The Jewish Eye
Torah: Through a Zionist Vision
Reviewed by Boris Segel - December 12, 2008
Torah: Through a Zionist Vision is like many of the worthy books that provide commentaries on the Torah, enabling readers to better understand the weekly portion, and to allow students of all ages to delve deeper into the meaning and significance of the Torah. Unlike it counterparts, in Torah: Through a Zionist Vision, Rabbi Avraham H. Feder takes a slightly different tack, providing more than just insightful commentary on the weekly Torah portion. Feder provides commentary and analysis of the Torah reading from a distinctive, Zionist perspective. His goal is to call modern Jews, both those living in Israel and in the Diaspora, to reconnect with Israel - both in a political and spiritual perspective. This book will also help answer the question that many Jews in the Diaspora ask themselves, "Should I make Aliyah to Israel?" He also wants readers to understand the role that the Torah plays not only in their personal lives, but also within the framework of the Jewish state. Most important, this book will help you to understand today's turbulent events from a Torah perspective and it will show you that the Torah is still as relevant today as it has always been, and it will strengthen your commitment to Judaism. In short, Torah: Through a Zionist Vision will enable you to view and understand today's events in the light of the Torah, and to approach your reading and study of the Torah with a positive, joyous, and spiritually charged Zionist perspective.
In writing his commentaries on the Torah, Feder has interwoven information from a wide range of Jewish source, both modern and ancient, including the historical record, halakhic and aggadic midrashim, medieval and modern interpretations, and Feder's own keen insights gained over a life-time serving as a pulpit Rabbi, teacher, and a scholar. Organized around the weekly Torah readings, the essays in this book serve not only as insightful commentaries into the Torah readings, but also as vibrant sermons that promote the Zionist cause and which urge all Jews to live a Torah-observant life-style and to support Israel on both a physical and spiritual level.
Published in two-volumes, Torah: Through a Zionist Vision will enliven everyone's Torah study. (Volume 1 contains commentaries on Bereishit and Shemot, while volume 2 covers Va-Yikra, Ba-Midbar, Devarim). Feder's analysis of the weekly portions are insightful, edifying and inspirational, and his writing style is engaging and absorbing. The essays in this book can be read as stand alone commentaries for those seeking insights into the modern-day Jewish, religious experience and the role that Zionism does and should play in the interpretation and understanding of the Torah.
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- The Haggada of the Jewish Idea, with commentary by Binyamin Zev Kahane hy"d.
A Haggada in English and Hebrew, along with commentaries by Rav Kahane that not only explain the basic foundations of Judaism and the teachings inherent in the Pesach story, but he also elucidates his father's teaching about the "Jewish Idea" and the importance of every Jew in the galut returning to Israel - immediately.
- A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, by Howard M. Sachar.
This is a monumental history of Israel, covering the period from the rise of Jewish nationalism in the early 1800's to the end of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war.
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