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The Agam Torah: The Five Books of Moses

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The Agam Torah: The Five Books of Moses
A Large Print Edition of the Koren Chumash
Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem and New York
ISBN: 965-229-088-2

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - January 23, 2007

The Koren Chumash, has long been an authoritative edition of the Torah (Chumash). The new Agam Torah: The Five Books of Moses was designed by Yaacov Agam, the famed Israeli sculpture and artist. This edition also has a print size that is larger than that used in the Jerusalem Bible and it features the original Hebrew text, paired with an excellent English translation on the facing pages. The English translation matches the Hebrew text almost line for line, and each verse is numbered. Unlike many other versions of the Torah, the Koren Chumash does not divide the text according to the non-Jewish chapter divisions that have seeped into many texts. Rather, it relies on the traditional petuhot and setumot divisions.

This large print edition of The Torah features wide margins, and both the English and Hebrew texts are printed in about a 12-point font. In addition, the text is printed in a dark font on cream-colored paper that minimizes glare and increases the readability of the text. The main body of the Hebrew text includes nikkud (vowels) and cantillation marks. However, headers and page numbers, in Hebrew, do not include nikkud. This oversized text measures approximately 8 x 11 inches and it has a sturdy binding that will endure years of use. This edition also has a sewn-in, blue ribbon, page marker that matches the book's dark blue cover.

This large print edition of the Koren Chumash includes all five books of Moses: Bereshit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Vayyiqra (Leviticus), Bemidbar (Numbers), and Devarim (Deuteronomy). One of the unique features of this English translation is that proper names are presented in Hebrew transliteration rather than their English equivalents. For example, Moshe instead of Moses and Avraham instead of Abraham, and Yisra'el instead of Israel.

The Agam Torah: The Five Books of Moses is perfect for anyone seeking an authoritative English translation of the Chumash, as well as for those seeking an accurate Hebrew edition of the Torah. This edition is also ideal for those just learning to read Hebrew who will benefit from having the English translation near at hand so that they can easily check out the translation for words they are having difficulty with. Best of all, this edition is not only perfect for use in the home, but it's larger than normal print size makes this edition well-suited for use as a pulpit text in Shul (Synagogue).

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