The Serpent’s Skin

The Serpent’s Skin
Marc Klein
Urim Publications / 207 pages

The Serpent’s Skin is a book of Torah commentary that examines the major stories of the Book of Genesis. It compares and contrasts the various stories and shows how many of them are interconnected and interrelated. Many of these insights are exceptionally amazing, and frankly, ‘cool’. The book brings nuances and details to our attention that most of us wouldn’t realize are there even if we read the Torah’s text 100 times. For example, readers will discover:

  • How the six days of creation can be divided into two: the first three days where God prepares the world for inhabitation, and the last three days of creation where He fills it.
  • The first account of creation where man was last to be created while in the second account man is the first to be created.
  • How only man knows that one day he will die, something that has been hidden from the animals.
  • The snake as a symbol for both life and death.
  • The presentation on the story of Noah is especially fascinating, with comparisons between the post-flood story of Noah and the Garden of Eden, as well as comparisons between the post-flood rebirth of the world and the seven days of creation.
  • There is also much material on the connections between the various stories based on common words and their roots, such as the word “vayeidah” (to know), “arum” (naked/guile) and “Yitzchak” (to laugh/play)
  • And much more.

Although the author is an independent thinker and physiologist, the core of this work is drawn from midrashic sources, works of biblical scholarship, and the author’s own chiddushim The content is compatible with orthodox thought, albeit slightly radical in some instances.

This is a very good book for those of all levels and background who would like to delve deeper into the stories of Genesis, peeling away at the many levels of interpretation that the Torah offers. There are some really riveting interpretations here.

Popular posts from this blog

The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook

Sexuality and Jewish Law

The Rabbi Daniel Travis Collection