Torah Through Time: Understanding Bible Commentary from the Rabbinic Period to Modern Times

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Jewish Publication Society, 2010 M01 1 - 208 pages
2 Reviews
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"This book provides a highly readable, engaging introduction to Jewish biblical interpretation."
- Jewish Book World

"Cherry has analyzed the biblical commentary of some of the renowned Jewish scholars of the last 2,000 years. The result is a work of excellent scholarship and imagination."
- Booklist

?Cherry shows how the Torah functions as literature that is fluid, compelling, and persistently generative of new meanings.?
? Christian Century

Every commentator, from the classical rabbi to the modern-day scholar, has brought his or her own worldview, with all of its assumptions, to bear on the reading of holy text. This relationship between the text itself and the reader's interpretation is the subject of Torah Through Time. Shai Cherry traces the development of Jewish Bible commentary through three pivotal periods in Jewish history: the rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. The result is a fascinating and accessible guide to how some of the world's leading Jewish commentators read the Bible. Torah Through Time focuses on specific narrative sections of the Torah: the creation of humanity, the rivalry between Cain and Abel, Korah's rebellion, the claim of the daughters of Zelophechad, and legal matters concerning Hebrew slavery. Cherry closely examines several different commentaries for each of these source texts, and in so doing he analyzes how each commentator resolves questions raised by the texts and asks if and how the commentator's own historical frame of reference -- his own time and place -- contributes to the resolution. A chart at the end of each chapter provides a visual summary that helps the reader understand the many different elements at play.

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User Review  - Carolyn Jamison -

This book helps me to understand how the Jewish people understand the Bible. Because i am so interesting in knowing about the Torah, this really helps. Read full review

Torah through time: understanding Bible commentary from the rabbinic period to modern times

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The Hebrew Bible, or the Tanakh, is really not equivalent to the Christian Old Testament, yet many religious fundamentalists ignore this fact. Cherry (religion studies, emeritus, Vanderbilt Univ ... Read full review


1 No Word Unturned
2 The Creation of Humanity
3 The Sons of Adam and Eve
4 The Hebrew Slave
5 Korah and His Gang
6 The Daughters of Zelophehad
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Texts and Commentators

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About the author (2010)

Shai Cherry holds a doctorate in Jewish Thought and Theology from Brandeis University. He served as the Mellon Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University, and he taught Jewish philosophy at the University of Judaism, Jewish biblical interpretation at the Academy for Jewish Religion, and Judaism and Darwinism at UCLA. He is currently completing his studies at the American Jewish University for rabbinic ordination.

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