As the new year is on its way, Mrs. Yid and I have been thinking about various personal and professional goals we have that we can try to work on during the coming year. One of the things we discussed was trying to get this Jew-thing more on the front burner. To that end, we're contemplating, among other things, finding a Hebrew tutor/class again (hopefully this time the guy will stay around for more than six weeks before deciding SF is too hard to live in and running back to Crown Heights), trying a new round of shul-hopping on Saturday mornings, and also trying to study a little on Shabbos.
I've been looking at various Chumashim (Bibles) and translations, and am trying to figure out which ones are worth getting, how many do we really need, etc. Here are my top picks below, along with a few others I'm curious about. Comments are welcome and appreciated. Am I missing something good? Are some of these redundant? Silly? Just plain bad? I don't know, so tell me.
The contenders are:
Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox. Everything I've heard about this guy and his work sounds amazing. Apparently he has retranslated the Tanakh to approximate the "poetic" quality of the original text.
Five Books of Moses by Robert Alter. I've heard of this guy, not too familiar with his work, but he gets good Amazon reviews.
JPS Jewish Study Bible. I've read bits and pieces in college and it seems like a nice resource that's grounded in both solid academic approaches but also in Jewish content and perspectives.
Etz Hayim, by the Conservative movement. The new standard CJ translation and commentary. I've seen it a few times and it would be interesting to contrast it with other commentaries.
The Torah: a Modern Commentary, by the Reform movement. A revised version of their classic commentary from the 80s. Never heard of it until researching Etz Hayim, but I figure it would be nice and fun to have a balance between it and Etz Hayim.
How to Read the Bible, by James Kugel. Dovbear and other smart people seem to like him.
Chumash/Tanakh Stone edition, by Artscroll. Is it worth getting just to have a counterpoint?
Koren Chumash, by Jonathan Sacks. I would be more interested in this if there was commentary.
I also know I have some commentaries by Nechama Leibowitz and Rav Hirsch somewhere at my folks' house that I should dig up, too...