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Torah: Chumash Bereishis

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Torah: Chumash Bereishis Torah: Chumash Bereishis
(Book of Genesis)
With an Interpolated English Translation and Commentary Based on the Works of The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Kehot Publication Society, 2008
A Division of Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch
A Project of Chabad of California
ISBN: 978-0-8266-0190-1

Reviewed by Boris Segel - March 16, 2009

The Torah - Chumash Bereishis is the first volume in a new English translation of the Torah based on Rashi, and which is further enhanced by commentaries based on the teachings of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson zt"l, The Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Chabad-Lubavitch movement has been instrumental in bring thousands of Jews back to their roots, and this new translation was designed to aid those unfamiliar with Hebrew to pursue an in-depth and rewarding study of the main themes of the Chumash (Torah), as well as the weekly parashah.

The text of this volume includes not only a vibrant and readily readable English translation of Chumash Bereishis (Book of Genesis), but it also includes the Hebrew text of Bereishis, along with Onkelos's Aramaic translation of the text, and the full text in Hebrew of Rashi's commentaries on the Chumash. Rashi's commentaries are printed in regular Hebrew print, not in Rashi script, which is used in most editions of the Torah. This enables those learning Hebrew to readily access Rashi's commentaries in the original Hebrew, without the need to learn to read Rashi scrip as well. The relevant Haftarot and special Maftirs that correspond to Bereishis, according to the Chabad minhag (custom), are also included.

What really makes this edition of Chumash Bereishis so unique and useful as a study aid, is the inclusion of commentaries on Bereishis that are based upon the teachings of Rabbi Schneerson. These commentaries not only expand upon the Torah's text, but also provide keen insights into Chasidic philosophy and customs. Brief footnotes are included for the commentaries, allowing those so inclined to delve even deeper into the topics discussed within the course of these commentaries. Additional commentaries, set apart by being inclosed in boxes, are scattered throughout that provided detailed reflections on the inner dimensions of the Torah. The text is further enhanced by the inclusion of charts, illustrations, maps and other beneficial materials that help to elucidate the text. Each week's parashah (weekly reading) is prefaced by a perceptive overview on the reading, as well and reflections by the Rebbe, on various themes culled from the Torah. A detailed introduction to the Torah rounds out this invaluable translation and study resource. In addition, this book is beautifully bound within a reddish brown cover with gold embossed lettering, and it has a sewn-in ribbon for use as a bookmarker.

This new translation of the Torah is suitable for use by Jews from all walks of life and at all levels of study. It is perfect for use in the Synagogue or the home. Most important, the Rebbe's insightful and elucidative commentaries on Bereishis and the Chumash as a whole, will not only enhance your study of the Chumash, but will also encourage you to more fully explore your Jewish heritage and to pursue a more observant lifestyle, if you are not already doing so. I highly recommend this new translation of the Chumash Bereishis to anyone new to the study of Torah, as well as to those who have already embarked upon this edifying course of study and who seek to learn more about Chasidus or to explore the teachings of Rabbi Schneerson.

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