Rabbi Lichtenstein’s Foreword to Mikra and Meaning by Nathaniel Helfgott

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgott has written an incisive and perceptive book of literary approaches to selected biblical texts, Mikra and Meaning. The work must be examined within the literature of such studies written for the modern Orthodox reader, that is the college educated observant Jew. It stands out as a remarkable success within that genre.

What struck us in this book was the Foreword by Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, a former teacher of ours, and an exemplary individual whom we use to describe the scribal archetype in our recent book on prayer (God’s Favorite Prayers).

He sums up his endorsement of the book  as follows, in a manner that we find less than exemplary, starting from the simple given that if you write a foreword, that you take the time to read the entire book (in this case not a great burden since the book is around 240 pages):

I have not read every line of his treatise. Given the sensitivity of the complex of selected topics, it is conceivable that someone would raise some objection to some points – although I did not encounter such in the largely random and yet representative chapters I read.

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