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Thursday, July 20, 2017

In his recounting of “The Story of the Hertz Chumash” (June 22, 2017), Mitchell First writes that “another English option did not appear until 1981 when the Reform movement published its own Chumash.”

Inexplicably, he overlooks the hugely popular “Soncino Chumash,” first published in 1947 and edited by Rev. Dr. Abraham Cohen. Cohen was the general editor of the entire set of the Soncino Books of the Bible, and also participated in the Soncino translations of the Talmud and the Midrash.

Unlike Chief Rabbi Hertz’s “Chumash,” Cohen’s commentary is based solely on traditional rabbinic sources, such as Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Radak and others. In the latter decades of the twentieth century, “The Soncino Chumash” replaced “The Hertz Chumash” in many Orthodox congregations in Great Britain and the Commonwealth, as well as in the USA.

David Olivestone

Jerusalem