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New on the Shelf: Abudarham and Torah Reading

I recently discovered Rabbi Yoel Katan’s column Kiryat Sefer in the newspaper Besheva. In each column Rabbi Katan recommends some new books that have been published. In a recent column Rabbi Katan mentioned two books of interest.

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1. Sefer Abudarham-Written by David Abudarham/Abudirham, there have been numerous editions of this important commentary on the liturgy and a recent one is a partial edition of the book that includes a comprehensive commentary and variant readings from MSS and early printed editions. I have the first volume of this edition and apparently the second volume has been published and a third volume is on the way. Rabbi Katan does mention that this edition isn’t based upon the MSS, although some variant readings from MSS are brought, and that it would be good for an edition based upon MSS to be published.

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2. Vezot ha-Torah: Minhagei Keriat ha-Torah be-Eidot Yisrael-This recent book by Rabbi Dr. Hayyim Talbi is a comprehensive examination of the different customs surrounding the reading of the Torah. There are discussions about calling people up to the Torah, selling aliyot, and just about anything else related to the Torah reading. On Twitter I saw a tweet about this book and that is how I arrived at Rabbi Katan’s column. So Twitter can be good for Torah learning.

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