Divrei Torah by Portions
Portion of the Week - Summary
The mitzvah of Talmud Torah - Torah Study - is central to Jewish life and tradition. For millenia, the Jewish people have devoted themselves to learning the Torah. This Torah study includes a wide spectrum of methods and areas of interest, ranging from the study of practical halacha (Jewish law), rooted in the sometimes dizzyingly complex arguments of the Talmud, to the investigation of the secret, esoteric traditions of the Kaballah. In their search for meaning, Jews have filled libraries with their insights, questions, and creative speculations about the word of God and the traditions of the Rabbis. Central to this almost feverish activity, and in some ways perhaps the linchpin of this magnificent intellectual project, is the study of parshat hashavua - the portion of the week. Every week, around the world, with remarkable faithfulness and unbelievable creativity, the Jewish people study the week's parsha. Rabbis build their sermons around it, using the parsha as a prism through which to better understand the world around us and discover the ultimate meaning of our lives - or at least a way forward in the face of difficulty and c hallenge. Children come home from school and, around the shabbat table, share a dvar Torah - a word of Torah - about the parsha which they heard from their teacher. Often, the entire family engages in a discussion on the parsha, arguing about the decisions made by our forefathers, and the ways in which they responded to what history has thrown at them, creating models of behavior for us, centuries later. Week after week, scholars write on the parsha, attempting to add another brick to this remarkable and beautiful structure: the Jewish people's ongoing effort to wrestle meaning, relevance, and inspiration from the words of the Torah which will be read that week in the synagogue. Week after week, we, too, at parshaoftheweek.com will bring you another link in this long chain of making meaning, this valiant effort to uncover the lesson and the message, b'chol dor va'dor - in each and every generation - to be found in the parsha of the week. Along with access to a large archive of previously written material, every week you will be able to enjoy a new, fresh, and contemporary look at what the parsha has to say to us today.