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The Way Into Torah


Rabbi Norman J. Cohen, PhD

6 x 9, 176 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-198-5

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An accessible introduction to how to read, study, and understand Torah—the Bible and related sacred texts that have grown up around it.
For everyone who wants to understand Torah, this book shows the way into an essential aspect of Judaism, and allows you to interact directly with the sacred texts of the Jewish tradition.
Guided by Dr. Norman J. Cohen, rabbi and professor of midrash at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, The Way Into Torah helps us explore the origins and development of Torah, why it should be studied, and how to do it.
  • What Torah is. The texts, and beyond: Not simply the Five Books of Moses, Torah refers to much more than written words.
  • The different approaches to studying Torah. The many ways Jews have interacted with Torah through the ages and how, by learning to read Torah ourselves, we can connect it to our lives today.
  • The levels of understanding Torah. How Torah can come alive in different ways, at different times; and how new meanings of Torah are discovered by its readers.
  • Why Torah study is a part of the Jewish experience. How it allows us to experience God’s presence—and why the Rabbis called Torah study more important even than belief in God.
This guide offers an entrance into the world of Torah, and to its meaning for our lives. The Way Into Torah shows us why reading Torah is not the same as reading anything else—and enables us to become a part of a chain of Jewish tradition that began millennia ago, and remains unbroken today.
Praise for Norman J. Cohen’s Work
“Encourages the readers to interact personally with the text through their own experience…. Opens up the process of midrash, as well as elucidating methods of interpretation…. Could be the first step back into meaningful and responsive Judaism.”
Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, Jewish Chronicle (UK)
“A clearly delineated and persuasive guide to studying the Torah.… Demonstrates the power behind the words and encourages readers to study Torah more profoundly and meaningfully…. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal
“Accessible and basic, yet sophisticated and wise.”
Publishers Weekly
“Offers intellectual enlightenment and spiritual guidance for learners at any stage in their spiritual journey.”            
Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams, PhD, founder and director
of Maqom, An Adult School for Talmud Study
“Presents places where biblical paradigms meet modern complexities. His conclusions will provoke and challenge the modern reader.”    
Dr. Deirdre Good, ThD, professor of New Testament, The General Theological Seminary
“Cohen’s commentaries cut to the quick—his Torah is alive and we are the
protagonists.”            
Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Chair of Midrash and
Interreligious Studies, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
“Inspirational but accessible…. This thoughtful volume will help readers establish their own relationship with sacred text and text study.”    
Jewish Book World
“Cohen’s practical advice is useful, to be sure, but it is his philosophical ruminations—on how ever-expanding interpretations of terse biblical texts can bring one closer to God—that make wonderfully clear why Torah study has endured for millennia.”    
American Library Association’s Booklist
The Way Into ... Series
The Way Into …   series offers an accessible and highly usable “guided tour” of the Jewish faith, people, history, and beliefs—in total, an introduction to Judaism that will enable you to understand and interact with the sacred texts of the Jewish tradition.
Each volume is written by a leading contemporary scholar and teacher, and explores one key aspect of Judaism.
The Way Into … enables all readers to achieve a real sense of Jewish cultural literacy through guided study.

 

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