Kodesh Press

Kodesh Press A fine blend of scholarly and popular Jewish books.
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We are so excited to announce the publication of our new book, Conflict & Resolution in the Early Prophets by Rabbi Alle...
02/06/2020

We are so excited to announce the publication of our new book, Conflict & Resolution in the Early Prophets by Rabbi Allen Schwartz!!

Rabbi Allen Schwartz compiles, categorizes, and explains over 100 seeming violations of Torah law in the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel. The Tanna’im and Amoraim were acutely aware of these apparent violations and in some cases, were courageously open about criticizing the heroes of the Bible. In other cases, they fiercely fought to acquit the biblical characters from any wrongdoing. Rabbi Schwartz’s unique work is filled with unexpected interpretations, and is ideal for anyone who wants to understand these characters, as well as the perspectives of the Talmudic and Medieval Rabbis, more deeply. A satisfying and engaging read!

https://kodeshpress.com/product/conflict-resolution-in-the-early-prophets

Kodesh Press's cover photo
02/02/2020

Kodesh Press's cover photo

Kodesh Press will have three great speakers at the Seforim Sale this year. You won't want to miss them!Dr. Moshe Sokolow...
02/02/2020

Kodesh Press will have three great speakers at the Seforim Sale this year. You won't want to miss them!

Dr. Moshe Sokolow, Mon. Feb. 10, 8 PM
Book Talk: Reading the Rav: Exploring Religious Themes in the Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Rabbi Reuven Boshnack, Tues. Feb 11, 7 PM
To Learn the Language of the Unconscious (BSSS Get-Together)

Rabbi Allen Schwartz, Wed. Feb. 19, 8 PM
Book Launch: Conflict & Resolution in the Early Prophets

Your Parshat Va'era tidbit from Dan Klein Hard-Hearted Pharaoh Perhaps no phrase in the parashah of Va’era has provoked ...
01/24/2020
Shadal on Exodus: Samuel David Luzzatto's Interpretation of the Book of Shemot

Your Parshat Va'era tidbit from Dan Klein

Hard-Hearted Pharaoh

Perhaps no phrase in the parashah of Va’era has provoked more perplexity and comment than God’s statement to Moses, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Exod. 7:3). Was it fair, many have asked, for God to punish the king for behaving in a way that He Himself induced him to act?

In his comment on this phrase, Shadal reviews some of the best known answers that have been offered in explanation, finding merit in several of them. These include Maimonides’ view that “in consideration of the magnitude of Pharaoh’s sins, it would have been only just to block him from the paths of repentance”; Rashi’s view that “it was known to God that even if Pharaoh were to repent, his repentance would not have been complete”; and Mendelssohn’s view that “Pharaoh himself hardened his heart, for all actions are attributable to God in some sense, as He is the First Cause.”

Expanding on Mendelssohn’s approach, Shadal makes an intriguing point. “I would add,” he says, “that the actions which are attributed to God in the Scriptures are the strange actions whose reasons are incomprehensible to us. So here, Pharaoh’s stubbornness despite his having seen several signs and wonders is a strange and astonishing thing, and therefore it is attributed to God.”

In support of this view, Shadal cites an obscure and bizarre verse from the book of Samuel: “Because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David’” (2 Sam. 16:10). Shadal does not elaborate, but in a footnote I explain that this refers to Shimei ben Gera, who dared to curse King David in the presence of the king’s soldiers. Because such an act was foolhardy to the point of seeming totally irrational, Shadal is implying that there was no other way of accounting for Shimei’s behavior than to speak as if God Himself had commanded him to do what he did. And just as Shimei was ultimately held culpable (1 Kings 2:9), so the unreasonably obstinate Pharaoh was deserving of punishment for hardening his own heart, since the excuse “God made me do it,” though perhaps literally true in a sense, would not have served to let him off the hook.

https://www.amazon.com/Shadal-Exodus-Samuel-Luzzattos-Interpretation/dp/0692522069/ref=sxin_0_sxwds-bia-wc1_0?cv_ct_cx=shadal+on+exodus&keywords=shadal+on+exodus&pd_rd_i=0692522069&pd_rd_r=ea47d975-1999-4989-b4c7-8ccfc3a60a87&pd_rd_w=DuhOW&pd_rd_wg=4Iv7x&pf_rd_p=e308a38c-3620-4845-b486-18a551828bb6&pf_rd_r=AE1Q2Y1W78W5FM8JTW49&psc=1&qid=1579828619&sr=1-1-e1d37225-97ae-4506-b802-4ca5ff43ebe6

Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), known by his Hebrew acronym Shadal, was the leading Italian Jewish scholar of the 19th century. A linguist, educator, and religious thinker, he devoted his talents above all to the interpretation of the Bible. As a master of Hebrew grammar and usage, he focused ...

