It is impossible to treat the biblical text as one would any other classical work, because the people of Israel, according to Jewish tradition, are not the authors of this text; the text is the author of the people. Truly learning Torah requires human authenticity. It means standing in front of a mirror and asking yourself the daunting question of who you really are.
This collection of essays by a rabbi known internationally as “one of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary Judaism” looks at the weekly Torah portion through the eyes of philosophy, contemporary controversies, and personal struggles. Written in Rabbi Cardozo’s unique style, this collection offers something for many different types of readers: laymen and clergy, full-time students and intellectually curious practitioners, Jews and non-Jews alike.
Praise for Cardozo on the Parashah
Rabbi Cardozo provides thought-provoking theological reflections centered on weekly Torah readings taken from Genesis in this illuminating study. Cardozo critiques most contemporary Orthodox Jewish commentaries on the Torah as treating the “words of God as if they have been exhausted” by only rehashing the views of earlier authorities and “not open[ing] new vistas.” . . . Cardozo grapples with enduring theological issues, such as innocent suffering, in a novel and engaging way by asking “since when is the human being the measure of all things?” Presenting the Torah as a “living covenant,” this will be an accessible volume for anyone interested in a reading of Torah that does not subscribe to a traditional understanding of the text.
— Publisher’s Weekly
I find it impossible to resist the combination of humanity and spirituality wrapped up in a lucid and even humorous morality that is Cardozo. Warning: The book is addictive!
— Rabbi Daniel Landes, former Director of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
Rabbi Lopes Cardozo is a fierce and courageous proponent of rational thinking. His honest and open exploration of Judaism, challenging fundamentalism and conformity, is a breath of sanity and fresh air.
— Jeremy Rosen Professor at FVG and Rabbi of the Persian Community of Manhattan.
My revered teacher Rabbi Cardozo’s mind is as deep as his heart and his writings here contain profound gems of wisdom to be enjoyed (and to startle!) both beginners and advanced Jewish journeyers.
— Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz (Named by Newsweek: “One of the Top 50 Rabbis in America”)
Cardozo on the Parashah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion takes the reader on a journey from the world of the Bible, to the philosophy of Spinoza, to the spiritual authenticity of the Kotzker Rebbe, all the way back to the personal life of the modern seeker. His explanation of the ancient Biblical story “Akedat Yitzchak” (the Binding of Isaac) is one of the most meaningful, rebellious and thought provoking Biblical interpretations I have ever read.”
— Rabbi Ari Ze’ev Schwartz, author of The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook and the cofounder and dean of the Society of Independent Spirituality, Jerusalem.