My new book on Melakhim Bet
II Kings - In a Whirlwind
The subtitle, "In a Whirlwind" reflects one of the early and most magnificent scenes of II Kings – the heavenward ascent of the great prophet Elijah “in a whirlwind.” But on a deeper level, it refers to a far wider motif that underlies the entire book of II Kings. I am referring to the sense that the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are caught in a web of tempestuous forces throughout the period described by this book. Whether the adversary is the powerful kingdom of Aram, or the aggressive empires of Assyria and then Babylonia that threaten the very existence of the Israelite state, the backdrop of II Kings is of a small nation-state entangled in and subjected to forces much larger than itself, caught as if in a whirlwind.
(From the introduction)
"With a whirlwind of information, insight and clarity, Rabbi Alex Israel brings us once again into the rich world of kings and prophets, deepening our knowledge and appreciation of this interesting and tumultuous time. He makes timeless narratives jump from the page into our contemporary religious and political landscape."
Dr. Erica Brown
Director. Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership
In transforming his vibrant classroom into book form, Alex Israel demonstrates that Tanakh study is not only interesting but relevant as well. He provides the intelligent reader with new insights, blending the rigor of peshat with traditional commentary, all within the framework of a realistic historical context. You will enjoy this book because he’s teaching, not preaching.
Rabbi Menachem Leibtag
Founder of the Tanakh Study Center
My first Book:
I Kings - Torn in Two
Alex Israel has written an enthralling analysis of one of the most dramatic books of Tanakh, and one deeply relevant to Israel at the present time. His insights into the dilemmas and temptations of power, and the conflict between Israel’s particular identity and its universal aspirations, are masterly. You will learn much from this book, not least in seeing how the depth and subtlety of Judaism’s ancient texts are a continuing source of moral, political and spiritual wisdom.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Chief Rabbi of Great Britain