by Rabbi Francis Nataf
Hardcover, 125 pages
From the Introduction: “We see fewer and fewer serious attempts to seek the Torah’s evaluation of new ideas and behavior.... This is the way one treats antiquities: by protecting them in musuems, they lose any relevance to the present. More important, this is not the way Jews have treated their Torah throughout history. From time immemorial, Jews have taken the risk of misinterpreting the Torah. They have done so in order to find guidance, inspiration, and truth for themselves and their communities. This, perhaps more than anything else, has allowed our ancient Torah to be a living document for the Jewish people.”
About the Author:
Rabbi Francis Nataf is Educational Director of the David Cardozo Academy and has previously held senior educational positions in Israel and the United States. Rabbi Nataf was ordained at Yeshiva University and also holds degrees in Jewish history and international affairs. He has published numerous articles on Jewish thought and education.
Praise for Redeeming Relevance:
The purpose of this excellent volume is stated clearly by the author in his introduction: “to return to the profound originality characteristic of Jewish tradition.” In this, Rabbi Nataf has eminently succeeded, he is a bearer of the tradition and is yet original. He brings to his analysis of six critical passages a creativity born of deep respect for the Biblical text... as well as an acute awareness of perplexing moral dilemmas. Happily, he is thus relevant even as his insights are redemptive. This is a book well worth reading – and studying.
–Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Yeshiva University
(I)n the tradition of the Ramban and the Netziv, Rabbi Nataf fuses reverence for our greatest with an awareness of their humanity; moreover, he recognizes that the human element does not compromise the greatness but, rather, ennobles it.... (T)he serious and sensitive initiative to cope with the substantive issues as well as with their educational ramifications deserves the respect of a broad range of readers. Rabbi Nataf’s fresh voice is one the Torah world will find well worth reading.
–Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtentstein, Rosh haYeshiva, Yeshivat Har Etzion
Unearthing timeless wisdom and applying it to the most contemporary of human issues and concerns, Rabbi Nataf restores the sense of the powerful continuing relevance of the text.... All can benefit from his focus on issues of process, choice-making, submission, devotion, balance between spiritual and material, and multiple models of leadership. Read this and grow.
–Rabbi Saul J. Berman, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Francis Nataf is a fresh, creative voice.... He pursues Jewish spiritual renewal with moral and intellectual honesty. Seeking solutions to difficult problems, he does not hesitate to slay “sacred cows” along the way. There is no doubting his impact in the years ahead.
–Prof. Yehuda Gellman, Dept. of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev