The Torah Rev­o­lu­tion: Four­teen Truths that Changed the World

Reuven Ham­mer
  • Review
By – May 4, 2012

A col­league recent­ly observed that Jews are obsessed with lists. Whether or not that obser­va­tion is true, it is cer­tain­ly true that schol­ars through­out Jew­ish his­to­ry have attempt­ed to dis­till Judaism to a num­ber of core truths: 613 com­mand­ments, ten com­mand­ments, thir­teen prin­ci­ples of faith. In this vol­ume, Rab­bi Dr. Ham­mer asserts that Bib­li­cal (and espe­cial­ly Torah) Judaism has four­teen rev­o­lu­tion­ary truths that it intro­duced to the world. These include some that are clear­ly sup­port­ed by Bib­li­cal texts, such as God’s unique­ness or the Sab­bath day, and oth­ers for which there is sup­port as well as some degree of con­tra­dic­tion with­in the texts, such as the equal­i­ty of men and women or the mit­i­ga­tion” of slav­ery. The author explains his selec­tion of these four­teen truths and exam­ines how these ideas have devel­oped over his­to­ry. When I was done read­ing, I felt com­pelled to devel­op my own list of Bib­li­cal Judaism’s con­tri­bu­tions to civ­i­liza­tion. And, after all, shouldn’t a good book get the read­er thinking? 

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

Discussion Questions