This review was submitted to Menucha Publishers, the distributors of Ohr Chadash publications in the North America
A Wealth of Historical and Spiritual Insights
By Ashira Morgenstern
Since Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan passed away in 1983 there have been few authors humble yet authoritative and articulate enough to successfully convey the basics of Torah-based prophecy. But that’s exactly what Prophecy & Divine Inspiration does. Well written, informative, and grounded, this work is more than a valuable reference. It’s an experience.
A good teacher of Torah must be humble and clear to the point of transparency. Rabbi Trugman is both, not only in his writing, but in his speaking, too. If you listen to any of his online presentations, you’ll understand what I mean.
If you’re like me, the first thing you do when you open a sefer is look at the approbations, in this case given by Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh and Rabbi Zev Leff. Then I turn to the endnotes and bibliography to find out how wide-ranging and comprehensive the author is. If all this resonates for me, I get myself a bookmark, and start from the beginning.
Prophecy is a journey best taken in small treks. I’d read a chapter, bookmark it, and let it sink in for a day or two. It’s divided into five parts: 1) The Definition of Prophecy and Divine Inspiration; 2) Prophecy in the Tanach (Old Testament); 3) Archetypal Themes in the Prophets; 4) Transitions [Between the Prophets to the Sages]; and 5) Accessing the Experience of Divine Inspiration Today.
Any treatment of such a transcendent topic might easily become arcane, but Rabbi Trugman opts for being an engaging tour guide rather than an academic. What’s especially refreshing is that Rabbi Trugman is so comfortable with his sources that this work has feet. It took me places—places I could see, hear, and touch—in real time.
For example: Makhdesh Hagadol—Israel’s Grand Canyon. The author describes how he spirits his students there on a tour bus just to listen to the sounds of silence. How wise to realize that the soul needs freedom from playlists and podcasts and that, at times, it’s silence we’re really hungry for.
Prophecy is meticulously crafted and filled with the spirit and heart of a masterful, deeply caring Torah educator. There is truly nothing like it available to English-speaking readers. I already consider it a must-have resource for its wealth of historical perspective and depth of spiritual insight.