About the Book
A landmark publication for the contemporary Jewish community, Etz Hayim is a publication of the Conservative movement, produced through a joint venture of The Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and The Jewish Publication Society.
Special features make Etz Hayim meaningful for lay and clergy alike:
- Essays on key themes by prominent Conservative movement rabbis and scholars
- Separate p’shat and d’rash commentary themes, showing two approaches to interpreting the Torah:
- The p’shat commentary, adapted from the JPS Torah Commentary and edited by Chaim Potok, seeks to explain the basic meaning of the text.
- The d’rash commentary, edited by Harold Kushner, selects insights from over 2000 years of Torah study, including passages from the Talmud and Midrash, the teachings of the Sages, comments by Rashi, homiletic and psychological insights by Hasidic teachers, and reading by contemporary rabbis and scholars, including women’s voices.
- The haftarot commentary, edited by Michael Fishbane and drawn from his JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot, explains the supplemental readings from the Prophets (Nevi’im), which accompany each weekly Sabbath reading.
- Highlights traditional readings for Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities and includes the special section halakhah l’ma-aseh, which indicates where Jewish laws are based on biblical passages. Also, blessings for the Torah and haftarot, full-color maps, glossary, timeline of biblical events, and indexes.
First and foremost, Etz Hayim offers the JPS translation of the Torah, which is a wonder in itself, always surprising and fresh every time you dip into it… But this is only one benefit of this eloquent, multi-layered volume.
– Jewish Exponent