Rabbi with K.C. ties publishes ‘Parsha Potpourri’
- Created: Thursday, 21 February 2013 18:00
- Written by Marcia Montgomery, Community Editor
“Parsha Potpourri: Divrei Torah and Points to Ponder on the Weekly Parsha,” by Rabbi Ozer Alport, Israel Bookshop Publications, 613 pages
Looking for a divrei Torah book, but can’t decide which one to choose from among the many books available? Look no further. Former Kansas Citian Rabbi Ozer Alport has written “Parsha Potpourri,” a book for the entire family to discuss at the Shabbos table, or to simply read and contemplate.
The book includes unique, relevant parsha insights, inspirational anecdotes and thought provoking questions and answers on each parsha. But why, you may ask, yet another book on the weekly Torah portion?
“I have been sending out Parsha Potpourri weekly to a mailing list of thousands of readers for the past seven years. Over the years, many readers encouraged me to publish a collection of my favorite pieces in book format so that they can be enjoyed by others,” Rabbi Alport explains. “At this point, the time felt right, and I compiled the insights that I found to be most inspiring, insightful and applicable to contemporary readers.”
Rabbi Alport also teaches weekly Torah classes, authors the Parsha Potpourri column on Aish.com and writes for the International Hamodia Newspaper. Last November, he was a scholar in residence at Beth Jacob Congregation in San Diego.
Rabbi Alport said the director of Aish.com is a longtime subscriber to the rabbi’s weekly emails.
“He approached me two years ago about adapting my work into a column on the weekly Torah portion for his Web page. Some of the material on Aish.com is included in the book, but the book is much longer and contains a lot which is not available on Aish.com,” he said.
For past Parsha Potpourri columns, go to www.aish.com/authors/130109323.html.
Aish.com gets more than 1 million hits a month and has more than 380,000 email subscribers. Rabbi Alport said he estimates that his commentary on the website is seen by many thousands of readers.
The target audience for his book is “any Jewish person who is interested in growing in his or her appreciation of the Torah and its relevance to our daily lives, and in understanding the Torah on a deeper level,” the rabbi said.
The book is available on Amazon.com, where it has received rave reviews. One reviewer said, “The author … poses interesting questions and delves into discussion combining textual sources, creative reasoning and stories of past Torah giants. Each idea is full, thought out discussion, not a ‘short vort’ of a d’var Torah you’ve already heard 100 times on the first verse of every parsha.”
Although “Parsha Potpourri” has only been out since Oct. 15, it has reached as high as No. 3 in the most popular Bible commentaries on Amazon and is frequently sold out. Rabbi Alport has also sold a few hundred copies to subscribers to his email list, many of whom wanted inscribed copies.
Rabbi Alport grew up in the Kansas City area, where he and his family were members of Kehilath Israel Synagogue, and he attended Shawnee Mission East High School. In 1994, he left Kansas City for Boston to attend Harvard. He and his wife Adina (a neurologist) and their three sons, Chaim Pinchas, 13, Moshe Aharon, 11, and Yosef Meir, who will turn 5 in a few weeks, now reside in Brooklyn, N.Y.