TheTorah.com https://thetorah.com Enriching Judaism through a Historical and Contextual Approach to Torah. Fri, 21 Sep 2018 22:29:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://thetorah.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/logo-fav-50x50.jpg TheTorah.com https://thetorah.com 32 32 In the News: The Symbolic Significance of a Torah Scroll https://thetorah.com/the-symbolic-significance-of-a-torah-scroll/ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 12:28:42 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=58978 New Blog Feature – The Torah in the News: Highlighting the Torah’s Role in Contemporary life Why a Druze Firefighter Saved a Torah Scroll While a Nahariya synagogue was engulfed in flames, Druze firefighter Wiam Nevoani ran into the fire to save a Torah scroll. Asked what motivated him to risk his life, Nevoani replied: “I thought about […]

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When a Teacher Believes Biblical Criticism Is Worse Than Pornography https://thetorah.com/when-a-teacher-believes-biblical-criticism-is-worse-than-pornography/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 01:00:16 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=58841 In a Modern Orthodox school in the Tri-State Area, a Jewish day school sophomore is publicly rebuked and shamed by his rabbi for reading academic biblical scholarship. This incident, which transpired a couple of years ago, was written up by a student and submitted to TABS by his parents, with the student’s permission. My father, […]

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The Practical Challenge of Torah Study That Transcends Denominations https://thetorah.com/the-practical-challenge-of-torah-study-that-transcends-denominations/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:59:41 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=56759 Dear Reader, Studying the Torah historically and contextually brings together people from a diverse range of religious backgrounds and commitments. (See TheTorah.com’s list of Authors.)  Academic study challenges us to transcend our communal affiliations and biases as we attempt to understand what the Torah and other biblical texts meant to the ancient Israelites, and thus, […]

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Biblical Studies: No More Corrupt than any Other Discipline https://thetorah.com/biblical-studies-no-more-corrupt-than-any-other-discipline/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 22:11:47 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=55585 A response to Joshua Berman’s critique of academic biblical scholarship, “The Corruption of Biblical Studies.” This reply is self-standing, but you are encouraged to read his piece before reading this response. The National Library of Israel. Wikimedia I was very pleased to see the significant focus on modern academic biblical scholarship in Mosaic with its […]

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4th Anniversary Reflections on the Vision and Progress of TheTorah.com https://thetorah.com/4th-anniversary-reflections-on-the-vision-and-progress-of-thetorah-com/ Tue, 30 May 2017 14:35:31 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=54876 Are Jews moving towards studying Torah with academic scholarship?   Recent Developments in the Modern Orthodox Community This Shavuot marks four years since we launched TheTorah.com, and is a good time to celebrate the progress we’ve made and our hopes for the future.  A recent article by Dr. Marc Shapiro, “Is Modern Orthodoxy Moving towards an […]

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Drawing Contemporary Jews Closer to the Torah https://thetorah.com/drawing-contemporary-jews-closer-to-the-torah/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:17:24 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=49597 Preparing to Lift the Torah Scroll. Photo credit Avital Pinnick / Flickr  cc 2.0 The Centrality of Torah The Torah is central to our lives as Jews. The way we conceive of ourselves as a people, our conception of God and God’s ways, how we are commanded to live our lives, and the nature of our connection to […]

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The Ein Gedi Torah Scroll? https://thetorah.com/the-ein-gedi-torah-scroll/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:01:29 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=49765 Ein Gedi Scroll Fragment, Israel Antiquities Authority. A Sensational New Technology Lying in storage for over forty years, a lump of carbonized parchment found in the 1970s excavation of the synagogue in Ein Gedi, has been partially deciphered using remarkable technology.[1] How sensational is this scroll? It is quite remarkable, at least to me, that scientists […]

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The First Source-Critical Bar Mitzvah Speech? https://thetorah.com/the-first-source-critical-bar-mitzvah-speech/ Wed, 02 Dec 2015 15:54:34 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=42303 Introduction – A Too Familiar Story[1] I know what you are thinking: “another boring bar mitzvah speech” – I feel you;  I have sat through some myself this past year.  But this one is different – I promise! If you pay attention and listen carefully, I think I just might blow your minds. Who here […]

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Facing Our Past https://thetorah.com/facing-our-past/ Wed, 11 Nov 2015 13:08:35 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=41897 Biblical scholarship as archaeo-psychology sheds light on the development of moral and religious awareness. We can either run from it or learn from it. It’s in the Past A very memorable scene from the Lion King always makes me smile. An estranged Simba is conflicted about returning home to Pride Rock and confides in Rafiki, the baboon-witch doctor: “I know what […]

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Basing Judaism on Truth: Does the Torah Lie? https://thetorah.com/basing-judaism-on-truth-does-the-torah-lie/ Wed, 04 Nov 2015 17:36:14 +0000 http://thetorah.com/?p=41709 Over my thirty plus years of teaching biblical criticism, or, as I prefer to call it, the contextual approach to the Bible,[1] I have seen a wide spectrum of reactions by students to the academic finding that the Torah developed over time.  For many, myself included (see my essay, “On Becoming A Critical Torah Scholar”), […]

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