About The Author
Rabbi Allen Schwartz has served the Upper West Side of Manhattan since 1985 and has been the rabbi of the historic Congregation Ohab Zedek for the past thirty-four years. He has taught over three thousand students at Yeshiva University and Stern College since 1983 and currently teaches at Manhattan Day School. His Bible curriculum is widely used in day schools and high schools in the New York area, and he has also served as camp rabbi and educational director at Camp Morasha and Camp Mesorah for many summers. He is the author of numerous articles on Biblical and Rabbinic themes and has published the commentary of Rabbi Elazar Rokeach to Sefer Mishlei (Book of Proverbs), The 4 Sons Haggadah, and Conflict and Resolution in the Early Prophets.
“This book reveals life’s lessons in every parashah, in faith, hashkafah, and derech eretz.”
Rabbi Hershel Schachter
“Rabbi Schwartz takes you through life cycles and Torah interpretations that rely on the wellsprings of our mesorah, with timely messages for meeting today’s challenges from a Torah perspective.”
Rabbi Mordechai Willig
Rabbi Eliezer Barany – NJ Jewish Link
In his “Parsha Sheleima on Sefer Shemos,” Rabbi Allen Schwartz picks up where he left off from his same commentary on Bereshis. One can expect the same style in this work. For example, this sefer is unique in that it seeks to offer a multifaceted approach to the Torah. Each parsha contains some connection to the four amidahs of Shabbos, giving a greater understanding of a unique word contained within the weekly portion—which connects to seminal life events and provides a general introduction to both the portion from the Torah and the accompanying haftorah portion, through multiple methods of understanding.
As in the previous volume, each chapter contains a Friday night section—which connects an aspect of the parsha to the concept from that night’s tefillah—showing us that the purpose of creation was Shabbos. The next section provides an introduction to the Torah portion in connection to the Shabbos morning tefillah, which mentions that Moshe should be happy in his portion.This is followed by the introduction to the haftorah, which allows the reader to see what the rabbis highlighted from that week’s portion, which was elaborated on and further explained by the Navi. This is followed by a drasha, “the main homiletic exposition of the parsha with a more global message in the realm of drasha.” The next section leads into some mussar to be taken from the portion, highlighting an ethical lesson one can internalize from that week’s portion. Then, lifecycle sections are followed, with a piece of Torah related to birth, then bnei mitzvah and marriage. This is, then, followed by the affirmation that Hashem is One and His Name is One, in relation to seudat shlishit. Finally, he finishes off with a word on the parsha—a peculiar word that is infrequent in Tanach. This is what occupies the 10 sections contained in each weekly portion.
Yet again, any of the sections can be utilized for its own purpose. For example, one need not prepare a drasha by reading all of the prior sections for that parsha. Rather, one can focus on one area and cull out the situation-specific reason for which they are searching in the book. Rabbi Schwartz continues to do a superb job of explaining the ideas presented in the midrashim. He additionally displays his expertise in Nevi’im and Ketuvim, as he brings complementary verses to help us understand the weekly sedra.
Brian Nadata (verified owner) –
We have known Rabbi Schwartz on and off for over 30 years. He has been a Rabbi to parts of our family and we are well acquainted with his scholarship. He distinguishes himself here with a comprehensive view that a family can use to truly understand what the Torah reportion of the week and it’s af Hafara are all about.