From With­in the Tent: The Haftarot

Daniel Z. Feld­man and Stu­art W. Halpern, eds.
  • Review
By – May 10, 2012
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.

Discussion Questions