PROFESSORS ON THE PARASHAH: Studies on the Weekly Torah Reading

PROFESSORS ON THE PARASHAH: Studies on the Weekly Torah Reading
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    PROFESSORS ON THE PARASHAH: Studies on the Weekly Torah Reading


    edited by Leib Moscovitz


    This volume consists of studies on the weekly Torah reading by members of the faculty of Bar-Ilan University. These studies reflect Bar-Ilan University scholarship at its best - a unique combination of Torah scholarship and knowledge of traditional Jewish sources with excellence in the sciences and humanities. The studies in this volume present novel insights into the weekly Torah readings in light of diverse academic disciplines, synthesizing the sacred with the secular and the spiritual with the scientific.

    Bar-Ilan University, which just celebrated its jubilee year, is the largest institution of higher education in Israel. The University's unique message about the importance of integrating Torah study with general knowledge is being embraced by increasingly large numbers of Israelis. In these times of strife and division, Bar-Ilan University presents a rare model of cooperation and mutual respect between religious and nonreligious Jews, of the centrality of Jewish tradition combined with an aspiration for academic excellence.


    Professor Leib Moscovitz is Associate Professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He received his BA and MA from Yeshiva University and his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was ordained as a rabbi by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He is the author of Talmudic Reasoning: From Casuistics to Conceptualization, as well as dozens of scholarly articles.


    Hardcover, 359 pages
    ISBN 965-7108-74-8
    Publication: 2005
    Published with Bar-Ilan University


    Contributors:

    Zohar Amar
    Aryeh Arazi
    Nathan Aviezer
    Yonah Bar Maoz
    Yair Barkai
    Menachem Ben-Yashar
    Hayyim Borgansky
    Yaakov Charlap
    Yuval Cherlow
    Aaron Demsky
    David Elgavish
    Yehuda Feliks
    Amos Frisch
    Devorah Ganz
    Haim Genizi
    Israel Zvi Gilat
    David Henshke
    Carmi Horowitz
    Avigdor Hurovitz
    Hannah Kasher
    Moshe Kaveh
    Alexander Klein
    Admiel Kosman
    Dov Landau
    Rachel Lifshitz
    Yosef Ofer
    Yossi Peretz
    Rivka Raviv
    Shaul Regev
    Yisrael Samet
    Yaron Seri
    Yael Shemesh
    Daniel Sperber
    Shubert Spero
    Yaakov Spiegel
    Hayyim Talbi
    Yael Tzohar
    Itamar Wahrhaftig
    Abraham Walfish
    Judah Zoldan


    Praise for Professors on the Parashah:


    Imagine you live in a community of scholars in a variety of disciplines including Judaic studies, Bible and Talmud, as well as secular fields such as physics, law, and education. Every Shabbat, one of these scholars expounds on that week's parashah, giving an illuminating talk without speaking above the heads of audience members, or talking down to them. That is the essence of this charming collection.

    Culled from Bar-llan University's Parashat Hashavua Study Center web site (www.biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/), this volume presents many essays from the project's nearly decade-long history. Those who are already familiar with the site may argue that the selections presented in this work are not the best that the center has to offer, yet the divre Torah that made the cut will not disappoint. Most parashot are given a single essay with a handful of surprising choices (Aharei Mot, Emor, Re'eh) being assigned two. The professors do not always stick to their areas of expertise: physicists explore family dynamics, biblical scholars examine talmudic literature, mathematicians probe Maimonidian thought.

    This book is highly recommended for a general audience, particularly of interest for synagogue and school libraries. It is hoped that future volumes will collect the ever-growing body of work this project has produced.
    -Daniel Scheide
    Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter


    These studies on the weekly Torah reading by members of the faculty of Bar-Ilan University blend Torah scholarship and knowledge of traditional sources with expertise in the sciences and humanities.

    Professors on the Parashah offers fresh insights into the weekly Torah readings in light of diverse academic disciplines, and synthesizes the sacred with the secular and the spiritual with the scientific.

    Insightful readings include Moshe Kaveh's "Faith and Science in the Third Millennium," David Henshke's "The Magic of Blessings," Rachel Lifshitz's "The Priesthood -- Privilege and Obligation," Yosef Ofer's "A Woman Courts a Man," Hannah Kasher's "On Controversy," Itmar Wahrnaftig's "How Many Arks Were There?" Yael Shemesh's "Ecology in the Torah," and many others.

    Professors on the Parashah is the third volume in a series. The first two volumes were published by Bar-llan University as A Divinely Given Torah in Our Day and Age, Vol. 1 (1988), edited by Joshua Schwartz and A Divinely Given Torah in Our Day and Age, Vol. 2 (2002), edited by Aryeh A. Frimer. The Bar-llan Parashat Ha-Shavua series is a joint project of Bar-llan's Faculty of Jewish Studies, the Paul and Helene Shulman Center for Basic Jewish Studies, and the Office of the Campus Rabbi.

    This will be of interest for laymen and scholars, rabbis and scientists.
    -David B. Levy
    Jewish Book World


    This is a rare volume of essays on the Torah written by professors at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, who combine their understanding of Jewish sources with the latest research in the sciences and humanities. In one essay, Professor Moshe Kaveh, president of the university, discusses faith and science in the Third Millennium, while in another chapter he examines the story of Noah and the Flood by placing it in historical and scientific perspective.

    Professor Leib Moscovitz, of the Talmud Department, edited this important collection designed to encourage additional study with the aid of this fascinating and stimulating work. Anyone interested in Bible study will be captivated by the new insights.
    -Alex Grobman, Lifestyles Magazine


    "Professors on the Parashah: Studies on the Weekly Torah Reading," edited by Rabbi Leib Moscovitz, and published by Bar-Ilan University and Urim Publishers, deals with this topic in quite a sophisticated manner.

    Utilizing the most advanced scholarship, both religious and secular, and drawing both from religious and scientific sources, this volume treats each and every parsha of Torah learning as a sacred journey -- one that regards the reader as an intellectually aware individual, who is being taught, not preached to or admonished.

    Specific note should be made of the chapter dealing with Parshas Yisro entitled, "You Shall Not Murder, " You Shall Not Commit Suicide," by Dr. Israel Zvi Gilat. This essay offers a unique perspective on the commandment concerning the taking of a life, including one's own. As with the other essays found here, it is footnoted and annotated in a manner that helps the reader gain a deeper appreciation of the topic at hand.

    Among the personalities cited in this piece are Rav Kook, Rav Goren, and Rav Moshe Tzvi Neriah, all of blessed memory and all great gedolim and poskim who, unfortunately, are rarely quoted and cited in sermons and piskei halachos today.
    -Alan Jay Gerber
    The Jewish Star