Weekly Reflections on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy By Lawrence Kushner and David Mamet (192 Pages)Publisher: Random House, 2003
In the ancient Jewish practice of the kavannah (a meditation designed to focus one s heart on its spiritual goal), Lawrence Kushner and David Mamet offer their own reactions to key verses from each week s Torah portion, opening the biblical text to new layers of understanding.
Here is a fascinating glimpse into two great minds, as each author approaches the text from his unique perspective, each seeking an understanding of the Bible s personalities and commandments, paradoxes and ambiguities. Kushner offers his words of Torah with a conversational enthusiasm that ranges from family dynamics to the Kabbalah; Mamet challenges the reader, often beginning his comment far afield with Freud or the American judiciary before returning to a text now wholly reinterpreted.
In the tradition of Israel as a people who wrestle with God, Kushner and Mamet grapple with the biblical text, succumbing neither to apologetics nor parochialism, asking questions without fear of the answers they may find. Over the course of a year of weekly readings, they comment on all aspects of the Bible: its richness of theme and language, its contradictions, its commandments, and its often unfathomable demands. If you are already familiar with the Bible, this book will draw you back to the text for a deeper look. If you have not yet explored the Bible in depth, Kushner and Mamet are guides of unparalleled wisdom and discernment. Five Cities of Refuge is easily accessible yet powerfully illuminating. Each week s comments can be read in a few minutes, but they will give you something to think about all week long.