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Links to Our Legacy: Insights into Hebrew, History, and Liturgy

Links to Our Legacy: Insights into Hebrew, History, and Liturgy

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We owe Mitchell First out thanks for tackling such questions and broadening our Jewish horizons. - Dan Klein, Lerhhaus

I found the books pleasant to read and a welcome companion. - David Curwin, Tradition Online

Attorney and independent biblical researcher Mitchell First, in his newest book Links to Our Legacy, continues his mission to find lost meanings and correct inaccurate historical accountings. - Fred Reiss, Ed.D.

Praise for Previous Works

“Mitchell First has produced a groundbreaking study of Jewish intellectual history.” — Professor Sid Z. Leiman
“Mitchell First… combines extensive research into primary sources, the contributions of other contemporary scholars, and his own original ideas to build stronger structures in the pursuit of truth.” — Rabbi Hayyim Angel
“Mitchell First’s scholarship is like detective work. It picks up on clues sometimes overlooked by others, coming to surprising conclusions.” — Professor Reuven Kimelman

Mitchell First’s 66 short articles address interesting questions about the Hebrew language, Jewish history, and liturgy. For example:
  • On Hebrew language: insights into the original meanings of the words chamushim, totafot, kohen, minchah, nefesh, netzach, selah, tefillin and many others.
  • On Jewish history: the order of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, the absence of the book of Esther among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the distinction between Neviim and Ketuvim, Rashi’s motivations in writing his Torah commentary, biography of Nehama Leibowitz, and the symbolism of the Israel Postal Company logo.
  • On Jewish liturgy: the meaning of sekhvi, the authorship of U-Netanneh Tokef, and the origin of the reading of each of the Five Megillot.

About the Author

Mitchell First has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and an M.A. in Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He has published articles on Jewish history and liturgy in periodicals such as Biblical Archaeology Review, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Ḥakirah and AJS Review. He resides in Teaneck, N.J., and is a personal injury attorney in New York City. His previous books include Roots and Rituals: Insights into Hebrew, Holidays, and History (2018) and Esther Unmasked: Solving Eleven Mysteries of the Jewish Holidays and Liturgy (2015). He is presently a regular columnist for the Jewish Link of New Jersey.


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