Architectural Ideas in Judaism and the Weekly Torah Portion
By Joshua Skarf
Hardcover, 598 pages, including 115 diagrams and images
Urim Publications, 2023
ArchitecTorah is a collection of 178 short essays that investigate the Torah through the lens of architecture. Each essay briefly introduces a piece of architectural theory, a building, or a section of building code and then reexamines a well-known topic in the Torah to uncover new and insightful interpretations.
Subjects range from overt examples of architectural stories and commandments to Talmudic discussions about daily life. The author addresses topics large and small, from the origin of cities and affordable housing, to finer details like moisture control and stair design, all viewed through extensive references to rabbinic sources and architectural treatises. He is able to communicate new perspectives on Torah in a way that is both interesting and accessible to non-professionals.
Essays are arranged according to the weekly Torah portion, with at least two entries per parsha.
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“The unique perspective of an expert in architecture exploring the Torah contributes much to our understanding of the verses, midrashim, and classical biblical commentaries. Most readers, who are not used to examining the Torah from this angle, will be surprised to discover just how significant a contribution it makes to our knowledge and appreciation of the Torah. ArchitecTorah enriches our understanding of the sources in an original and thought-provoking manner.” –Rav Amnon Bazak, Yeshivat Har Etzion