A Taste of Torah: An Intro­duc­tion to Thir­teen Chal­leng­ing Bible Stories

Rab­bi Ronald H. Isaacs
  • Review
By – April 2, 2012
Rab­bi Ronald Isaacs uses his con­sid­er­able tal­ent as a teacher to bring Torah into our lives through intro­duc­ing us to thir­teen of his favorite chal­leng­ing bib­li­cal sto­ries. Each sto­ry is pre­sent­ed with choice excerpts in both Eng­lish and Hebrew. These are fol­lowed by a page of Rab­bi Isaacs’ com­ments about under­stand­ing the sto­ry and then sev­er­al pages from var­i­ous Torah com­men­ta­tors. The final page in each sec­tion offers ques­tions for thought pro­vok­ing dis­cus­sions, many of which raise impor­tant issues for our lives today.. The com­ments cho­sen shed light on the text and the ques­tions move read­ers to pon­der val­ues and moti­va­tions in our lives. The Torah text used is the acces­si­ble JPS recent trans­la­tion. Read­ers are intro­duced to tra­di­tion­al com­men­ta­tors through gray box­es, high­light­ing one per sec­tion. A full who’s who of com­men­ta­tors both his­tor­i­cal and mod­ern, is append­ed at the end. Fur­ther resources are also list­ed. The pages are nice­ly laid out and easy to fol­low. This book will be very use­ful for pre and post Bar-Bat Mitz­vah stu­dents in Torah study class­es and for fam­i­ly edu­ca­tion either in groups or at home. Rab­bi Isaacs’ ques­tions val­i­date approach­ing Torah with many view­points, and nat­u­ral­ly lead to fur­ther study. This is a book to savor and return to again and again. Ages 12 and up.
Nan­cy S. Kraus, a retired pub­lic and Jew­ish day school librar­i­an, was on the 2003 New­bery Award Committee.

Discussion Questions