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An outstanding aid to reading Torah and the essays in Etz Hayim. Why is the Bible a special, sacred text? From where/whom does it come? How does the Bible help define who we are as modern Jews? We engage in Bible study in our search for answers to such questions; but few of us can attempt this study alone. Etz Hayim, the landmark Torah commentary publication of the Conservative movement, contains 41 challenging essays that examine various issues relating to the understanding and interpretation of the Bible. Prepared by eminent rabbis and scholars, these essays explore diverse, sometimes controversial, topics relating to Bible study, such as: biblical archeology, marriage and family, revelation, and justice. The Etz Hayim Study Companion has been prepared specifically to help understand and appreciate these exceptional essays. Each original Etz Hayim essay appears in its entirety in the study companion, accompanied by an insightful summary and thought-provoking questions designed for individual or group study. The study material not only leads to a deeper understanding of the Biblical text itself, but also presents discussion topics to enhance the learning experience. Included in the volume is a foreword by David Wolpe and a helpful guide to making the best use of the book by Jacob Blumenthal. The essays have been organized into meaningful topic groups that probe such areas as: Is the Torah Really God's Word? Understanding the Bible in Its Historical Context Biblical Models of Character and Leadership Making the Bible Meaningful and Relevant in Every Age Prayer and Ritual Mitzvot. This study companion will help foster a clearer understanding of the Etz Hayim essays for those who may have already read them, and will encourage others to tackle material that they might otherwise have found daunting.