Between the Lines of the Bible
A Study From The New School of Orthodox Torah Commentary
ISBN 1-933143-14-2, 288 pages, $23.95
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By Yitzchak Etshalom

Yitzchak Etshalom initiates readers into the world of the New School of Orthodox Torah commentary in a series of compelling studies of Genesis.

Over the past few decades, Orthodox Jewish scholars have carefully embraced many of the methodologies of modern Bible study. History, archeology, linguistics and many other disciplines-especially literary analysis-can serve to enhance our understanding of the Book of Books. Traditional students have much to gain by utilizing all of the tools available in studying the Divine word. However, this burgeoning genre of scholarship has been almost entirely in Hebrew.

In this book, Yitzchak Etshalom provides the first English introduction to the methodologies of the New School. In a number of popular essays, Etshalom analyzes the familiar stories of the Bible and demonstrates the powerful tools of modern Torah commentary. In the process, Etshalom undermines many of the arguments of biblical critics and defends the Torah, through literary and historical methodologies, against attacks.

Inside the Book

Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2

Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12

Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Introduction to the History of Biblical Interpretation
Entering the Character’s World, Part I

Asking the Right Question
Entering the Character’s World, Part II
Ears of the Audience, Part I
Ears of the Audience, Part II
Biblical Criticism-Countering the Critics (I)
Biblical Criticism-Countering the Critics (II)
Biblical Criticism-Countering the Critics (III)
Doublets and Doubts
Historical Background as a Tool of Interpretation
Contemporary Assumptions and Geographic Enlightenment
Structure and Meaning: Chiasmus
Mirror Narrative
The Leitwort
Intra-Biblical Parshanut
The Power of the Concordance
Midrash as Parshanut
A Survey of the Great Exegetes

Joseph and Dreams
Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
Jacob and Shechem
The Impact of Creation
The Flood
Two Creation Stories
Two Flood Stories
Settling the Land
Two Covenants
Abraham and Ephron
Rachel’s Tomb

The Structure of Creation
Isaac’s Blessings
The Fate of Sodom
Jacob’s Blessings
Abraham’s Wanderings
Abraham and Idols


Chapter 3: Asking the Right Question (PDF)
Chapter 15: The Leitwort (PDF)
Index (PDF)

About the Author

Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom (Google him) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh, Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Theological Seminary and Yeshivat Har Etzion before receiving ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Itzhak Kolitz. While in Israel, Rabbi Etshalom studied Bible under Dr. Yoel Elitzur of Ofra and Rabbi Elhanan Samet of Kfar Etzion.

Rabbi Etshalom lives in Los Angeles with his wife Stefanie and their 5 children. He serves on the faculties of the Yeshiva of Los Angeles and the Simon Wiesenthal Center as Educational Coordinator of the Jewish Studies Institute, along with serving as chair of the Bible Department at the prestigious Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles. He is also the author of a series of online e-mail classes on the Bible through the facilities of Project Genesis.

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