July 10, 2024
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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Completes Acclaimed Series on Weekly Torah Portion

Highlighting: “Covenant & Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible,” by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Maggid Books. 2019. Hardcover.

Maggid Books, the division of contemporary Jewish thought of Koren Publishers Jerusalem, is proud to announce the completion of “Covenant & Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible” by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

The fifth and final installation of the series is “Deuteronomy: Renewal of the Sinai Covenant.” Here, Rabbi Sacks writes: “With the book of Deuteronomy, the entire biblical project becomes lucid and reaches its culmination. Deuteronomy is the last act of the Jewish people’s drama before becoming a nation in its own land, and it forms the context of all that follows… [it] is in essence a programme for the creation of a moral society in which righteousness is the responsibility of all. The good society was to be, within the limits of the world as it was thirty-three centuries ago, an inclusive if not an entirely egalitarian one. Time and again we are told that social joy must embrace the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the Levite, people without independent status or means. It is to be one nation under God.”

The “Covenant & Conversation” series consists of multiple essays on every Torah portion. Like the preceding volumes, “Deuteronomy: Renewal of the Sinai Covenant” fuses Jewish tradition, Western philosophy and literature to explore the biblical narrative as it relates to universal concerns of freedom, love, responsibility, identity and destiny. The collection has been described by critics as “profound,” “poetic,” “masterful,” “perfect reading for the lay person or scholar.” Volume I: Genesis was awarded the 2009 National Jewish Book Award.

Matthew Miller, publisher of Maggid Books, says, “We are thrilled that this series is now complete. Since the release of Genesis, we have heard from people around the globe how Rabbi Sacks’ writings have deepened their appreciation of the Jewish Bible and of Judaism as a whole. Now every Shabbat can be inspired by Rabbi Sacks’ brilliant insights.”

Rabbi Sacks says, “I am delighted to have finished this work on the “Covenant & Conversation” series. I called this series “Covenant & Conversation” because this, for me, is the essence of what Torah learning is—throughout the ages, and for us, now. The text of Torah is our covenant with God, our written constitution as a nation under His sovereignty. The interpretation of this text has been the subject of an ongoing conversation that began at Sinai 33 centuries ago and has not ceased since. Every age has added its commentaries, and so must ours. I hope by reading this series, people are inspired to participate in that conversation, because that is a major part of what it is to be a Jew.”

The demand for “Covenant & Conversation” spurred two companion volumes: “Lessons in Leadership” and “Essays in Ethics,” both of which examine the Torah portions through unique angles. The series will soon be accompanied by Rabbi Sacks’ translation on the entire Chumash, set to be published in Spanish, Dutch and Chinese by Maggid’s umbrella company, Koren Publishers Jerusalem.

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