RABBI ELI L. GARFINKEL
JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary
Wednesday, June 16, 6:00 PM
The JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary shows Jews of all ages and backgrounds that the Jewish people’s most significant book is not dusty and irrelevant but an eternally sacred text wholly pertinent to our lives. Designed to keep the attention of all readers, each lively essay is both brief enough to be read in minutes and deep and substantive enough to deliver abundant food for thought.
Its cornerstone is its unique four-part meditation on the Jewish heritage. After briefly summarizing a Torah portion, the commentary orbits that portion through four central pillars of Jewish life—the Torah (Torat Yisrael), the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), the Jewish people (Am Yisrael), and Jewish thought (Mahshevet Yisrael)—illuminating how the four intersect and enrich one another. Furthering the Jewish thought motif, every essay ends with two questions for thought well suited for discussion settings. Each commentary can be used as the launchpad for a lesson, a sermon, a d’var Torah, or a discussion.
Readers from beginners to experts will come away with new understandings of our Jewish heritage—and be inspired to draw closer to its four dimensions.
The Alexander Joseph Kaufman Author Series is dedicated by Sherryl and Michael Kaufman in memory of Michael’s younger brother, Alexander. Click here to learn more.
Rabbi Eli L. Garfinkel was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1999. After assistantships in Toronto and Cincinnati, he became the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Somerset, New Jersey in 2005. There, he started an annual Jewish film festival, organized communal Passover seders, and taught popular adult education courses. During the COVID pandemic, he guided the congregation through daily minyanim and offered a robust online learning experience.
Rabbi Garfinkel is the author of the JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary (JPS, 2021) and has written several other books that are used in the Ramah camps. He has served as president of the New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly. He and his wife, Naomi Lasky, are the proud parents of their twins, Sari and Josh.