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October 12, 2014 / conservadox

Introducing… Soncino

This week I am finally done with following the Scharfstein chumash (yay!)

For the coming year, I am following the Soncino chumash, edited in Britain in the 1950s; it was commonly used in Orthodox synagogues before Artscroll (though it was less popular, I think, than the Hertz chumash).   Like Artscroll, Soncino relies on the work of the major medieval commentators.  Unlike Artscroll, it is limited to seven major commentators: Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Gersonides, Nachmanides, David Kimhi, sforno, and Rashbam.

Side note: my (used) copy has the following handwritten note in front:

“To my dear son,

Who has to raise a family away from Jewish community, astranged [I assume she meant estranged] from Jewish tradition.  Please, remember who you are and who you came from.

Mother Haya.”

The book apparently was in the Tuscon public library at some point, so I am guessing that Haya’s son got the book from his mother and quickly regifted it to the Tuscon library- not quite what Haya had in mind.  On the positive side, Tuscon has half a dozen or so synagogues of all denominations so maybe this story did not end as sadly as I suspect.


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