Cardozo on the Parashat: Bereshit

Nathan Lopes Cardozo. Kasva, $22.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-948403-10-8
Rabbi Cardozo (Jewish Law as Rebellion) provides thought-provoking theological reflections centered on weekly Torah readings taken from Genesis in this illuminating study. Cardozo critiques most contemporary Orthodox Jewish commentaries on the Torah as treating the “words of God as if they have been exhausted” by only rehashing the views of earlier authorities and “not open[ing] new vistas.” In providing his alternative way of reading, Cardozo balances religious and rational approaches; he believes that every word in the Torah is “divine and holy” and that its contents are not always “historically true,” while at the same time not “uninfluenced by external sources.” In an introductory essay, Cardozo articulates his approach to Bible study (“What is required is innovation in receptivity, where fresh ideas can grow in the minds of those willing to think creatively about the classical sources”) and labels the Torah “a divine compromise” that eccompasses often less-than-ideal laws that reflect the time they were delivered. (For example, he believes that, had the Torah been given by God today, laws concerning sacrifices and slavery would not have appeared.) Cardozo also grapples with enduring theological issues, such as innocent suffering, in a novel and engaging way by asking “since when is the human being the measure of all things?” Presenting the Torah as a “living covenant,” this will be an accessible volume for anyone interested in a reading of Torah that does not subscribe to a traditional understanding of the text. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/14/2019
Genre: Religion
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