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.
TIMES OF ISRAEL BLOG
REDEEMING RELEVANCE ON THE TORAH SERIES
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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
Netziv points out that there is actually a hint to a more difficult message. For just as one should not think that what appears bad is not actually good, so should one not think that what appears good is necessarily not bad: Had the Jews gone straight into the land and not fought with Og […]
One would think that there is nothing we understand better in the world than ourselves. After all, we spend every waking minute with ourselves, we have lived through all of our experiences from the inside and we have collected a tremendous amount of data in the process. Nor is it not just raw data, but […]
Hence it may well be part of God’s plan for some contemporary yeshivot to prefer one reading, others to prefer another and the mainstream to prefer a third. Likewise part of the plan is the debate about these readings that befits a beit midrash, where each one is tested for its merits and weaknesses. But […]