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Samuel David Luzzatto

Aug 10, 2021

Shadal on Leviticus

Samuel David Luzzatto's Interpretation of the Book of Vayikra

Kodesh Press 2020

Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), known by his Hebrew acronym Shadal, was the leading Italian Jewish scholar of the 19th century. A linguist, educator, and religious thinker, he devoted his talents above all to the interpretation of the Bible. As a master of Hebrew grammar and usage, he focused on the plain meaning of the text. Although he was a devout believer in the divinity, unity, and antiquity of the Torah, Shadal approached the text in a remarkably free spirit of inquiry, drawing upon a wide variety of sources, ancient and contemporary, Jewish and non-Jewish. As a result, his interpretations may strike even the modern reader as fresh and novel.

Shadal's treatment of the books of the Torah consisted of his Italian translation of the text and his Hebrew-language commentary. Here, for the first time, is an all-English version of both the text translation and the unabridged commentary. Daniel A. Klein, translator and editor of Luzzatto's commentaries, has supplied copious explanatory notes and a list identifying the sources cited. Through Kodesh Press, Daniel Klein has translated Shadal's commentaries on Genesis (2019), Exodus (2015), and Leviticus (2020).

Join us as we speak with Daniel Klein about Luzzatto's life and commentaries on the Torah!

Daniel A. Klein is an attorney and legal writer, and a graduate of Yeshiva University and New York University School of Law. His study of Italian as a youthful hobby led to a fascination with Italian Jewish culture and, in particular, the works of Shadal (Samuel David Luzzatto).He and his wife live in Rochester, New York, where he has taught Judaic studies at elementary, high school, and adult levels.

Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus (Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at

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