Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bereishis from Kehos with Chabad-Chassidic commentary

A beautiful translation of Chumash (the Five Books of Moses) with Chabad-Chassidic commentary from Kehos. Unlike the no-less beautiful Gutnick-edition Chumash, it does not focus only on the Rebbe’s sichos, but draws from the wealth of Chabad Chassidus sources, including those authored by the previous Chabad Rebbeim (especially, the ma’amorim — in-depth works on Jewish mysticism). Obviously, it also quotes Rashi, Talmud, and other sources. Its background sections are much more developed, and its Chassidic commentary is deeper and more detailed.

While Gutnick edition is a nice introduction of the Rebbe’s “Rashi sichos” that provides a good taste of the Rebbe’s genius in revealing how Chassidus brings together different sources in Judaism and opens yet unforeseen depths of Torah (which was what attracted me to Chabad Chassidus initially), Kehos edition reveals fully to the reader the true role and nature of Chabad Chassidus — the fact that it is pnimiyus ha’Torah (the Essence of Torah).

It reveals the innermost dimension of Judaism that is not accessible outside of Chabad Chassidus — a dimension that is truly a crime for any religious Jew to ignore (if you think this claim is too presumptious, just take a look at the sample first chapter of Bereishis). In addition to commentaries in separate sections and footnotes, Rashi’s and Chassidic commentaries are imbedded into the text, making it flow very nicely.

First chapter of the first book of Moses, Bereishis, with very nice introduction to the book, the order of creation and the Chassidic explanation on the reason of creation (discussed at length in many Chassidic sources), was graciously provided by Kehos and hosted by AskMoses.

Something to read before Simchas Toireh.

Note: If you want to print this out, print out two text pages on each side of a printed page (imagine that the middle of the printed page, turned landscape, is the crease of the book), starting from even numbers (so, pp. 2–84), rotated 180°. You want Hebrew text to be on the right half of each printed page, and English text with beginning of commentaries on the left.

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