Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Book of Jewish Poetry by Yakov Azriel

Beads for the Messiah's Bride
Poems on Leviticus
by Yakov Azriel
Time Being Books, 2009
ISBN 9781568091280
US$ 15.95

To read a sample poem and to purchase:
Receive a 20% discount by using the coupon code SALE

Dear Ms. Hoffman,

I hope that you are well.

I wanted to bring to your attention that a few weeks ago, my third full length book of poems, Beads for the Messiah's Bride: Poems on Leviticus, was published by Time Being Books, the same publisher that brought out my two earlier books, In The Shadow Of A Burning Bush: Poems On Exodus, and Threads From A Coat Of Many Colors: Poems On Genesis. Like the earlier two books, this one is also structured as a running commentary or midrash (this time on the Book of Leviticus), starting with chapter 1, verse 1, and ending with the last verse in the book. Eventually, we will be publishing five volumes of poetry, one for each of the Five Books of Moses.

I thought that you might be interested in reading my book. Should you be interested, this book can be ordered through Internet bookstores such as Amazon, as well as (the publisher’s website), and selected bookstores. I can also email you some sample poems, to see if these poems "speak" to you.

I am printing a list of three pre-publication endorsements my book has received below.

In any case, I hope that everything is going well for you.


Yakov Azriel

Endorsements for

1) Yakov Azriel has undertaken an exceptionally ambitious and difficult project: to write a series of books of poems based on the books of the Torah. His third volume in this series, Beads for the Messiah's Bride: Poems on Leviticus was perhaps the most challenging, as readers tend to view Leviticus as a rather dry compilation of laws. But Azriel has managed to mine this difficult text and return with an inspired series of poems that disprove, once and for all, the assumption that the well of Leviticus is dry. I would heartily recommend reading this fine book of poems before reading Leviticus, as a way of realizing that this least appreciated of biblical books is in fact full of mystery and meaning.
Howard Schwartz, author of Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, professor of English at the University of Missouri , St. Louis

2) The wonder of Yakov Azriel’s Torah-inspired poetry continues with Beads for the Messiah’s Bride: Poems on Leviticus. Once again, formal mastery combines with depth of learning and soul-searching to produce a work that wrestles uncompromisingly with the demands of the Torah, the questions of an individual life, and the challenges of contemporary Jewish history. Many individual poems are unforgettably poignant, and the reader has throughout a sense of existential engagement with a sacred text.
Esther Cameron, editor of The Deronda Review

3) According to Jewish tradition, children begin their Torah study with the book of Leviticus because of the many Mitzvot it contains. At the same time, Leviticus can be very difficult to read for moderns because it is filled with laws regarding sacrifices, priestly garments, purity and impurity. In his book, Yakov Azriel gives us an entrance into Leviticus by creating a poetic Midrash in which he relates his spiritual struggles and those of our people to the words of the Torah. His highly inspirational, evocative and melodic poems move from themes in Leviticus to themes in the Prophets and the Psalms and the books of R. Nahman of Bratslav. He has created a thread from the laws in Leviticus to his own soul and from there to the soul of the universe. Azriel not only teaches us how to read the book of Leviticus but also how to read ourselves into the book. In doing so, he also brings us closer to God’s word.
Rabbi Reuben Landman, Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim, Silver Spring , MD ( a Conservative congregation)

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