As a graduate student, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was described in a scientific “Who’s Who” as the most promising young physicist in America. When he decided to devote his overflowing heart and massive intellect to the writing and teaching of traditional Torah values, the Jewish people gained a prolific and brilliant expositor with the uncommon gift of analyzing and presenting the most complex ideas in accessible terms.
-- And when he passed away suddenly at the age of only 48 with decades of productive activity still ahead of him, Jewry lost a priceless, irreplaceable treasure. But Aryeh Kaplan left a legacy of the thousands of people whom he touched and elevated, and of the scores of books and papers that flowed from his pen.
The Aryeh Kaplan Reader is a collection of his essays reflecting the broad range of his interest and genius. From biography to Kabbalah, from contemporary movements to cosmic speculation, Aryeh Kaplan was at home. His writing is original and incisive. But most of all, it is always clear and to the point. Every appetite for Jewish themes will be whetted and satisfied by this book.
True, to read this collection is to feel a keen sense of loss at the premature passing of a bright star in the Jewish literary firmament. But it is an intensely satisfying experience as well, because this book is crammed with substance and enlightenment. We put it down enriched by the intellectual company of Aryeh Kaplan -- and grateful for this “gift he left behind.”