13 10, 2019

Difficulties and explanations regarding Kohelet

By |2019-10-13T00:07:47-07:00October 13th, 2019|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Tradition mandates that Jews should read the biblical book Kohelet, also spelt Koheleth and Qohelet, called Ecclesiastes in English, during the holiday of Sukkot. Both the Hebrew and English names mean “collector” or “collection.” We do not know why this mandate was made. Some say that since Sukkot is a very happy holiday, we need [...]

27 05, 2018

Ecclesiastes does not say what we think it says

By |2018-05-27T10:29:23-07:00May 27th, 2018|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

The JPS Bible Commentaries are highly respected for their scholarship and for the clear and easy to read manner in which this scholarship is presented so that even readers with little knowledge of the biblical books can effortlessly understand what is being explained. Michael V. Fox's 2004 interpretation of Ecclesiastes in the JPS series reflects [...]

25 04, 2018

Adin Steinsaltz saves the honor of Ecclesiastes

By |2018-04-25T04:19:46-07:00April 25th, 2018|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

The Hebrew volume Chameish Megillot, published by Koren Press,[1] is part of a series of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s commentaries on the Bible called Hatanakh HaMevoar. This volume contains commentaries to the five Megillot, “scrolls,” biblical books that are read in synagogues on five holidays; the books of Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), and [...]

22 04, 2018

A famous mystic’s view of ecclesiastes

By |2018-04-23T04:36:56-07:00April 22nd, 2018|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

While scholars such as Rashbam, Abraham ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and others read what the Bible actually states, Nachmanides (1194-1270) read mysticism into the biblical words. According to Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel, he was the first Bible commentator to do so.[1] He also explained the biblical text by claiming that certain events, behaviors, and conversations [...]

31 12, 2017

The anti-Orthodox views in the biblical book Ecclesiastes (Qohelet)

By |2017-12-31T05:19:22-07:00December 31st, 2017|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Ecclesiastes is a controversial book. It has radical ideas that are contrary to today’s Orthodox Judaism. It contains verses that seem to contradict other verses.[1] The opening two verses and at least half of the final twelfth chapter were added to the book by an editor apparently with an attempt to make it fit better [...]

24 12, 2017

Rashi’s grandson’s commentary of Ecclesiastes

By |2017-12-24T05:55:00-07:00December 24th, 2017|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Sara Japhet and Robert B. Salters, two highly respected scholars’ editing and translation of Rashbam’s commentary on Qoheleth (also spelt Kohelet, Ecclesiastes in English) is excellent. Rashbam was one of Jewry’s most supreme rational Bible commentators, part of a trio of top Jewish medieval rationalist, along with Maimonides and Abraham ibn Ezra. He was the [...]

3 10, 2017

A scholar’s interpretation of Ecclesiastes

By |2017-10-03T03:36:47-07:00October 3rd, 2017|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  The biblical book Kohelet, Ecclesiastes in English, is read in synagogues during the holiday of Sukkot. Why? The traditional answer is that a major theme of Kohelet is the futility of mundane pursuits and pleasures. Sukkot demonstrates this theme by the commandment to live in temporary dwellings. We move outside our homes, which provides [...]

22 05, 2016

An analysis of wisdom books by Rabbi Marc Angel

By |2016-05-22T12:10:56-07:00May 22nd, 2016|Book Reviews|

The Wisdom of Solomon and Us The Quest for Meaning, Morality and a Deeper Relationship with God By Rabbi Dr. Marc D. Angel Jewish Lights Publishing, 2016, 204 pages The Bible describes God granting King Solomon the gift of wisdom. As a result, a tradition ascribes the authorship of the three biblical books Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, [...]

16 10, 2014

Koheleth – Ecclesiastes

By |2014-10-16T22:29:44-07:00October 16th, 2014|Book Reviews|

                                       Review by Israel Drazin                                                                    Koheleth The Man and his world A Study of Ecclesiastes By Robert Gordis Schocken Books, 1968, 421 pages Paperback Cost: $5.00   This is a readable translation by a highly respected scholar of the biblical book Ecclesiastes, called Kohelet in Hebrew, with comprehensive explanations and extensive notes. Both [...]

12 12, 2011

Is this biblical book hedonistic?

By |2011-12-13T06:09:09-07:00December 12th, 2011|Book Reviews|

Kohelet A Modern Commentary on Ecclesiastes By Leonard S. Kravitz and Kerry M. Olitzky UAHC Press, 2003, 132 pages     Kohelet, its Hebrew name, Ecclesiastes in English, is one of the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. Both names mean “assembly” or “assembler.” The book’s author states that he was the son of King [...]

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