Hearing the Biblical Voice

Hearing the Biblical Voice : Finding Meaning in Kashrut, Tzitzit and Tefillin: Biblical text-study inspired by the writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

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Inspired by the insightful, stirring commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on Biblical text, this volume examines the symbolic rituals of the Jewish dietary system (kashrut), fringes on a garment (tzitzit) and phylacteries (tefillin), as recorded in the Bible.

In our analysis of kashrut, we will ask, "What purpose do prohibitions of certain foods serve, such that they represent a meaningful symbol to Jews in relationship with God?" In our analysis of tzitzit, we will ask what religious meaning is expressed by the command to "look at the tzitzit" and be inspired towards holiness? In the discussion of tefillin we will seek the purpose of the particular choice of Biblical excerpts, which comprise the contents of the two boxes, and the meaningfulness of the particular manner in which the tefillin are shaped and are bound to the head and arm.

With the relevant Biblical quotations in both Hebrew and English, the reader is guided by a series of questions arising from the text; questions which, through analysis, ultimately provide the key to understanding the teachings that underlie these symbolic rituals. The central ideas and concepts inherent in these observances are illuminated and integrated, ultimately providing a coherent, inspiring explanation of their meaningfulness.

Presented in a clear, orderly fashion, and designed for individuals interested in the Bible, at all levels of education, this volume allows the serious reader to gain a fresh appreciation for the purpose, meaning and contemporary relevance of kashrut, tzitzit and tefillin that characterize traditional Jewish practice.

Dr. Bailey's Hearing the Biblical Voice series is valuable for personal home study as well as for educators.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 212 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 11mm | 290g
  • English
  • 1495938344
  • 9781495938344
  • 2,143,610

About Stephen Bailey

Steve Bailey is a developmental clinical psychologist as well as a Jewish educator and curriculum developer. He is an alumnus of Yeshiva University and received his graduate degrees from Rutgers University. Dr. Bailey served on the psychology and education faculties of American and Canadian universities and was the co-founder of an innovative Jewish high school in Los Angeles (Shalhevet) that accents democratic values and ethical behavior. For over three decades he has been teaching the philosophical concepts of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in adult education study groups, through weekly Torah studies and through Jewish Day school curricula. Dr. Bailey is the author of Hearing the Biblical Voice: Finding Meaning in Shabbat, High Holy Days and Festivals, inspired by the Commentaries of Samson Raphael Hirsch. He and his wife, with children and grandchildren, currently reside in Jerusalem where he continues to teach and write.
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