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Torah Commentaries

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  • The Torah Commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Exodus

    Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Rabbi Shlomo Katz

    The Torah Commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach provides a glimpse into the unusual way in which the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach received and transmitted Torah. It also aids the reader in bridging "Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach the great composer/singer" and "Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach the great scholar/teacher." Those who sing his songs, but do not learn his Torah, only sing half a song. When Reb Shlomo speaks of Abraham and Sara, you are sure he is speaking about his own grandparents. When delving into the lives of Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah, it is as if he is speaking of his own parents. 

    The teachings in this book of commentary are not just meant to be read -- they are intended to be enjoyed and experienced as "holy music." Ultimately, they are intended as a lesson in living a "holy life." Wherever Reb Shlomo traveled in the world, he brought several suitcases of holy books with him. This book makes Reb Shlomo's teachings accessible to help us carry on our journey through life. 

    About the Author: 
    Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (Reb Shlomo) was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925. He grew up with his twin brother, Eli Chaim and his sister, Shulamith, near Vienna where his father, Rabbi Naftali, was Chief Rabbi. In 1939, as the war began to escalate and the Nazis' grip tightened, Shlomo and his family miraculously escaped to New York where he spent time learning by some of the greatest Torah scholars of the last century, such as Rabbi Ahron Kotler, Rabbi Shlomo Heiman and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Even as a young boy, Shlomo's vision and clarity of thought set him apart from his peers as being amongst the most brilliant of the scholars. Through that vision, courage, and a deep love of all people, Shlomo took on a mission and set off on a path that many didn't believe in. 

    Reb Shlomo believed that to uplift, inspire, and bring joy to every human being was truly his reason for existing. Through his words of Torah, his music and his stories, Reb Shlomo touched the hearts and souls of all who were blessed to hear him. He sought to remind people that they are never alone, that there is one God who loves them, and that every person has a unique and important mission to discover for themselves. He was able to mend the spirits and lives of the most broken, distraught people worldwide -- people of all faiths and cultures. Much of Reb Shlomo's life was spent traveling the world, where he would sing with the poor, the lost and the lonely, and always swear he learned from them. 

    Even since his passing in 1994, many lives have been influenced and touched by Reb Shlomo's teachings, messages and melodies. 

    About the Editor: 
    Rabbi Shlomo Katz is the editor of The Torah Commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach - Genesis and Exodus, and is a world renowned musician. He received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Chaim Brovender and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at Yeshivat Hamivtar. Shlomo has released seven albums and has conducted numerous concert tours throughout the world.
    While serving as the Rabbi of the ‘Shirat David’ community of Efrat, Shlomo continues to tour, teach and perform throughout the world. He lives in Efrat, with his wife Bina, and four daughters.
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  • Torah of the Mind, Torah of the Heart

    HaRav Yitzhak (Isadore) Twersky

    David Shapiro

    The Torah ideas in this volume focus on religious-philosophical themes. Central among these are: the need for humility and inwardness in our behavior, avoiding routinization in our religious life, developing sensitivity to God's role in our daily encounters, and the centrality of holiness and our responsibility to generate it within society.
    There was congruence between the Talner Rebbe's teachings and his behavior. To read his divrei Torah is thus to encounter him personally.

    About the Author

    Rabbi Dr Yitzhak (Isadore) Twersky (1930-1997) zt"l was the Talner Rebbe of Boston. He also held the Littauer Chair in Hebrew Literature and Jewish Philosophy at Harvard University. He was a unique person. His religious sensitivity, Chassidic roots, Maimonidean philosophical temperament, and personal piety were nourished and augmented by his unusual, wide-ranging, inter-disciplinary Torah erudition and creativity. And, accordingly, his Torah was always a Toras Chayim, profound and vibrant, penetrating and consequential, rich and repercussive. 

    Rabbi David Shapiro received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an M.A. degree in Jewish History from its Bernard Revel Graduate School. He received a second M.A. degree in Jewish History from Harvard University under the tutelage of the Talner Rebbe, Prof. Yitzchak (Isadore) Twersky. He was a member of the faculty and then Principal of Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts from 1970 until 2011. During that period, he was associated with the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute, under whose auspices he wrote Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat ha-Omer and Shavu'ot (Urim Publications). Throughout those years, he and his family were regular mispallelim in the Talner Beis Midrash. He and his wife, Miriam, now live in Jerusalem. 
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  • The Hidden Light

    Dr. Jerry Hochbaum

    In this fascinating journey through the weekly parashah, Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum focuses on the theme of leadership. In addition to elucidating the Torah text with keen understanding, he also offers trenchant lessons about the Torah’s view of effective Jewish leadership that are clearly relevant to our own times.

