the Bible. Midrash Halakhah also altered the primary meaning of the text; whether in order to reconcile it with traditions that they had, or whether- based on an opposite impulse, one of innovation – for the worthy goal of changing values to conform to the cultural circumstances of the time. I accept the opinion of Ben Saruq, Maimonides and Luzzatto, that most of the halakhot in the Mishna and Talmud are not of Sinaitic origin, but rather are the invention of the Sages. According to Luzzatto, the Ibn Ezra also was of this opinion, but hid his real opinion behind a veil of apologetics. In the final analysis, a contemporary commentator, who observes the commandments and believes in the sanctity of the Bible, cannot evade the tension between the claims of scholarship and the literalists concerning the primary meaning of certain verses, and the meaning the Sages ascribed to those verses, upon which they established the Halakhah, which is sacrosanct in the eyes of that very commentator.[1]

This has been the difficulty facing observant, Jewish interpreters of the Bible in the modern age. Their exegesis, with its wide range of directions and ideologies, was guided by Moses Mendelsohn, in his Bi'ur, Yitzchak Samuel Reggio, S. D. Luzzatto, S. R. Hirsch, Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg, (Haketav Vehaqabbala), Malbim (Meir Leibush Malbim, Hatorah Vehamitzvah), Netziv (Naphtali Tzvi Berlin, Haamek Davar), M. D. Cassuto, M. Buber, A. J. Heschel, N. Leibowitz, Y. Leibowitz, Haim Yitzchak Chamiel, and others. They strove to understand both the primary meaning of the text and its implications for their era. They incorporated new scientific knowledge from the fields of archeology, history, psychology, literature, philology, grammar and hermeneutics in their commentaries. At the same time, it is inevitable that their personal perspectives also influenced their interpretations, whether consciously or not. Many medieval commentators, defined as literalists (being more or less minimalists), already trod this path: Saadia Gaon, Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Rivash (Yosef Bechor-Shor), David Kimhi, Hizkuni, Nahmanides, Ibn Caspi, Abravanel, and Sforno. Modern commentary is based on their interpretations, merely presenting them in more familiar language and context. It is rare to find actual innovation in contemporary interpretation of the peshat. Therefore, the uniqueness of this work is not to be found in the occasional innovative interpretations which it contains; but rather in its forging of a unified, easy to read and clear commentary out of selected interpretations spanning the generations, in the path of my predecessors, the modern observant commentators, and ‘like a dwarf on the shoulder of giants.’

  Similarly, I do not ignore Bible criticism’s demonstrations that the Bible is composed of four main documents, and only received its current unified form in the fifth century BCE. I am also cognizant of the opinions of Bible critics (such as Yisrael Knohl and Alexander Rofe), and of contemporary archeologists who differ as to the historicity of the biblical narrative. I am aware of the possibility that the various biblical texts which were assembled by an editor are from different periods, and were brought to Canaan by various groups who migrated from sundry geographic locations, who had varying religious beliefs and cultic practices. I am also aware of the alternative approach, which holds that the Jewish people came from Haran and fought against Egypt in the Golan Heights; and that the narrative of the exodus was transferred to the south, and was consolidated at the time of Jerobam’s division of the kingdom. According to radical interpreters of Maimonides, he thought that the Bible was not given to Moses by God; but rather Moses, our teacher, composed it as a result of his examination of nature, using his exalted abilities as a philosopher- prophet. The interpreters of Maimonides, Efodi and Narboni, went so far as to claim that he held the narrative of the Sinaitic revelation to be an allegory. Personally, I am drawn to the approach of Martin Buber, Moshe David Cassuto and Abraham Joshua Heschel who hold that the Bible was written after the era of Moses, based on early traditions which were popular among the people, and that it contains a kernel of historical truth. The essential point concerning these traditions is that the ideological message of ethical monotheism is divine, revealed by means of man and transmitted orally until it was codified, whether at once or in stages. It seems undeniable to me that the possibility certainly exists that the Bible is a compilation of several documents, which are the product of several authors who had different perspectives. However, the subject of this work is not the clarification of the origin of the texts or their historical accuracy, but rather the meaning that the text in its current formholds for the reader. To this end, there is no reason to assign excessive significance to the identification of the source or sources, and the identity of the author or authors and that of the editor or editors. Granted, contradictions and difficulties in the text may be resolved by means of breaking the text up into different source documents and varying traditions, or inserted texts and the like; however, I generally follow the approach of the traditional exegesis, which attempts to harmonize the text and thereby understand the intent of the author or editor. I briefly note the critical approach for the benefit of the enlightened reader where I deem appropriate, or in the footnotes. However, for the purpose of this book, the key questions are: What did the author of the text before us intend in the context of his time and place, the surrounding internal influences- the culture in which he lived- as well as the external influences? What did he want to teach the reader who was his contemporary? What in the text before us is relevant to us? Of course, I am aware that it is impossible to be certain of the author’s intent; it is only possible to attempt to approach it. This is true both because of the historical and intellectual gap and the difference in mindset between the author and the commentator; and because of the realization that all commentators, including this writer, , inevitably inject their own understanding and that of their school into the commentary. Like any commentator, I seek out my own spiritual world in the text, consciously and certainly unconsciously; that is to say, that of a modern scholar who is an observant Jew.[2]

In my opinion, the resolution to the tension between ‘modern’ and ‘observant’, that is to say, between the results of academic research and belief in the sanctity of the Bible, is to be found in Luzzatto's ‘dual truth’. This approach establishes an unresolvable dialectic tension between two truths; a cosmic rift between the scientific truth, that the human intellect discerns with respect to the text’s sources, which were humanly authored (although Luzzatto denies this point); and the religious truth, which was established by the Sages (as the transmitters of the Sinaitic tradition, or by means of their genius and inspiration ascribed to them by Luzzatto). This rift can only be fused in the divine realm, not the human. Man must live with this dual truth. According to Luzzatto, it is incumbent on him to investigate the text as far as his intellect allows, while following the Halakhah as established by the Sages, who established the awesome narrative of the nation, and its children’s shared experience.[3]

Finally, I would stress that the commentary which I present is my suggested formulation of the Torah’s view on many matters. Whereas my commentary is based on modern scholarship, it attempts to avoid expressing modern ideas and opinions, including my own. That said, the biblical ethic and thought is much more compatible with modern sensibilities than we tend to think.

