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New Review of “Cornerstones” by Rabbi Hayyim Angel

New Review in The Jewish Link of Cornerstones by Rabbi Hayyim Angel, reviewed by Ben Rothke:

There’s a joke that two yeshiva bochurim found a Tanach. Once asked the other what it was. To which the other replied: I’m not sure, but I know the Gemara quotes it all the time. While that’s obviously a witticism, the reality is that too many people across the religious spectrum don’t have a comprehensive understanding of Tanach.

While Tanach is the cornerstone of Jewish thought, many have sadly not undertaken a serious study of it. For example, in the hours after Biden’s victory, an article appeared, “Did Biden just pull an ‘Adonijah’: Claiming the Crown before Final Results?” That only makes sense to someone who knows the story of Adonijah in Shmuel 2 and how he tried to usurp the crown from Shlomo to understand the comparison.

In “Cornerstones: The Bible and Jewish Ideology,” Rabbi Hayyim Angel has 12 essays (two new, 10 previously published) on various aspects of Tanach study. As a brilliant thinker and gifted writer, Angel’s essays are thought-provoking and insightful.

The book starts with an original essay on the Land of Israel in the Bible. Angel writes that there is no biblical holiday to commemorate Israel’s entry into the land. This is due to the fact that the Torah creates a national covenantal identity that transcends the Land of Israel.

Other essays include timely topics such as Tanakh and Superstition, Love the Ger, Tanakh and Sephardic Inclusion in the yeshiva high school curriculum, and more. Angel does not shy away from the tough questions and provides insightful, deliberate and well-reasoned answers that will make you a better person.

This review originally appeared on November 12, 2020

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