Stranded on Torah Island


As we get closer to Shavuos, I thought it might be interesting to see the different ways our readers love Torah. According to some of the machshavah seforim, the mon of the Wilderness contained all flavors because it came through the Sar HaTorah. Torah as well contains all kinds of intellectual delights, and pleases the soul’s pallate according to the way it is approached and prepared.

I’ve designed a little exercise that might demonstrate the different flavors our readers find within Torah study. Imagine that you were going to be exiled, alone, to a South Pacific island. Among other survival gear, you were given permission to take along just one sefer (or set of seforim) whose original publication date was someplace in the last 300 years. What would you choose to take on the island?

My choice is predictable for anyone who has read my handling of the issue of basic Torah competence. I would take the Dzhimitrovsky edition of the Ketzos HaChoshen. That’s the one with the great notes, introducing all the lomdishe (Litvaks only allowed on my island!)

Please share your choice with the CC community, and show how different personalities find fulfillment of their Torah quest in different parts of Torah literature.

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Danny Rubin
1 year 4 months ago

Honorable mention to the “Yeshurun” collection written by Rav Gedaliah Felder. Rav Felder writes with the organization and clarity of the Aruch Hashulchan,bekius which comes close to Rav Ovadia, ( I would never have the chutzpah to say any contemporary is Rav Yosef’s equal in bekius.) and includes a historical perspective.

I respectfully suggest that Rav Felder’s seforim do not get enough recognition and highly encourage everyone to check them out!!

David Z
1 year 4 months ago

haemek davar. and maybe haemek hash’elah. But especially the former–if I’m on a desert island I probably don’t need any ordinary sifre halakha )(does Artscroll have one for that yet?), but it’ll include a text of khumash and some na”kh , along with brilliant and inspiring commentary. haemek hash’ela is just cool and includes rav hai gaon.

Of course if I could bring the bavli… :) y’rushalmi would be great, but I probably can’t read enough of the darned thing… My fault of course. Or is it? :) Yeah, I’m talking to you, run-of-the-mill Lithuanian y’shivot!

1 year 4 months ago

Yabia Omer 10 volumes.

Moshe Hillson
1 year 4 months ago

I second Shmuel’s choice of Haamek Davar, but on condition that the Netziv’s Rinah Shel Torah (on Shir haShirim) is part of the set.

Rafael Araujo
1 year 4 months ago

The real question is: will Uncle Moishy also be on Torah Island with me? Or, did he get off and cross the Hudson before I got there? :)

I would say the collected writings of the Chofetz Chaim tz”l (which come in one set) and I would hope Mishna Berura would be part of that set.