Turn It and Turn It for Everything Is in It: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion | Turn It and Turn It for Everything Is in It

The Jewish sages taught that when we study the Torah we should continuously turn it and turn it, like a gem with countless facets, looking for new and deeper meanings. In this volume of essays on each weekly Torah portion, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler shares choice insights from his decades of study and teaching. Drawing on both ancient and modern sources, and weaving scholarship and personal stories, Kligler invites the reader to investigate the countless layers of insight and inspiration that vibrant Torah study can provide.



“Rabbi Jonathan Kligler’s reading into the stories, verses, words, and images of the Torah creates a special work of wonderfully deep personal insights woven with teachings from the wealth of Jewish tradition. Imbued with a spiritual demand to find meaning to Torah in our real lived experience, these teachings do not shun from engaging the readers with difficult and perplexing passages. I find it educating, humorous, and moving.”

—Melila Hellner-Eshed, Professor of Jewish Mysticism and Zohar, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; author of And a River Flows from Eden: On the Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar.

“Jonathan Kligler has mastered the immersive practice of midrash. He plunges into the ocean of the Torah; he identifies the ancient rivers that fed into its vast extent; he registers awe before the geysers emerging from its depths. To this classic approach, Rabbi Kligler adds a talent for encapsulation, focus, and intelligent summary. Profound and succinct at the same time, Turn It and Turn It brings the reader into the confidence of a mature explorer whose originality serves a life-long quest for the fulfilling truth of the Torah.”

—Bruce Chilton, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Bard College; author of Rabbi Jesus.

“Whether analyzing a biblical text, or a comment of Rashi, or a talmudic meditation on a biblical verse, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, a superb teacher, makes it clear again, again, and yet again, why Torah study makes a person deeper in every sense: more intellectually accomplished, more empathetic, and, in the final analysis, not just a smarter person, but—and this is what really counts—a finer person.”

—Joseph Telushkin, author of Rebbe and Words that Hurt, Words that Heal.

“Imagine fifty-four readily accessible steps on the road to a richer spiritual life—each rooted in Scripture and informed by their author’s years of deep reading and reflection—and you get this very special book by Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, which not only generously offers its own wise answers, but will inspire you to find your own.”

—Brad Hirschfield, President, National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; author of You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.

“In this lovely and moving exploration of a year’s worth of Torah portions, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler weaves together traditional approaches with contemporary insights from both the academic world and his own experience to illustrate the open-ended and transformative possibilities of Torah study.”

—Deborah Waxman, President, Reconstructing Judaism

The perfect book to be reading now! Spiritually uplifting and full of wisdom from The Woodstock Jewish Congregation’s wonder- filled rabbi!

—Joyce Washor

This book makes the weekly Torah portion more accessible for the modern day reader which is pretty much what Rabbi Jonathan has been doing at WJC for over 25 years .

—Laurie Deutsch Mozian

I bought your book, and am reading it together with my sixteen year old granddaughter who is a critical reader. She and I love your new book. To get an “endorsement” from her is not usual, but she made an “exception” for your book. You are clear and it is written in the most interesting way for all types of readers. You are a “gift” to the world.

—Laura Szekely

My endorsement: we have been reading the essay for the portion of the week every Friday night. They are wonderful, meaningful, inspiring gems! I highly recommend this book!!!

—Bonnie Robiczek Meadow



Hineni: Essays and Torah Commentaries from Twenty-Five Years on the Bimah | rabbijonathankligler.comHineni: Essays and Torah Commentaries from Twenty-Five Years on the Bimah

In these pages you will find essays adapted from a quarter-century of soulful sermons along with travel writings and other musings on Judaism, Jewish identity, Torah and living an awakened life. It is a book filled with interpretive wisdom, spiritual guidance, social conscience and open-hearted wonder.



Praise for HINENI

“Rabbi Jonathan Kligler is a subtle and passionate thinker. The two traits don’t always go together, but with him, the passion for Torah flows along with a finely tuned intellect. This collection of sermons will make you want to learn Torah.”

—Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy and A Code of Jewish Ethic

“Rabbi Jonathan Kligler has over twenty-five years served as a warm-hearted pastor friend and as an inspiring Torah teacher. His book will enlighten your mind and warm your heart to be the best kind of Jew for the 21st century.”

—Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement, author of “Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice”

“Rabbi Kligler is at once a spiritual seeker, a lover of the Jewish textual tradition, a gentle and empathetic guide to the eternal human condition, and a perceptive observer of the contemporary scene. He weaves these threads together so that each illumines the other. The resulting insights challenge the reader to think afresh, live deeply and embrace life with joy.”

—Rabbi David Teutsch, Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization and past president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, author of Spiritual Community: The Power to Restore Hope, Commitment and Joy”