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Torah: A Modern Commentary; Pulpit Edition [Hardcover]

Torah: A Modern Commentary; Pulpit Edition [Hardcover]

By W. Gunther Plaut (Editor), W. Gunther Plaut (Commentaries by) & Bernard J. Bamberger (Commentaries by)
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Item description for Torah: A Modern Commentary; Pulpit Edition by W. Gunther Plaut & Bernard J. Bamberger...

The Torah: A Modern Commentary is a one-volume edition of the Five Books of Moses, complete with the Hebrew text; English translations; commentaries and essays; notes and references; and gleanings from talmudic sources and the writings of scholars, ancient and modern.

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Item Specifications...

Language: English
Studio: Urj Press
Pages   1787
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 13.41" Width: 10.6" Height: 3.15"
Weight:   9.97 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1998
Publisher   Urj Press
ISBN  0807402869  
ISBN13  9780807402863  

Availability  0 units.

More About W. Gunther Plaut & Bernard J. Bamberger

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Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut (1912 2012) was a longtime rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. The author of more than twenty books on Jewish theology, history, and culture, he is best known for The Torah: A Modern Commentary. Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof (1892 1990) was a leader of the Reform Jewish Movement and a world-renowned interpreter of Jewish law. Rabbi Howard A. Berman is the executive director of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism. He lectures at congregations throughout the United States on behalf of the society and teaches regularly at Hebrew Union College.


W. Gunther Plaut lived in Toronto. W. Gunther Plaut was born in 1912 and died in 2012.

W. Gunther Plaut has published or released items in the following series...
  1. JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > Torah

Reviews - What do customers think about Torah: A Modern Commentary; Pulpit Edition?

Good history, but a religious disappointment  Jan 27, 1999
The translation is good, based on the latest scholarship. The commentary is extensive, and from a historical point of view, illuminating. But from a religious point of view this book is, in most places, a deep disappointment. While Plaut offers this as a book for religious Reform Jews, it spends most of its time disparaging the laws in the Torah as outdated anachonisims that have no place in the lives of Jews today. Those Jews on the more traditional side of the Reform movement - or anyone at all in Conservative Judaism - will be disappointed to learn that the introduction spends a great deal of time trying to show how God has little or nothing to do with the Bible, nor for that matter does Moses.

While I aprreciate the editor's correct impulse in comabtting the extreme claims from religious fundamentalism, I do not understand why the response was go totally in the other direction (religious abandonment). Of course, I do not find the Ultra-Orthodox Torah commentaries (such as The Stone/Artscroll Torah, by Mesorah) to be any better. While Plaut's Reform commentary commits the sin of abandoning Judaism by worshipping archaeology, the Artscroll books commit the sin of intellectual dishonesty by abandoning - and denigrating - all archaeology, history and linguistics. If I had to make a choice, I'd say that Plaut's book is better than Artscroll books.

But we do not have to make that choice: So where can one go for an authentic Torah commentary that is deeply religious, yet non fundamentalist; one based on adherence to the latest scholarship, as well as traditional Jewish commentary? I would suggest the five volume JPS Torah Commentray series, published by the Jewish Publication Society. (2 Volumes by Nahum Sarna, 1 by Jeffrey Tigay, 1 by Baruch Levine and 1 by Jacob Milgrom). Used by Modern Orthodox, Reform and Conservative Jews, this is the set for a serious student of Torah to have. If one wanted a one volume Torah /Pentateuch commentary, I would get "The Pentateuch and Haftorahs" by Dr. Joseph H. Hertz or "The Chumash" by A. Cohen. (Also note that an affordable, one volume edition of the 5 vol. JPS set is due to be published by the Conservative movement in about 2 years)


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