Rabbi David Wolpe states in his forward – “Royalty, Religion, Sex and Mystery is a book of modern interpretation and midrash. It takes the stories of the Bible, explains them and then helps them come to life. What did the Levite feel as a survivor when the ark fell and Uzzah was killed? What is the story of David confronting a giant supposed to teach later generations? How did the rabbis succeed in making their reading of the text the one that became Judaism as we know it?”
In Royalty, Religion, Sex and Mystery, Rabbi Simon presents us with a great sweep of Jewish History and lore, beginning with the Ark of the Covenant (delightfully told from teh Ark’s point of view) to teh establishment of Rabbinic Judaism. Using historical eveidence and various points of view and narrative voice, he retells the Books of Kings and Chronicles. With compassion and humor, he uncovers the possible motivations, thoughts and feelings of teh characters, both men and women. The drama is replete with politics, rebellions, alliances, merciless acts, acts of vengenance, courage, loyalty and pathos. The backdrop is the historical rise of kingdoms and then empires and the develpment of literature, religion, and theology. Rabbi Simon has truly followed Rav Kook’s dictum to make the old new, and the new holy. – Dr. Amy L. Sales, Senior Research Scientist, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University
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