The original kernel of this work is the brief lecture series on the portion of the week which I composed for myself and taught in the synagogue over the course of forty years, primarily in the communities of Judah Halevi and Renanim in Jerusalem. It also incorporates insights which I heard or read during that period of time. I particularly wish to note the integrative-immanent interpretations of my father and teacher, Dr. Haim Yitzchak Chamiel, of blessed memory; who, together with his beloved wife, my mother, Hava (Hertz), ‘may her light shine’, instilled in me a love for the Torah and its study. This book is dedicated to them. Ever since I was old enough, I absorbed my father’s teaching regarding the portion of the week at the Sabbath table, in his lectures and lessons, articles and books (Maaynei Miqra and Limudim BeFarashat HaShavua).

Two modern commentaries have a central place in this work:

(A) The commentary of Rabbi S.R. Hirsch on the Torah. While this commentary is strongly connected to the interpretations of the Sages, particularly to the halakhic midrash, and saturated with fundamentalist pathos; the modern ideas which are embedded in it – many of which express, in my opinion, the depths of the peshat – are extremely significant and have been adopted by Modern- Orthodoxy to this day.

(B) The commentary of Luzzatto on the Torah. This outstanding commentary, which follows the peshat, is a guide to the primary reading of the text.

In addition, I heard and internalized many Torah lessons from many sources, including: My teachers in Midrashiat Noam and Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavne, my colleagues in the synagogues of Judah Halevi and Renanim in Jerusalem, Rabbis Maurice Lamm and Abner Weiss in Congregation Beth Jacob in Los Angeles, R. Leor Broh in Congregation Mizrachi in Melbourne, Rabbi Benny Lau in Congregation Ramban in Jerusalem, whose lectures later were consolidated in his book, Etnachta, Hatzofeh and Mekor Rishon as well as radio and television programs on the various stations on the weekly portion (by Benny Lau, Dov Elbaum, Micah Goodman and others). I also gained knowledge from various weekly portion sheets which are distributed in synagogues, especially Shabbat B’Shabbato, Shabbat Shalom and Bar Ilan’s weekly sheet.

Nechama Leibowitz’s work, Studies in the Books of the Pentateuch, was extremely helpful to me. My father, of blessed memory, was the driving force behind the dissemination of her teachings. Yeshayahu Leibowitz’s books, Hearot Leparashiyot Hashavua and Sheva Shanim Shel Sihot Al Parashat Hashavua, provided me with my first encounter with commentary which was liberated from the ideology which holds that there is a divine plan for the world embedded in the holy writings, although I do not accept this interpretation as the biblical perspective. I also benefited from Yehuda Nachshoni’s Studies in the Weekly Parashah, which is a treasure chest of commentaries of varying perspectives. These four works collect much varied exegetical material, and contain excellent discussions relating to the topics found in each portion. The modern reader who wishes to understand the historical-philological position of the biblical scholarship will find references to Olam Hatanakh, edited by Menahem Haran, Alexander Rofe’s Mavo Lesifrut Hamiqra and Yisrael Knohl’s Meayin Banu in the footnotes of the book. These books also clarify the relationship between the Bible and traditions and narratives of the ancient nations of the region. “In order to bring redemption to the world,” I attempted to attribute the interpretations which I chose to present in this book. It was simple to reference the central commentaries, both medieval and modern. However, other sources, which I mentioned here, among others, are jumbled in my consciousness and it was difficult to reference them.  I offer my apologies to the authors of these sources.

I arrived at the decision to write this book during the course of my doctoral work, which dealt with the religious responses to modernity in the philosophy of Z. H. Chajes, S. R. Hirsch and S. D. Luzzatto. That work was published in 2011 by Carmel as 'Haderekh Hamemutzaat' Reshit Tzmikhat Hadatiyut Hamodernit, 'The Middle Way' The Emergence of Modern-Religious Trends in Nineteenth-Century Judaism. That research compelled me to delve into modern biblical interpretation, and instilled in me the drive to make the teachings of Luzzatto and Hirsch, who are among the central pillars of this interpretation, available to the general public. In order to ensure that the reader understand the text which the commentary relates to, namely the biblical text itself, and in light of the fact that biblical Hebrew had become further and further removed from spoken Hebrew, I saw fit to attempt to briefly convey the sense of the text and to direct him/her to learn the text and attempt to delve into the commentaries which I refer to in the notes throughout the book. These references are mainly to those interpretations which I selected, but the notes also reference worthy alternatives. Sometimes they also refer to, for the sake of comparison, interpretations which I rejected. The reader who examines the works referred to in depth will acquire a broad view regarding the perspective of the Bible and its commentaries with respect to whatever topic interests him or poses a difficulty for him in the portion; and will assist him in preparing a lesson or 'Devar Torah' suitable for his particular audience. I pray that this work will contribute to the growth of the study of Torah, the greatest asset of the Jewish nation, and to its glorification.

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היו הראשונים לכתוב תגובה למוצר: “To Know Torah Vol-V The Book of Deuteronomy”