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MOSES’ FINAL ADDRESS
By: GOODMAN, Micah
Just before his death at the end of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses addresses the people of Israel for the last time. His oration, which comprises most of Deuteronomy, is a boldly original message about religion, power and humanity. Goodman shows how Moses recasts the people's past in order to shape its future. As such, Deuteronomy is the first commentary on the Bible, offering a radical reinterpretation of the first four books of the Bible.
Deuteronomy is also the first truly human book of the Bible, in that it consists of Moses' words. Goodman argues that it offers a surprisingly progressive and democratic message that anticipates both Plato and the American founding fathers. He demonstrates how Moses' legacy was carried on by Joshua but then largely vitiated by King Solomon. And he concludes by considering whether Moses' revolutionary view can be realized in modern Israel, where Jews once again have political power.
In MOSES’ FINAL ADDRESS, Micah Goodman, while not shying away from the ample scholarly literature on Deuteronomy, offers his own accessible and stimulating reading of a text he shows to be groundbreaking and provocative, relevant and resonant.
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"This book was astonishing in its force, in its directness, and in the political-religious message it proposes." – Former MK Ruth Calderon, author of A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales
"Micah Goodman's book takes its place alongside the two masterpieces of world literature written about Moses in the twentieth century – by Sigmund Freud and Martin Buber. But whereas these writers try to capture the greatest prophet by holding him at a respectful distance, Goodman presents an image of Moses that is familiar and blessedly intimate, his admiration driven by deep understanding and expertise. This is Moses as we have never before known him." – Haim Be'er
"Micah Goodman's book on Deuteronomy is fascinating, provocative, and innovative. He will rock the religious world of readers who agree with him, and of those who don't." – Rabbi David Stav, leader of the Shoham settlement and head of the rabbinic organization Tzohar
"Micah Goodman does not offer a philological inquiry, but a philosophical one. Students of Bible will find this book as enjoyable as it is valuable." – Professor Alexander Rofeh, professor emeritus of Bible at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Jewish studies chair
“Goodman offers a new fresh reading of the fifth book of the Pentateuch… In reading Deuteronomy he seeks to understand the religious philosophy the book provides and its significance for the public…Moses’ Final Address is remarkable for its clarity, its fluent language and its relevant religious and social messages." – Ariel Horowitz, Makor Rishon
"Written with compassion, restraint, and humility, Micah Goodman's new book seeks to fundamentally transform our relationship to the book of Deuteronomy. Run and buy it!" – Shimon Riklin, Mida
"Goodman thinks and writes outside of the box…What his three books have in common is a search for the hidden layers of meaning in the texts he writes about." – Tal Bashan, Ma'ariv
"Goodman wins hands-down when it comes to the ability to write short, catchy sentences, which enables him to persuade his readers that the book of Deuteronomy was first to espouse the democratic sentiments later championed by many major Western philosophical thinkers. This book offers an exciting encounter between a text unafraid of its contradictions and a reader who is similarly unafraid to grapple with contradiction. To the reader's pleasant surprise, Goodman's new book… allows for fault lines, confusion, and pain, three of the major factors motivating great works of literature from Bialik to Brenner to Agnon." – Avi Grafinkel, Yediot Aharonoth