Rabbi Francis Nataf is a Jerusalem based thinker, writer, and educator. He is the author of Redeeming Relevance in the Torah series and of many articles on religious thought, biblical studies, and current events. He is known for his independent thought and creativity that simultaneously puts him to the right and to the left of everyone he knows.

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In this book, Rabbi Francis Nataf brings a sophisticated approach to some of the central themes in Genesis offering profound and relevant teachings from the Torah’s first book. Redeeming Relevance comes highly recommended from such notable Jewish leaders as Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm and Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein.

Rabbi Nataf draws on his keen literary awareness and deep knowledge of the text, Midrash and commentaries to provide original readings of some of the major stories in the book of Exodus. Through careful and creative textual analysis, he shows that we can still find new and provocative text-based insights.

”Francis Nataf overcomes ‘Vayikra Avoidance Syndrome’ with an ambitious set of essays that treat the book as a whole and justify its centrality in the Torah. He offers stimulating and sometimes provocative theses about… Kohanim and Israelites, Jews and gentiles, and flesh and blood.” –Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, Dean, Center for Modern Torah Leadership

This volume focuses on some of the text’s most perplexing stories in the Book of Numbers. It weaves them into discussions about the individual and the community, religious leadership and its abuse, and about communication and disappointment. Taking a new look at Judaism’s most basic text, Rabbi Nataf reads the Bible in ways that make it more accessible and more exciting to study.

A fresh look […], this volume focuses on topics such as mortality, personal vision, identity, humanity, and religion and state. Rabbi Francis Nataf shows his talent for discovering previously untouched facets of the Torah and connecting them to Jewish tradition. The clarity of the insights and patterns presented shows how a personal analysis of the biblical text can lead to living a more spiritually rewarding and ethically correct life.


Moshe’s Tricks of the Trade

Though I generally have a good rapport with my listeners, there have been a few times that even though I was saying something of extreme importance, my listeners did not seem overly impressed. At such times, I have to admit the temptation to throw a book across the room, to shake the group out of […]

One Law Does Not Fit All

We see laws that the Torah wants only some of its followers to be completely aware about. Hence it seems reasonable to ask why the Torah wants to be so sneaky, as opposed to just going out and saying that some laws are really only meant for an elite that come to the table with […]

All You Need is One Good Man

Much of the story at the end of this week’s parsha should actually seem like deja-vu, as this is not the first time such a process unfolds. Also in Parshat Beha’alotecha, it is first the rabble that complain; and only afterwards, all of Israel. Moreover just like here, the people’s bewilderment and confusion led them […]