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Rabbi Francis Nataf is a Jerusalem based thinker, writer, and educator. He is the author of the Redeeming Relevance in the Torah series and of many articles on religious thought, biblical studies, and current events and is Associate Editor of the Jewish Bible Quarterly. He is known for his independent thought and creativity that simultaneously puts him to the right and to the left of everyone he knows. 

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REDEEMING RELEVANCE ON THE TORAH

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In this book, Rabbi Francis Nataf brings a sophisticated approach to some of the central themes in Genesis offering profound and relevant teachings from the Torah’s first book. Redeeming Relevance comes highly recommended from such notable Jewish leaders as Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm and Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein.

Rabbi Nataf draws on his keen literary awareness and deep knowledge of the text, Midrash and commentaries to provide original readings of some of the major stories in the book of Exodus. Through careful and creative textual analysis, he shows that we can still find new and provocative text-based insights.

”Francis Nataf overcomes ‘Vayikra Avoidance Syndrome’ with an ambitious set of essays that treat the book as a whole and justify its centrality in the Torah. He offers stimulating and sometimes provocative theses about… Kohanim and Israelites, Jews and gentiles, and flesh and blood.” –Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, Dean, Center for Modern Torah Leadership

This volume focuses on some of the text’s most perplexing stories in the Book of Numbers. It weaves them into discussions about the individual and the community, religious leadership and its abuse, and about communication and disappointment. Taking a new look at Judaism’s most basic text, Rabbi Nataf reads the Bible in ways that make it more accessible and more exciting to study.

A fresh look […], this volume focuses on topics such as mortality, personal vision, identity, humanity, and religion and state. Rabbi Francis Nataf shows his talent for discovering previously untouched facets of the Torah and connecting them to Jewish tradition. The clarity of the insights and patterns presented shows how a personal analysis of the biblical text can lead to living a more spiritually rewarding and ethically correct life.

THE PARSHA (ETC.) BLOG

The Secrets of God’s Plan B

Netziv makes us understand that the main purpose of exile is not punishment. Hence part of the exile’s timing depended on the gentiles’ potential appreciation for the light of the Jews at any given time. From such a perspective, we can easily understand the Jews being exiled at a period of great religious and cultural flux in the Roman Empire (something which obviously also allowed emergent Christianity to be so successful at that very same time).  See more at the Jewish […]

How to Enjoy this World

The thrill that one feels from watching a majestic sunset, smelling the alluring fragrance of a rose, hearing brilliantly melodious music or tasting delicious food should ideally bring about the love that Rambam (Yesodei HaTorah 2:2) so beautifully describes. If this is not always our experience, it is more a statement about us than it […]

How to See God in the World

Once when I was speaking about Rav Kook’s propensity to see God’s light in everything, I was asked how such a thing is possible in view of all the evil and ugliness in the world. I agreed that it was not easy, which is why we are not all Rav Kook. But I believe it came from two things – […]

TIMES OF ISRAEL BLOG