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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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.


When a Student must teach the Teacher

What Rabbi Akiva seems to be suggesting then is that – like Menashe – Rabbi Eliezer had created a complex worldview that no one could dissuade him from. In that sense, the only thing that could possibly make him rethink that worldview was a message from God himself. So, says Rabbi Akiva, should Rabbi Eliezer…

Torah Knowledge and Torah Wisdom

Torah is not only knowledge, but also wisdom. Rav Kahana had clearly gathered a great deal of knowledge, but he had still not acquired enough wisdom to properly integrate it. Rav’s hope was that the natural reserve that comes with being in a new place and new people would force Rav Kahana to mature before…

They Called Him Rebbe

If it is difficult to understand how someone can acquire the world to come in an instant, it is nearly impossible to understand how they can almost instantly acquire the title, Rabbi. To read more, click here.