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April 25, 2010

Congregational Libraries Today reviews the YCT Tanakh Companion to Samuel

The Book of Samuel narrates the transition from the chaos of Judges to the establishment of the kingship through the stories of Samuel, Saul, and David. Fully half of the thirteen articles in this volume focus on the nature, necessity for, and character of the kingship held by Saul and David. Other articles deal with prayer, the Ark of the Covenant, the oracular use of the Urim and Tummim, and the Temple. The authors employ a "literary-theological" perspective, citing both modern and classic sources.

These essays come from a conference, Yemei Iyun, sponsored by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. They preserve the oral tone of the presentations—a bonus for the reader. The articles teach about the Book of Samuel, but they also stand as models of how master teachers tackle sophisticated topics. The essays are clear and engaging. The authors guide the readers through difficult material with deceptive ease.

The essays include the biblical text under discussion (in both Hebrew and English) which makes this an easy book for reading or study. This volume claims to present "Bible study in the spirit of modern and open Orthodox Judaism" and is envisioned as the first offering in a series. If they are all this good, I can hardly wait.

—Rabbi Louis A. Rieser

(Congregational Libraries Today, November/December 2007, p.14)

Posted by yudel at 6:46 PM | Comments (0)