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The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Yediot Aharonot
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Meditation about the Parasha: The Weekly Torah Portion as an Inspiration for Jewish Thought and Creativity invites readers to a unique experience of perusal and study of the fifty-four Torah portions through the prism of a broad range of thinkers and writers. The authors of the papers are men and women from diverse cultural and ideological backgrounds, as are the thinkers and writers who are the focus of the discussion. This breadth promises the reader a fascinating cultural experience. Readers are thus invited on a journey taking place simultaneously in two worlds: the world of the authors of the papers on the Torah portions and the world of the thinkers who were inspired by the Torah or who made it possible to arrive at new insights into the Torah portion through inspiration from their writings.
The book provides an opportunity for those seeking to understand the commentaries and views of the classic Torah commentators, such as the Ramban (Nahmanides), Sforno, and K’li Yakar (Shlomo Ephraim ben Aaron Luntschitz); of philosophers, such as Maimonides and Isaac Abrabanel or John Locke and Spinoza; of modern philosophers, such as Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen, and Sigmund Freud; of Torah sages, such as Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Rothenberg (Alter), Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, Rabbi Israel Meir Hacohen of Radin, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, and Rabbi Isaac Huttner; of contemporary philosophers, interpreters, and scholars, such as Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Buber, Mordechai Kaplan, Nehama Leibowitz, and Yeshayahu Leibowitz; of artists and writers, such as Shulamit Hareven, Yitzhak Danziger, Dahlia Ravikovitch, S.Y. Agnon, and A.B. Yehoshua.
Thinking about the Torah Portion is testimony to the power of the ceaseless cultural influence of the Torah on philosophers and writers, a power that keeps getting stronger in the modern era and in our own day.