Today, 20 Tevet, is both the Rambam's Yahrtzeit **and** the day we start reading Sefer Shemot in synagogues across the w...
01/17/2020
Maimonides on the Book of Exodus | Kodesh Press

Today, 20 Tevet, is both the Rambam's Yahrtzeit **and** the day we start reading Sefer Shemot in synagogues across the world! "Maimonides" on the Book of Exodus" combines the two!

https://kodeshpress.com/product/maimonides-on-the-book-of-exodus

Rabbi Moses son of Maimon, known in Hebrew as Rambam and English as Maimonides (1135-1204), is one of the great luminaries of Judaism whose contributions can hardly be overstated. Though he never authored a linear commentary, he freely quotes biblical verses throughout all of his writings. As intere...

Shadal on Shemot: Those Heroic MidwivesAlthough they are fairly incidental characters in the sweeping story of the Exodu...
01/17/2020
Shadal on Exodus: Samuel David Luzzatto's Interpretation of the Book of Shemot

Shadal on Shemot: Those Heroic Midwives

Although they are fairly incidental characters in the sweeping story of the Exodus, the midwives Shiphrah and Puah deserve our admiration for their moral courage in disobeying Pharaoh's order to kill the Israelite baby boys. Who were these valiant women and what made them tick? Shadal's answers to these questions show how his commentary remains fresh and vital to this day.

Shiphrah and Puah's description as "ha-meyalledot ha-ivriyyot" (Exod. 1:15) seems to indicate that they were "Hebrew midwives," that is, part of the people of Israel. The Midrash even identifies them as none other than Jochebed and Miriam. But Shadal points out that their description could just as well be understood as the equivalent of "ha-meyalledot et ha-ivriyyot," that is, those who assisted the Hebrew women in childbirth. In fact, Shadal favors this interpretation because he takes the view that the women were not Israelites at all.

But doesn't it say that they acted as they did because they "feared God" (Exod. 1:17)? Wouldn't that imply that they were one of us? No, says Shadal. If they were, then they would have been described as fearing "the Lord (Y-H-V-H)," that is, God's personal name as used by the children of Israel. On the other hand, a generic "fear of God (Elohim)" encompasses a basic human decency that anyone, regardless of their religion, should be expected to adhere to.

So far, Shadal's identification of the midwives places them at the head of the ranks of the "hasidei umot ha-olam," the Righteous Among the Nations. But a subsequent comment of his about these women, at Exod. 9:27, makes an even more powerful point. In that verse, Pharaoh confesses to Moses, "I and my people are at fault," and are thus deserving of punishment. Agreeing, Shadal says, "If they had not been at fault, they would have tried to divert his [Pharaoh's] anger from its destructive goal," but instead they acquiesced in his enslavement of Israel. "Now we see," adds Shadal, "that the midwives, for all their weakness, did not do what Pharaoh had commanded them, nor did he punish them. How much more so could the entire people have annulled his decrees or softened them."

Here is a lesson for our own troubled times, and for all time. When faced with evil, whether private or government-sponsored, we must all strive to emulate Shiphrah and Puah and resist it in any way we can.

https://www.amazon.com/Shadal-Exodus-Samuel-Luzzattos-Interpretation/dp/0692522069/ref=sxin_0_sxwds-bia-wc1_0?cv_ct_cx=shadal+on+exodus&keywords=shadal+on+exodus&pd_rd_i=0692522069&pd_rd_r=853e2a4b-f1b4-4fbf-af41-9531c451af42&pd_rd_w=61vpN&pd_rd_wg=bfeuQ&pf_rd_p=e308a38c-3620-4845-b486-18a551828bb6&pf_rd_r=749PGM0EE7SZA00GEY1Q&psc=1&qid=1579222940

Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), known by his Hebrew acronym Shadal, was the leading Italian Jewish scholar of the 19th century. A linguist, educator, and religious thinker, he devoted his talents above all to the interpretation of the Bible. As a master of Hebrew grammar and usage, he focused ...

