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Torah: The Five Books of Moses Hardcover – December 7, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1536 pages
  • Publisher: Lifestyle Books (December 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934152269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934152263
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

When I was becoming more interested in Judaism, I learned that the word "Torah" comes from the word "hora'ah," meaning to teach, to instruct. I was taught this meant that each day's Torah portion had a vital lesson for our daily lives, even in this contemporary world. 

Frankly, I didn't buy it. Learning from the Chumash seemed more like a mean, endless intellectual game than a pursuit of true understanding.  I would scan the pages of the Chumash for any trace of a comprehensible message for an average Jew like me, but the big picture always remained a mystery entrapped somewhere in the frantically futile back-and-forth between Torah, commentary, and dictionary. On the rare occasion that I'd succeed in decoding the antiquated English translation, I still couldn't extrapolate any real meaning when so much was hidden in commentaries that were on another part of the Chumash, or even referenced in another book that I didn't have access (or energy) to go research.

When I opened the LifeStyle Torah, I instantly inhaled a deep breath of relief. I'd given up on ever being able to open a Chumash and take a lesson from it on my own, but this Chumash was vastly and refreshingly different from any other I'd seen.... It was actually easy to understand! Translated into an English that humans actually speak, I didn't have to waste any time going to the dictionary in two-minute intervals. With commentary built into the text itself, I was able to see a comprehensible context without losing my spot on the page after every line. Even the colored modern layout is intuitive, beautifully designed so that the eye naturally knows what to read next. 

In short, the LifeStyle Torah does exactly what a Chumash is supposed to do: teach. If you are looking for a time-consuming, difficult, complicated way to take a lesson from the parsha, this Chumash is not for you. But if you want to acquire a true, deep, and accessible understanding of the Torah, along with an empowered world view and a charge to make your every day bigger and better, you've met your mate. Enjoy. --Shaina Guzick

From the author of the Gutnick Chumash, Rabbi Chaim Miller, comes Lifestyle Books, a new Torah series meant to personalize the experience of parsha and liturgy. Turning textual analysis into a path for personal growth is a move in the self-help book direction for Rabbi Miller, and he is able to maintain academic rigor with an intensive bibliography while still breaking new ground with a colorful, engaging layout.

Readers will find this new Chumash a rich source for authentic wisdom gleaned from the text and tradition. Reading like a magazine on spiritual growth, bright blurbs with concise ideas jump out from the pages, such as Food for Thought , which displays provocative connections between themes in the text and something more personal. Being asked, for example, if you have ever been too proud of your successes while reading Parshat Ekev will be a surprising and stimulating experience for the reader, and most welcome for those seeking warmth and relatability in their experience with Torah.

The boxes labeled Kabbalah Bites provide a layer of depth and added spiritual context. Rabbi Miller was able to select and concisely hone in on details that would, like a well-placed metaphor or example, drive a lesson home.

Perhaps most innovative and eye-catching is the beginning page of each parsha. A column with key people, the location and time frame of the parsha, and breakdown of mitzvot gives both historical and religious context to the pages to follow. An entire page dedicated to important concepts and lessons in the parsha allows for easy digestibility and literary analysis: a sort of Cliff s notes for Torah. A character profile prefacing each parsha also makes the subsequent story within the text more immediate and easy to follow.

For those accustomed to well-organized, well-researched bodies of work, be they beginners or seasoned scholars, this text offers a familiar and attractive model. As much at it is concise and absorbing, Torah: Five Book of Moses provides content that will challenge. Rabbi Miller understands the modern need to simplify aesthetic and immediately magnetize readers, and has managed not to sacrifice in the depth and range of content one would expect from a compilation of traditional sources. He understands the reader s need to orient him or herself at the beginning of a new chapter, to have an inviting aesthetic, and to be intellectually challenged.

This fresh take on the Chumash is a promising beginning to a new series. Although the works on prayer are in the beginning stages, readers can expect to be drawn in to a completely new take on Jewish synagogue life and study. While most books found on the shelf at shul are dense or distant, Miller s works are like high-brow magazines that engender a personal, modern connection with holy texts. --Ilana Spencer

About the Author

Rabbi Chaim Miller is one of the most popular authors of contemporary Judaic texts today, his books selling hundreds of thousands of copies. He understands the modern need to simplify aesthetic and immediately magnetize readers with content that is startlingly relevant to everyday life. His commentaries on the Torah, Haggadah, Megillah and on Maimonides are standard texts in Synagogues, Educational Programs and Universities around the world. He is an active spiritual teacher conducting workshops and lectures across the United States.

More About the Author

Rabbi Chaim Miller was educated at the Haberdashers' Aske's School in London, England and studied Medical Science at Leeds University. At the age of twenty-one, he first began to explore his Jewish roots in full-time Torah study. Less than a decade later, he published the best-selling Kol Menachem Chumash--Gutnick Edition, which made over a thousand complex discourses of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe easily accessible to the layman. His 2011 compilation, the Lifestyle Books Torah, Five Books of Moses--Slager Edition was distributed to thousands of servicemen and women in the U.S. Army. In 2013, he was chosen by the Jewish Press as one of sixty "Movers and Shakers" in the Jewish world. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Chani and seven children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By lajoopya on July 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Our temple started using these a few months ago. These are amazing. The explanations, the little tidbits, the Kabbalah bites, and the Spiritual Vitamins are wonderful. And it looks so fresh and nice. The Hebrew is great, the English is great. What a wonderful upgrade the the previous ones the temple was using. I am contemplating buying one for myself at home, but it's pretty expensive. But I will probably end up getting one for home. Highly recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Daniel J. Schechter on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding. I use this daily in addition to commentary of Rashi. Rabbi Miller's use of commentary from a hundred or so Jewish Torah luminaries is tailored to our ADHD generation. The comments are short and deep. There are questions for the reader. Issues of human's emotional maturity and G-d's overarching oneness are primary. Writing style is simple and engages the layperson.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roffey on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I bought Torah:The Five Books of Moses on the strength of the favourable reviews. This was an expensive investment, not just the cost of the book itself but also shipping to Austria. I have to say it was worth every penny - my Shabbos has livened up considerably. The English translation is stimulating and the accompanying notes are sometimes challenging. This version of Torah is a tremendous resource, a real blessing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Hodges on January 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read thru the Torah each year and I wanted a new view on the weekly portions . This really fits the bill .
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