Fred A Levy Haskell (fredcritter) wrote,
Fred A Levy Haskell

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Sheldon H. Blank, Understanding the Prophets

Why is this wonderful little book out of print? I'm hardly an authority, but it seems to me to be not just a really solid aid to understanding what the prophets were on about, but also a concise and interesting illustration of the Jewish point of view about, well, religion … and about, you know, Things In General. For example:

“That is the point these prophets make; they speak, as here, of justice between man and man. What truly concerns God is how men behave towards each other. A crime against men is a sin against God but, equally, God smiles on those who serve their fellows with understanding and in love.” (page 72)

Further, Rebbe Blank, at least to my mind, displays a deft, gentle, and … oh, how you say?, eye-twinkling? … sort of approach to his discussion. For example, I rather like and find illustrative the following passage:

“If one who is not already familiar with prophetic thought has tried reading Isaiah and has been confused, it is no cause for wonder. If he has tried reading the book and has not become confused he has probably not been reading it carefully. It speaks with more than one voice.” (page 73)

If you can find this slim volume (138 pages, hardbound but roughly paperback-sized; apparently part of a series called Issues of Faith, published by the Union of Hebrew Congregations), I'd recommend picking it up and giving it a read.


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