Sefer Shemot is around the corner!
01/15/2020

Sefer Shemot is around the corner!

New Book!Maimonides on the Book of Exodus (Rambam on Sefer Shemot)Edited and Annotated by Rabbi Alec GoldsteinPublished ...
01/06/2020
Maimonides on the Book of Exodus | Kodesh Press

New Book!
Maimonides on the Book of Exodus (Rambam on Sefer Shemot)
Edited and Annotated by Rabbi Alec Goldstein
Published in Association with Maimonides Heritage Center

https://kodeshpress.com/product/maimonides-on-the-book-of-exodus

Although Rambam (Maimonides) never wrote a line-by-line commentary on the Torah, his writings have had a profound impact on how we interpret the sacred text. This work is the culmination of an exhaustive effort to identify where Maimonides quotes a biblical passage. This work arranges those comments in the order that the verses appear in the Torah. It also draws on the great critics and defenders of Maimonides, and those debates are examined in depth. Some questions that are explored include:

Are Jews commanded to believe in God?
How is Pharaoh’s loss of free will justified?
What is the meaning of the cryptic phrase “I am that I am”?
What does it mean that God tests the Jewish people?
What is the purpose of the Passover offering?
What is the purpose of the tabernacle?

On these and many other questions, the answers of Rambam are explored side-by-side with Rashi, Ra’avad, Nahmanides (Ramban), Kuzari, Sforno, and countless others.

Rabbi Moses son of Maimon, known in Hebrew as Rambam and English as Maimonides (1135-1204), is one of the great luminaries of Judaism whose contributions can hardly be overstated. Though he never authored a linear commentary, he freely quotes biblical verses throughout all of his writings. As intere...

Kodesh Press 2019 Year in Review!Did you know that, in 2019, Kodesh Press published seven more volumes and now offers 53...
12/31/2019

Kodesh Press 2019 Year in Review!

Did you know that, in 2019, Kodesh Press published seven more volumes and now offers 53 unique titles by some of the leading authors, scholars, and writers in the Jewish world? We thank all the authors who have entrusted their books to the meticulous care of Kodesh Press, as well as our editors, graphic designers, and reviewers. Most importantly, we thank you - our loyal readers!

Here's a recap of our most recent books:

The Legends of Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah is Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook's commentary on these fantastical and entertaining pieces of Talmudic lore. Fully translated and annotated by Rabbi Bezalel Naor, a universally recognized authority on Rav Kook, this volume greatly increases our understanding of Rav Kook and how mystical doctrines influenced his development. https://kodeshpress.com/product/the-legends-of-rabbah-bar-bar-hannah

Hebrew Root Dictionary by Rabbi Nahorai Kotkin is a new twist on a dictionary of the Bible. Rabbi Kotkin has mined through the commentaries of the Rishonim, as well as passages from the Talmud and Midrash, for places they offer definitions of biblical roots. This work, unique in its field, then arranges all of these different definitions of biblical roots in alphabetical order, so each root is defined according to multiple traditional authorities. https://kodeshpress.com/product/hebrew-root-dictionary-%d7%a1%d7%a4%d7%a8-%d7%94%d7%a9%d7%a8%d7%a9%d7%99%d7%9d

Maimonides on the Book of Exodus edited by Alec Goldstein. Rambam (Maimonides) never wrote a commentary on the Torah, yet his philosophical and halakhic legacy have been profoundly influential in interpreting Tanakh. This work highlights wherever Rambam quotes a verse from Sefer Shemot (Exodus), and arranges those comments in the order they appear in the Bible. It also provides enhancing material from Talmud, Rishonim, and modern scholars, to give the reader a fuller kaleidoscopic picture of how Rambam fits in to the broader issue of Bible interpretation. https://kodeshpress.com/product/maimonides-on-the-book-of-exodus

Explorations Expanded (Beresh*t) by Rabbi Ari Kahn. Rabbi Ari Kahn has emerged as one of the most popular and profound Jewish educators, masterfully blending traditional sources (including many obscure ones) with modern creativity and deep psychological insight. This newest volume provides a deeper understanding of the stories of Beresh*t (Genesis). https://kodeshpress.com/product/explorations-expanded-bereish*t

