Torah Through a Zionist Vision: Two Volume Set

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Press: Gefen Publishing House (April 30, 2008)
Author Name:Feder, Avraham H.


Setting himself the task of helping each individual penetrate the Torah to make the text his/her very own, Rabbi Feder has drawn upon sources from the Jewish past halakhic and aggadic midrashim, and the medieval, modern and contemporary parshanim (interpreters) as well as contemporary authors to provide fresh insights into Torah, from familiar biblical figures to concepts in Judaism. 
Topics such as moral responsibility, Jewish peoplehood, the Synagogue, and humility come under new light within the framework of the traditional.
Masterfully written, this book presents the challenge to Diaspora and Israeli Jews living in the era following the national resurrection of Israel to experience listening to the Torah in the light of such renewal.
For the Jew living in the Diaspora, listening to Torah must be hearing, therefore, a Zionist call.
For the Jew living in contemporary Israel listening to Torah is also hearing a Zionist call for a Judaism with a renewed Torah that is a beam of spiritual, moral, political, and cultural light.
Readers of this volume will gain Torah knowledge vitally relevant to our time and to their own lives.
Author Bio (3900 characters maximum): Invalid input characters filtered from this field

About the Author

Avraham H. 
Feder is rabbi emeritus of Beit Knesset Moreshet Yisrael in Jerusalem and rabbi-emeritus and senior-scholar of Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto, Canada.
A consultant in the field of moral education in Israel and Canada, he has published In Search of my Brothers, on Jewish education and moral values as well as numerous writing on similar topics.
Prior to his aliyah in 1981, he served as rabbi and cantor for many years in North America.
He received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, earned his PhD in Philosophy of Education from the University of Toronto, and holds Masters Degrees in Hebrew Literature and in Sacred Music.
Rabbi Feder has lectured and concretized widely in the United States, Canada, and Israel.
He has served as president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and is a recipient of the Menachem Begin Prime Minister s Medal from Bar-Ilan University.


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  •     How do you take a work that is 3500 years old with a history of interpretation to match and make it relevant for a modern nation of people? This is the task Avraham Feder accomplishes in Torah Through a Zionist Vision. The author seeks to make the instructions of Torah relevant for a modern Jewish audience while remaining faithful to the rabbinic history of interpretation.Volume I represents a sort of commentary on Genesis and Exodus. The reader is expected to have a basic understanding of Hebrew, the rabbinic history of interpretation, and familiarity with the history of the Jewish people. The author does not spend his time going over the history of the text itself, any questions of authorship, or even the basic understanding of the text: his purpose is to take the message of Genesis and Exodus and use them to understand Jewish history and provide direction for Jews today.The author's acceptance of the Torah at face value is refreshing in a world that often disparages the material and its history. His analyses of the characters presented in the narratives are penetrating. The characters in the Torah are not just understood as static figures in time; the author presents many of them as archetypes. Pharaoh and Nimrod are not just characters in their stories; they also represent all sorts of world powers that oppressed the Jewish people. Jacob and Israel are not just in Aram or Egypt; they also represent Israelites experiencing other forms of exile.The author provides such pictures in keeping with the rabbis of old, and references to them and their disputations regarding the various stories are many. The author sees himself as continuing this tradition to the modern day, and is not afraid to use modern psychology and other disciplines to inform his applications.The "Zionist Vision," in volume I, is seen in the overall perspective of the applications--the narratives in Genesis and Exodus relating to exile from the land of Israel and any coming or return to the land of Israel are highlighted, and the author speaks of the experiences of Jews in the twentieth century through the prism of Genesis and Exodus.The author presupposes an acceptance of the rabbinic tradition and the rabbinic means of interpretation and application; those espousing other forms of interpretation will not always agree with the interpretive style. The expected audience is Jews, both within and without the land of Israel; those not of the Jewish people may find aspects of the book difficult to approach. Nevertheless, even an outsider can read the book and appreciate the perspective and the development of the characters presented by the author.Torah Through a Zionist Vision, volume I, represents a valuable perspective on Genesis and Exodus from the Jewish tradition, and is especially helpful for those Jews who would seek to follow their traditions in the modern age. While the scholarly or non-Jewish populations would find much with which to disagree, they can nevertheless appreciate the history of interpretation and character development presented in the book. The book would be a valuable addition to many libraries.

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