    Praise for The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership

    “The topic of leadership is of critical interest to all of us today. Dr. Jerry Hochbaum’s The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership addresses this topic in a thorough and thoughtful manner. Dr. Hochbaum draws upon his many decades of experience at the helm of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, along with his academic expertise in the social sciences and his Torah erudition, to produce a most insightful and helpful work. The reader is sure to come away from this original book informed, enlightened, and inspired.”

    Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
    Executive Vice President, Emeritus
    Orthodox Union 

    “Dr. Jerry Hochbaum has given us a real gift. The innovative, insightful and inspiring divrei Torah on each parashah presented in this volume are devoted in particular to thoughts about the development and strengthening of Jewish leadership, which has been the focus of Dr. Hochbaum’s thinking and attention
    for decades. Throughout this work, Dr. Hochbaum demonstrates exquisite sensitivity to the nuances of the biblical text, paying careful attention to the significance of each word of the Torah. I learned much from his thoughtful insights and often novel interpretations, and I have no doubt that every reader will
    be greatly enriched by his ideas.”

    Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter
    University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought
    Senior Scholar, Center for the Jewish Future
    Yeshiva University

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  • Ladder of Light - Bamidbar

    Volume 4

    Rabbi Yaakov Hillel

    '' And Hashem spoke to Moshe in the Sinai Desert in the Tent of Meeting... saying, 'Count the entire community of the children of Israel.'''

    Why did Hashem repeatedly count the Jewish people? How can we bring the Shechinah closer? 

    In Ladder of Light: Parasah Insights on Sefer Bamidbar, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, renowned Kabbalist and Rosh Yeshivah of Hevrat Ahavat Shalom in Jerusalem, answersthese questions and many more. With his distinctive, in-depth approach to the parsiot of the Torah, he applies the wisdom of the Sages of the Mishnah and Talmud and the teachings of generations of great Kabbalists to many fundamental principles of Judaism and a variety of contemporary issues, including:

    • Confession and repentance
    • The appointment of Elders: the end of an era
    • The sin of the Spies and lack of faith
    • Fatal envy: Korah's rebellion
    • Responding to rebuke
    • Israel and the seventy nations
    • Disconnecting from sin
    • The sanctity of speech
    • The forty-two desert journeys: retrieving ''holy sparks''

    The Parashah Insights series has touched the lives of readers worldwide in English, French, Spanish, Turkish, and Russian. Newly revised and expanded in Ladder of Light: Parashah Insights, these essays are a readable guide to the Torah outlook for laymen and advanced scholars alike.

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  • Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Leviticus

    Rabbi Francis Nataf

    3 Review(s)

    The Jewish people has a rather peculiar relationship with the book of Leviticus. On the one hand, almost all serious Jews are aware that many of Judaism’s most important laws and ideas are to be found in the Torah’s middle book. Yet in spite of these highlights, Leviticus also contains material that the average reader will find less stimulating. Many of its laws are directed to the priestly elite in charge of the Temple service. 

    But Rabbi Nataf tells us that the Torah’s middle book is actually also its most important. That is because the sons ofAharon and their descendants serve as a model for the entire Jewish people. Once we know what is expected from them, we can have a better idea of what is expected from us.

    As illustrated in this volume of Redeeming Relevance, the central Torah principle encrypted in Leviticus is nothing less than a call for all Jews to do their utmost to help the rest of mankind. This is the center of the Torah; the rest is commentary.

    About the Author:

    Rabbi Francis Nataf is a Jerusalem-based educator and writer, well known for his ability to find creative and inspiring new ways of looking at Jewish texts and tradition. He is associate editor of The Jewish Bible Quarterly and has published dozens of articles in The Times of Israel, Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Report, The Jewish Press, Tradition and many other publications. Rabbi Nataf is a noted speaker and has brought his out-of-the-box approach to audiences on four continents.

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  • The Meshech Chochmah

    Eliyahu Munk

    Editor, Mr. Eliyahu Munk was born in Frankfurt on Main, where he received his education at the Samson Refael Hirsch Realschule, as well as at the Yeshivah headed by Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer, zt''l.
    After emigrating to England, he continued his studies at the Yeshivah in Gateshead.
    He served in Jewish education, primarily in Toronto, Canada for close to 30 years, before making aliyah to Israel in 1978. During his years in Canada he also pursued a business career while teaching. Since settling in Jerusalem, Mr. Munk has been busy translating numerous classical Torah commentaries into English.
    Publication of the Torah commentary by Samuel David Luzzatto (Sha'dal), brings the number of authors whose works Mr. Munk has translated to 18, comprising 54 volumes totaling over 27,000 pages.
    It is this editor's hope that the volume submitted herewith will be as enthusiastically received by his ever increasing circle of readers as have his earlier efforts.