Sefer HaYovel of Yeshivat Har Etzion. Yeshivat Har Etzion was founded in 1968, and how else would Gush celebrate but by studying, writing, and publishing Torah articles? Sefer HaYovel includes articles from Rashei Yeshiva HaRav Yehuda Amital, HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein, HaRav Baruch Gigi, HaRav Mosheh Lichtenstein, and HaRav Yaakov Medan, as well as some of its most prestigious and accomplished graduates: https://kodeshpress.com/product/sefer-hayovel-of-yeshivat-har-etzion

Shadal on Genesis edited by Daniel A. Klein. Samuel David Luzzatto was the leading Italian Jewish scholar of the 19th century. Although he was a devout believer in the divinity, unity, and antiquity of the Torah, Shadal approached the text in a remarkably free spirit of inquiry, drawing upon a wide variety of sources, ancient and contemporary, Jewish and non-Jewish. As a result, his interpretations strike even the modern reader as fresh and novel. https://kodeshpress.com/product/shadal-on-genesis

The Ethics of Leviticus by Rabbi Dr. Abba Engelberg. Too often, we learn Biblical stories as children and never revisit them—or their ethical implications—as adults. The Ethics of Leviticus, the third in the Ethics series, provides further elucidation of these narratives and concepts. Rabbi Dr. Abba Engelberg presents traditional answers, explained in depth, as well as original interpretations, to difficult quandaries. https://kodeshpress.com/product/the-ethics-of-leviticus

Here's to another year of great publishing and great reading in 2020!

12/13/2019
Bible4Community Hebrew Root Dictionary

Bible4Community Hebrew Root Dictionary

Names Tell the Story

In most families, names are chosen these days by either one of two factors: family tradition or the parents "like" the name, often because it rolls off the tongue. Some actually do look into the meaning of the name, but it's usually not the driving force behind the name selection. Rarely if ever do parents create new names based on a meaningful word or word combination.

Biblical names are always chosen, at least in the beginning parts of human history, are descriptors of those that bear them. Adam is the man of the red earth. Nimrod is the rebellious one. Noah brings rest to the world. Naming is meaning and purposeful.

This motif becomes most prominent in the naming of the Shevatim, the Twelve Tribes. The Chumash itself enumerates the purpose and meaning behind each of the names. Two names among them stand out, which are those mentioned in this week's parshah (Torah portion) of V'Yishlach. Rachel's last breath is to name her last child Ben-Oni, son of my suffering, but Yaakov changes his name to Benyamin, son of the right, which can mean grief (Musaf Rashi Gn. 35:18) but also mercy (Rashi Ps. 118:16), and strength (Radak Ps.116:16). Yaakov, the heel or crooked one, also receives a new name of Yisrael, he who struggles with G-d. This name can also be vocalized with the shin, making it Yishrael, the one who is straight with G-d. It is the names of Yaakov and the Twelve Tribes that come to define the people of Israel.

Shabbat Shalom

Black Friday Sale starts now! 30% off orders of $100 or more with code BLACK30 when you order at kodeshpress.com. Find b...
11/29/2019

Black Friday Sale starts now! 30% off orders of $100 or more with code BLACK30 when you order at kodeshpress.com. Find books by

Rabbi Hayyim Angel
Rabbi Yaakov Bieler
Dr. Shoshannah Brombacher
Rabbi Dr. Abba Engelberg
Mitchell First
Alec Goldstein
Yisroel Juskowitz
Rabbi Ari Kahn
Daniel A. Klein
Rabbi Bezalel Naor
Rabbi Zev Reichman
Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai
Rabbi Gamliel Shmalo
Rabbi Elchanan Shoff
Dr. Vivian Skolnick
Dr. Moshe Sokolow
Rabbi Gil Student

... and many more!

(Excludes books published in 2019.)

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Best wishes! @Suzanne.Gilbert.Author
Hi,it look like very scientific press & I will be honored to be included.🦋🌞✌️🙏💐
It look like a very scientific press.l will be honored,thanks🦋🌞✌️🙏
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How do I go about having you publish my books? Simcha Krause [email protected]
I have written 2 books; "Hey Waiter ... There's G-d in My Soup!" Learning Kabbalah Through Humor and "The Four Steps To A Successful Marriage"