Teach Me About God: The Mean­ing and Sig­nif­i­cance of the Name of God

Wal­ter Orenstein
  • Review
By – July 30, 2012

For an enti­ty that claims to have no name, God sure has a lot of names: El, Elo­him, Havay­dah, Adonoi, Ehyeh, Shadai, Kadosh, Tsur, Av, Melekh, to name a few. Ways in which Jews refer to God rep­re­sent the Almighty’s attrib­ut­es, how God relates to the world and to humankind, accord­ing to Rab­bi Oren­stein, a for­mer pro­fes­sor of Jew­ish stud­ies at Yeshi­va Uni­ver­si­ty and a not­ed author and lecturer. 

His book deeply explores the mys­tery and essence of God’s names in the con­texts in which they appear, includ­ing the lives of Adam, Noah, the patri­archs, Moses, major Prophets, and the Book of Psalms. This intense and metic­u­lous­ly foot­not­ed vol­ume seems geared toward the seri­ous stu­dent of Jew­ish spir­i­tu­al­i­ty — a nat­ur­al addi­tion to a rab­bini­cal student’s read­ing list. Teach Me About God is enlight­en­ing, to be sure, but it is not light reading.

Robin K. Levin­son is an award-win­ning jour­nal­ist and author of a dozen books, includ­ing the Gali Girls series of Jew­ish his­tor­i­cal fic­tion for chil­dren. She cur­rent­ly works as an assess­ment spe­cial­ist for a glob­al edu­ca­tion­al test­ing orga­ni­za­tion. She lives in Hamil­ton, NJ.

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