Unlocking the Torah Text provides an in-depth journey into the Torah portion through a series of studies on each parsha. Each study opens with a brief summary of the narrative and then presents probing questions designed to strike to the core of the text. These questions are addressed through a review of traditional commentaries spanning the ages, combined with original approaches. Deep philosophical issues and perplexing textual questions are carefully examined and discussed in clear and incisive fashion. The actions and motivations of the patriarchs, matriarchs and other biblical figures are probed with an eye towards determining the lessons to be learned from the lives of these great personalities. Clear distinction is made between pshat (straightforward literal meaning) and Midrash (rabbinical exegesis) as both of these approaches to biblical text are carefully defined and applied. Finally, thought-provoking connections are raised between the eternal Torah narrative and critical issues of our time. Each study is thus constructed to encourage continued discussion and study of the Torah narrative.
About the Author RABBI SHMUEL GOLDIN received his BS in psychology and his MA in Jewish education from Yeshiva University, and his rabbinic ordination from the Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He has served as spiritual leader of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, New Jersey, since 1984. He is an instructor of Bible and Philosophy at the Isaac Breuer College and the James Striar School of Yeshiva University, founding director of and lecturer at The Eve Flechner Torah Institute, and past president and board member of numerous organizations. Noted as one of the most articulate spokesmen in the Orthodox community today, Rabbi Goldin has developed an innovative educational approach to Torah study, Jewish law and Jewish identity which is enthusiastically received by traditional and non-traditional Jews alike. Rabbi Goldin and his wife Barbara are the proud parents of five children, and grandparents of two.
“New and refreshing insights…. Rabbi Goldin acts as a responsible teacher of Torah, letting the text speak for itself.…Unlocking the Torah Text is a very good book indeed, challenging the reader to use his native intelligence in reading the Good Book as God’s Book.” –Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm Chancellor of Yeshiva University
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin has rendered an extraordinary service… Challenging us with fascinating questions, he presents unique solutions to problems that wemight never have noticed but which are critical to our understanding of the text. Sabbath discussions in the pulpit or around the table will be greatly enriched by his analysis. –Rabbi Haskel Lookstein spiritual leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, New York City
“Rabbi Goldin’s book is original, thoughtful, and provocative. Written with clarity, sensitivity and empathy, it will inspire modern readers of the Torah to grapple with the text and to wrest from it contemporary messages of personal meaning and communal significance.” –Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter senior scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future of Yeshiva University
“Rabbi Shmuel Goldin is a treasured member of our Jewish studies faculty because of the insight, clarity and love of text displayed in this volume. Employing simple but probing questions, he has produced an eye-opening volume, transforming Biblical story into sacred values. It is a delicious read.” –Richard Joel President of Yeshiva University
“Superb! …Carefully conceived, conceptually challenging, stylistically elegant… magnificently inviting.” –Rabbi Maurice Lamm noted rabbi and author of The Jewish Way in Death and Mourningand other works
“In Unlocking the Torah Text, Goldinprovides the reader with a useful aid to understanding the biblical text. Writing in a pleasant, lucid style, he identifies the main questions, and in a modern idiom discusses some of the classic approaches. He carries his learning lightly so as to meet the challenges of the textand stimulate debate of the issues. A highly readable and thoughtful work.” –Aviva Zornberg author of Genesis: The Beginning of Desire, winner of the National Jewish Book Award