In Torah Tutor, Rabbi Lenore Bohm draws on a lifetime of teaching about the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, starting with Genesis. Early reviewers of the book praise the timeliness of the themes lifted up in this contemporary self-guided study, which is ideal for individual seekers and group discussions.
"Reading this may become one of the most meaningful parts of your week, renewing, enriching and energizing you," says the Foreword by Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, America's first woman ordained as a rabbi.
Priesand calls Torah Tutor "a well-researched volume relying on the wisdom of diverse scholars. Torah Tutor is organized according to the weekly portion, or parasha. After summarizing the parasha's basic events, Bohm draws our attention to verses that stand out, some of which we may not have realized originate in the Torah. This is followed by ideas to think or talk about, making the portion easy to approach for individual study or group discussion. Finally, Rabbi Bohm offers a focus phrase to strengthen our spiritual awareness during the week."
Whether reading as an individual or discussing the weekly readings with others, Priesand says these reflections will lead to moral, spiritual and intellectual growth. Each reader is likely to uncover different treasures in these pages. "Where we are in our own lives at a particular moment enriches the search and the discovery," she writes.
Christian reviewers find the same is true as they also seek to study these shared sacred books. "As a Christian, I have always loved the stories and wisdom in the Bible. Rabbi Bohm expresses that same love in Torah Tutor. With each portion of the Torah, she lovingly crafts questions and insights that draw us into the heart of God," says the Rev. Sharon Buttry, an author and peace activist in American Baptist Churches.
Scholars praise the breadth and depth of the book. Jessica Pressman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, San Diego State University, writes: "Rabbi Lenore Bohm offers her heart and wisdom but also, importantly, her expertise in arranging, managing, and navigating the immensity of Torah study. In this short, brilliantly organized book, Rabbi Bohm provides scaffolding for accessing Torah, for learning to talk about, think, and focus on Torah. This is a gift of a book by a very gifted rabbi."
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About the Author
Sally J. Priesand, North America's first female rabbi, was ordained in June, 1972, by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Following ordination, she served for seven years at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City and for two years at Temple Beth El in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1981, she became Rabbi of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, becoming Rabbi Emerita upon her retirement in 2006. Nationally, she has served on the Executive Board of both the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism. She also served as a member of the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR, as President of the Rabbinic Alumni Association, and for three years as editor of the CCAR Newsletter. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Priesand lives in Ocean Township, New Jersey, with her Boston Terrier Zeke. She is a contributor to many books, including The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate, a winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She also enjoys speaking to congregations around the country, telling her story and that of Regina Jonas, the world's first woman rabbi.