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The Comic Torah: Reimagining the Very Good Book Paperback – October 15, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Beneath the surface of the irreverence, informality and seemingly
random interpretations lies a serious, personal and very contemporary
struggle with the meaning of the text.
Comic Book Resources
Move over R. Crumb, here's the Comic Torah!
Bleeding Cool News
Snarky, strange and hilarious as all get-out, and while it might be
irreverent, it still reflects the creators' genuine love and honest
engagement with the text.
The Jewish Reporter
Anyone looking for a humorous and thought-provoking take on the
parasha of the week will find themselves challenged by the authors'
irreverent look at the biblical text. The graphics make the lessons
vivid, particularly those outlining the rules of sacrifices in
Leviticus. Deliberate anachronisms serve as additional commentary
while offering fresh insight to overfamiliar stories. While not for
everyone, 'The Comic Torah' features a unique look at the good book.
Rabbi Dr. Alan Brill, author, 'Judaism and Other Religions: Models of
Blends serious personal midrash with risqué comedy to create a hip,
piercing Biblical retelling for our post-ironic generation
Harold Ramis, writer, 'Ghostbusters'
If God was a comic artist, this is what She would have drawn.
Alison Bechdel, cartoonist, 'Dykes to Watch Out For'
Blaspemous! Wrong! Accurate! Addictive!
Paul Krassner, editor, 'The Realist'
Sacred and profane at the same time
Rob Kutner, author, 'Apocalypse How'
Finally, a Torah reading you are guaranteed not to doze off during.
Puts the 'rash' back in Midrash.
Top Customer Reviews
illustrate key sections from each weekly Torah portion
in an offbeat, contemporary, loving interpretation that some may find
irreverent and many will find delightful. But the authors take the text
seriously--with a great deal of spice, and sass reminischent of Abraham's
backtalk to God in defense of Sodom. They depict God as a green woman--a jealous
God? a God who cares profoundly about Her earth?--which I find no more disrespectful than
Michelangelo's depiction of God as an old man with a long beard. Depiction of authority figures have to change with the times.
YHVH is demanding, giving, protecting, challenging, pushy, loving, kvelling (bragging), kveching (complaining) and more. The ultimate Jewish mother on a strong tea, sweet kugel, steroid high.
The portrayal of the Land of Israel as a beautiful, voluptuous woman echoes the
eons-long dream of the Jewish people to be restored to their heritage. Moses as a
black man (who looks remarkably like the author) brings to mind the black spiritual, "Go
down, Moses." Rosenzweig's vivid art work is replete with side bar allusions to
Star Trek, the Hobbit, and texting. Who knows what I'll find in a more careful second and
The Torah was originally delivered (or redacted for the modernists) to reach
the people of an ancient society. The Comic Torah "reimages" those stories and
injunctions for a wry 21st (or 57th)century comprehension.
Two caveats: Readers unfamiliar with the full text of the Five
Books of Moses may have trouble finding the continuity in
these two-page selections.Read more ›
Husband and wife Aaron Freeman and Sharon Rosenzweig have written and illustrated a biblical midrash that is colorful, deep, funny and mind-blowing -- just like the original.
As the Five Books unroll -- with each Torah portion presented in a sumptuous double spread - the relationship between God and Israel develops in all its glory and chaos. What caught my imagination was the shifting relationship between God and Moses, sometimes like parent and child, other times like mistress and servant, and still others as mismatched lovers, even as Moses dreams of the Promised Land.
Those dreams are not so innocent and holy. Rosenzweig and Freeman depict the Israelites' ultimate quest as a blonde bombshell called Honey "The Land" Milkand. Other characters include an oily Jacob, with a suit, narrow tie and pencil moustache, and a dreadlocked Aaron. Other gods, dwelling in the etymological mists of the biblical text, make an appearance, including Zeus, who God turns to for advice. "You have a pantheon of support," she complains. "I'm a single parent."
"The Comic Torah" doesn't disparage the tradition that has grown up around the Torah. Freeman and Rosenzweig have clearly wrestled with the text. But they have also tapped into one of the secrets of the Torah's resilience, it's weirdness and primalness. "The Comic Torah" reads like a strand of tradition that never made it into the canon.
And it's often sharply funny. As God reveals to Moses her plans for a Tabernacle in the desert she conjures the image of a unicorn. "To cover the ceiling -- Tachash skin!" she says.Read more ›