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.