Friday, November 23, 2012

On The Way

On Tuesday night I popped into a Jewish bookstore and bought Chanukah "candles" (those prepared oil cups) (not what I was planning to get at all). I went in to get the Ramban on Shemot (volume one) in the newest English version.  I bought it and was disappointed to find that he has no comment on the term kanfei nesharim, a phrase I'm in the midst of researching. I wonder if this can be proven to be consistent with his methodology.  Does he generally not comment of metaphors? I also went in to get the Seforno on Chumash.  I knew what he says on the kanfei nesharim and find it fascinating.  I was hoping for elucidation on his comment, but the English edition I got had none.  Then, on a whim I bought a brand new book in English of Rav Asher Weiss/The Minchat Asher's commentary on Breishit and Shmot. Also, I've been thinking about getting the intriguing looking Torah MiEtzion on Breishit for some time.  I saw it. I grabbed it.  I thought I grabbed it.  Turns out I got their edition on Devarim.  They put out Breishit, then Shmot, and their latest, brand new, third volume, the one on display, is on Devarim. Go know.  They take a literary approach and I'm interested.  Perhaps if I find the koach I'll go back and trade it for Breishit or Shmot (not that I like them better, just that they're coming up sooner in our cycle).

On the way to the sefarim store I stopped in at one of the few remaining used bookstores I know of and bought a potpourri of books - a poetry collection by a lawyer, a book by a guy who goes into various Chassidic communities to get what they're like, his in being that he knows Yiddish, but he's not "orthodox," a memoir by a long time writer who has developed serious vertigo, tinnitus, and emphysema - all of which have led him to pull back from other work and write what he believes will be his final story, and a biography on Evel Knievel.  I considered buying their copy of Derrech Hashem, but it was bruised and twenty five dollars and I figured I could get a new one for not much more.

At the sefarim store I found a new edition of Derech Hashem. I decided it's a book I should own.  How could I choose to not have a book with that title? The Ramchal, it turns out, starts off his book by saying how important it is to not miss the forest for the trees, though he uses different images.  He says that you miss the truth when you don't realize how broad and interconnected it is.  It reminded me of the fact that the Hebrew word for truth uses the first, middle, and last letters of the alphabet - because truth is broad.

All these posts are connected, but this piece is ending now, for now.


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