Oasis Church Perth

book review: Jonathan Sacks. Covenant and Conversation: Genesis

Jonathan Sacks has written a series of Covenant and Conversation books which are sets of essays on the Torah, the five books of Moses. I have now read four of these, all of which are excellent but I fell in love all over again with Genesis through reading Jonathan Sacks. This is the book of beginnings and the foundation of our faith. I loved the rich and revealing Jewish perspective on these well loved stories, with the cultural and historical insights this book brings. I love the explanations of Hebraic expressions and word play which we miss much of in English translation. I particularly loved the way Jonathan Sacks reveals the sub-plots going on – the stories behind the stories. He reveals that God has a heart for the outcast characters – Hagar, Ishmael, Esau and Leah in particular. I felt I could enter into the story with greater understanding and grasp more of the heart of God.  Much of the material also appears in Sacks’ book “Not in God’s Name.” For me it was a pleasure to go over this again. I would also recommend Exodus in the same Covenant and Conversation series as equally good. (Maggid Books, Orthodox Union Press)