© All rights reserved Rina & Moshe Shachar
Who was “Head and shoulders above them all” but also “Hid among the baggage“?
Where is it written that “Man was born to toil“?
Who warned “He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver“?
Where is it written “Nor put a stumbling block before the blind“, “Rise up before the aged“, and “Love your neighbor as yourself“?
Who prophesized: “It will come to pass in end of days… neither will they learn war any more…“?
Who said the wonderful phrase “Death and life are controlled by the tongue” and “Without vision, the people cast off restraint“?
Where can the fascinating love song be found “I am love-sick… by night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves… love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave…“?
The Bible is like a great ocean on whose bottom lies a treasure of pearls. But how do we obtain these pearls? The pearl divers are few and far between. The “Touching the Bible” compilation faces the challenge in an unprecedented way.
The book “touches” the Bible. It is a journey through the verses. Excerpts from the Bible were collected. No changes were made to the text, neither to the order in which they appear in scripture. Before every section, an enlightening title was added – all in the spirit of tradition.
The book is not a replacement to the Holy Bible. It comes to open a window into the Bible. It is an escort, bridge, a gateway to the Holy Scriptures.
“Tampering” with the “Book of Books”, for whose perfection there is no substitute, was done in awe and humility.
It is written five times in the Bible “To live by them”. The Bible is meant to be used. What good is a pearl hidden in the depths of the ocean if it is like a stone with no one to turn it over? What fault is there in a compilation of quotes!? And on a similar matter our sages have said: “from not for its sake – becomes for its sake” – to start with “Touching the Bible” and end with the entire Bible.
In principle, the verses selected are those with no need for commentaries. A commentary acts as a barrier between the reader and the marvelous Scripture. The Bible requires in-depth studying; this book can be read “lightly”.
The book includes seven appendices: (1) A family tree from Adam to King David, (2) a brief history of the development of the Bible – writing, punctuation, divisions and phrasing, (3) a short history of the Nation of Israel during Biblical times, (4) excerpts from the Ethics of the Fathers, (5) a collection of verses from the Bible, organized according to topics, (6) archeological findings relevant to the Bible, and (7) a collection of thousands of idioms.
Finally, paintings by Gustave Doré were chosen to decorate the book. Gustave Doré is considered one of the most famous painters of biblical paintings.
Oh that (Deuteronomy 5) this collection will lead the way, as in the words of the prophet Isaiah – pave a path, remove obstacles from my people’s way (Isaiah 57). When it is discovered that the way to the scripture is not via the heavens(Deuteronomy, 30), then the commandment “You shall toil in it“ (Joshua 1) can be kept.
The Scripture is the tree of life (Proverbs 3), planted by streams of water (Psalms 1). Its fruits have sustained our civilization throughout history.