Inspired by the analytic commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on Biblical text, this volume examines the symbolic rituals associated with the Sabbath, High Holy Days and Festivals, as recorded in the Bible.

 

Some fundamental questions addressed are: What is the meaning behind the absolute prohibition of ‘creative’ work on the Sabbath? What is the inherent symbol of “sounding a horn” on the New Year? What is the purpose of the grave abstentions on Yom Kippur and the dynamics of atonement? What is the significance of matzah on Passover and the concurrent prohibition of leavening? What is the Biblical symbolism of the succah and four species on Succot?

Inspired by the insightful, stirring commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on Biblical text, this volume examines the symbolic rituals of the Jewish dietary system (kashrut), fringes on a garment (tzitzit) and phylacteries (tefillin), as recorded in the Torah.

 

In our analysis of kashrut, we will ask, “What purpose do prohibitions of certain foods serve, such that they represent a meaningful symbol to Jews in relationship with God?” In our analysis of tzitzit, we will ask what religious meaning is expressed through the command to “look at the tzitzit” such that it inspires holiness? In the discussion of tefillin we will seek the purpose of the particular choice of Biblical excerpts that comprise the contents of the two boxes, and the meaningfulness of the particular manner in which the tefillin are shaped and are bound to the head and arm. 

© 2014 by Stephen Bailey.

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