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The books of the Early Prophets (“Nevi’im Rishonim”) speak of our national and political history and destiny. These biblical books relate the deeds and decisions of Joshua, Samuel, David, Nathan, Elijah, and Elisha. In these biblical books, we learn about our leaders’ objectives, conflicts, triumphs, and occasional shortcomings. We are enriched when we learn to extract and distill the moral, ethical, and religious messages embedded in their actions.
The three principal manners in which those messages are sought have been labeled as historical-philological, traditional-exegetical, and literary-critical. All three have been utilized in these reflections, in order to provide diversity in interpretation, and an appeal to the broadest possible audience. This methodology is rooted in a conviction that it is only through the amalgamation of all three that the enduring value of Nevi’im Rishonim can be transmitted.
About the Author
Dr. Moshe Sokolow is the Associate Dean of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and holds the Fanya Gottesfeld-Heller Chair in Jewish Education. He is the author of Reading the Rav: Exploring Religious Themes in the Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik; TANAKH, An Owner’s Manual, and Studies in the Weekly Parashah Based on the Lessons of Nehama Leibowitz.