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  • HaYofi shel HaTorah

    Amanda Mintz

    More inspiring insights to the weekly Torah Portion from Amanda Mintz, author of Mazon LiNishama.

    As the author says:

    We all work together as one to bring a greater, brighter revelation of Moschiach.

    May the results of our work bless everyone for all eternity

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  • Pearls from the Torah

    Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

    2 Review(s)

    With a clear-eyed awareness and appreciation for the benefits and challenges of our modern world and culture, Rabbi Eliyahu Safran has written a commentary of the weekly Torah portions that makes clear his abiding love for Jewish teaching and knowledge. In these pages, Rabbi Safran brings to bear the power and grace of Jewish wisdom on the issues and concerns of our time, devoting important and compelling insights to the ways the modern world impacts our young people and how our tradition gives us the tools to nurture, guide and mentor them with intelligence and sanctity. Rabbi Safran's short, easy to grasp thoughts demonstrate anew that eternal truths speak powerfully and sensitively to each and every generation.


    Review by Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, Orthodox Union Click here

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  • The Light of the Ben Ish Chai on Megillas Rus

    Introduction by Rabbi Yisroel Reisman

    The Light of the Ben Ish Chai on Megillas Rus is a translation of the Ben Ish Chai’s commentary on the Book of Rus. The Ben Ish Chai masterfully illuminates the text through pardes exposition. Pardes is exposition of 1) pshat, the plain meaning of the verse; 2) remez, holy numerical exposition; 3) drash, extrinsic source exposition and 4) sod, kabbalah. The Ben Ish Chai weaves all into this work along with memorable allegories to delight readers and bring out the shine of Torah.

    This sefer should be a core part of everyone’s library and will benefit both the advanced and beginner scholar. Sefer Rus cannot be understood simply by a superficial read; the Ben Ish Chai brings out the sefer’s beautiful themes of modesty, loyalty and kindness, which are the hallmark of the Jewish people.


    Acclaim for
    The Light of the Ben Ish Chai on Megillas Esther

    There is a phrase which is used to depict an outstanding sefer – beautiful wisdom in a beautiful vessel.  This would serve as an appropriate description of R’ Yerachmiel Bratt’s The Light of the Ben Ish Chai.  The wisdom of the exalted Master, zt”l, is presented to the modern reader in a manner that makes Torah accessible to every individual.  More power to the author.

    Rabbi Dovid Cohen
    Rav, Congregation Gvul Yaavetz
    Brooklyn, NY

        To our loss, the erudition of the Ben Ish Chai has been largely unknown in the Ashkenazic community.  Yerachmiel Bratt has now made the wisdom of this outstanding scholar readily accessible to all.  He has succeeded in combining lucidity in translation with fidelity to the original.  This classic text will serve as a source of knowledge and inspiration to scholar and student alike.

    Rabbi J. David Bleich
    Rosh Yeshiva and Rosh Kollel Le’Horaah
    Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

    Review by Alan Jay Gerber, Kosher Bookworm | The Jewish Star

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  • Ladder of Light - Shemot

    Volume 2

    Rabbi Yaakov Hillel

    "And Egypt enslaved the children of Israel with backbreaking labor." Shemot 1:13

    Why did the Jews spend hundreds of years as slaves in Egypt? What is slavery, and what is true freedom?

    In Ladder of Light: Parashah Insights on Sefer Shemot, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, renowned Kabbalist and Rosh Yeshivah of Hevrat Ahavat Shalom in Jerusalem, answers these questions and many more. With his distinctive, in-depth approach to the Parshiot of the Torah, he applies the wisdom of the Sages of the Mishnah and Talmud and the teachings of generations of great Kabbalists to many fundamental principles of Judaism and a variety of contemporary issues, including:

    -The purpose of exile
    -Divine providence and Hashem's involvement in our lives
    -Plagues and miracles
    -The desert and the tabernacle
    -Torah from Sinai: The written Torah and the Oral Tradition
    -The rich and the poor
    -Why do we need mitzvot?
    -The sanctity of Shabbat
    -Torah study: full time and part time

    The Parashah Insights Series has touched the lives of readers worldwide in English, French, Spanish, Turkish, and Russian. Newly revised and expanded in Ladder of Light: Parashah Insights, these essays are a readable guide to the Torah outlook for laymen and advanced scholars alike.

    Learn More

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