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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 38 Year Black Hole

Often unnoticed by even careful readers, something highly unusual happens in this week’s parsha: That something is nothing! What I mean is that after giving a very detailed account of the Jew’s exodus from Egypt and its aftermath, the Torah suddenly – and without explanation – fast forwards to the fortieth year. And then, as if this was the most natural thing in the […]

10 + 2

If what is really important is the number ten, God could have theoretically created anywhere from eleven to nineteen tribes, and we would still have had decision-making with a majority of ten. More specifically, we could have thirteen, counting Levi along with Ephraim and Menashe. That is why I believe that what is really critical is less the ten that ratify a decision, but the two that oppose it. As a close […]

Sotah and the Metaphor of Monogamy

The Tanakh is full of references to the relationship between God and the Jewish people as being modeled on that of a man and his wife. Granted, the comparison is a metaphor designed to help us understand a metaphysical concept. But given the centrality of that concept, there is a great deal hanging upon our […]

TIMES OF ISRAEL BLOG