Following up on the popularity of the 2010 volume that presented fifty-six essays on the weekly Torah reading, authored by both male and female members of the faculties of the various schools associated with Yeshiva University, a volume on the Haftarot has now been issued. Due to the fact that the prophetic readings directly associated with the Parashiot HaShavuah (weekly Torah portion) are augmented with additional Haftarot connected to Jewish holidays and special Shabbatot, this time seventy-eight essays have been collected, including fifty by authors whose work did not appear in the earlier volume. As a result of the wide variety of perspectives and specialties of the contributing educators, the volume does not only offer a continually interesting and engaging group of essays, but also reflects and symbolizes the “big tent” philosophy that Yeshiva University self-consciously pursues, as articulated by the editors in their preface, “…a ‘big tent’ of diversity, complexity and the integration of interdisciplinary wisdom.” The historian Dr. Lawrence Schiffman contributes a lead-off essay exploring the institution of the Haftora, which serves to provide important context to the essays that follow.
Yaakov (Jack) Bieler was the founding Rabbi of the Kemp Mill Synagogue in Silver Spring, MD until his retirement in 2015. He has been associated with Jewish day school education for over thirty years. R. Bieler served as a mentor for the Bar Ilan University Lookstein Center Principals’ Seminar and he has published and lectured extensively on the philosophy of Modern Orthodox education.