A Grain of Sand

"I will multiply you as the stars in heaven and as the sand upon the shore." - Genesis 22:17

"I can see the master's hand in every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand." - Dylan, Every Grain of Sand (on Shot of Love)

Friday, January 28, 2011

What I'm Reading

Sometimes people ask me to recommend good books, so here's what I'm reading these days. I don't have the time right now to create links for these, but you can look 'em up. Shabbat Shalom.

The Bible with Sources Revealed by Richard Elliott Friedman. Color-coded Bible text to reflect scholarly consensus about which passages are written by which author/groups of authors (JPEDR theory).

Commentary on the Torah by Richard Elliot Friedman. A scholarly commentary on the Torah. As he writes in the intro, the purpose of the volume is to "be in the tradition of the classical [medieval] commentaries but to use...new learning" such as archaeological material, recent revelations about contemporaneous religious texts from other cultures, etc. Also there are some great literary insights as well.

A Responsible Life by Ira Stone. Familiar to those in my mussar class. A deep, contemporary Jewish theology grounded in mussar.

Lessons in Tanya. The Tanya by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi is the foundational book of Chabad and a chassidic text of great nuance, insight and beauty. This volume includes summaries and adaptations of classic chabad insights and the contemporary editor's explanations. I'm learning this in telephonic chevrutah with my friend Rabbi Matt Reimer.

Derech Ha-Melech. A work of stunning insight an psychological/spiritual nuance by Rabbi Kalman Kalonymous Shapira, known as the Aish Kodesh. Hebrew only. Also studying this in Chevruta.

Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow by Art Green. Powerful combination of insights from Kabbalah and modern theology. Green approaches both the mystical tradition and modern intellectual and ethical realities with seriousness and integrity.

The Adventures of Augie March. Saul Bellow.

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