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Peshat Isn’t So Simple


The reader will gain much from both his analysis and scholarship. ~ Alan Jay Gerber

Although peshat often is translated as the plain or simple sense of the text, there is nothing plain or simple about it when we take it seriously. Sifting through many centuries of scholarship and methodology coupled with pursuing contemporary approaches and research is a life-long endeavor, as we continue our attempts to refine truth and approach God’s word through our eternal sacred texts. In his fourth collection of essays on Tanakh, Rabbi Hayyim Angel presents eleven studies on developing a religious methodology that is rooted in Jewish tradition and in the principles of scholarship employed by our classical commentators. The contributions of great medieval figures such as Rambam, Abarbanel, and Sforno; coupled with the latest developments in the literary-theological school of the 20th and 21st centuries, are explained in an accessible manner. He follows those studies with ten essays on specific biblical texts, applying the methodological principles from the first section. By drawing from the best of traditional and academic scholarship, these essays serve to bridge people of all backgrounds and levels of religious observance in an active, engaged relationship with our most sacred text.

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