The Bible Refracted Through Eternal Rabbinic Wisdom
Through an Opaque Lens: The Bible Refracted Through Eternal Rabbinic Wisdom, Revised Second Edition is a mixture of methodological issues and text-based study. He addresses how teachers can effectively inspire the next generation to love and connect with Tanakh, and continue to find renewed meaning within it. His wields his erudite parshanut to continually find theological significance and relevance, even from topics that we don’t often think about, like the impact of prophecy, the enigma of the Urim ve-Tummim, and shows the lessons of some of the more mundane passages, like the genealogies of the book of Genesis.
His analyses of the haftarot show how the Sages had a detailed but complex understanding of how the prophetic works relate to the weekly Torah readings, and how the chosen passages can bring to light previously unnoticed relationships and understandings. This is part of a larger issue of biblical intertextuality, which he also addresses in several other chapters, especially how the book of Psalms can be used to enhance the narratives of Creation (Genesis 1-2).
Rabbi Angel’s writing is crisp and clear, lucid and lively, and his points are poignant and penetrating while being accessible to the scholar and layman alike. Through an Opaque Lens represents an overarching perspective on some specific, intriguing, and relevant topics that people continue to debate, discuss, and ponder.
Rabbi Hayyim Angel is the National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (jewishideas.org), founded to foster the goal of an Orthodox Judaism that is both intellectually curious and spiritually vibrant. He has also deeply influenced many hundreds of students at Yeshiva University, where he currently teaches Bible.