About

TheTorah.com’s mission is to make academic biblical scholarship accessible and engaging to readers from all backgrounds.

We solicit original essays on the Torah portion and holidays from academic scholars whose expertise includes history, archaeology, ancient Near Eastern studies, Egyptology, Semitic languages, textual criticism, and literary approaches.

These essays are reviewed and edited by our in-house scholars, to ensure the highest academic standards as well as maximum readability for the general audience. Thus far, TheTorah.com has published over 450 scholars and is the world’s leading educational platform for Torah study informed by contemporary scholarship.

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The Torah is the foundation of Judaism; how we study it shapes our future.

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TheTorah.com is the flagship website of Project TABS (Torah and Biblical Scholarship), a nonprofit 501(c)3 educational enterprise founded in 2012 to provide accessible academic scholarship of Judaism’s sacred texts. The project also publishes TheTorah.co.il and TheGemara.com.

We believe that academic scholarship both enriches and deepens our engagement with Jewish texts, and that it fosters a more open and moderate society.

If you benefit from our work, please consider supporting us.

 

Website development by Bagel Studio. Learn more about features on this site.

 

We are indebted to our supporters, who believe in the vision of TheTorah.com and whose generous backing enables us to continue our work.

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Partners

Avi and Gail Friedman

Hartley Koschitzky

Bennett and Rebecca Lindenbaum

Matthew and Ray Lindenbaum

The children of Belda & Marcel Lindenbaum

A Friend - “הזרעים בדמעה ברנה יקצרו”

+ Anonymous donors

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Supporters

Geri Gindea

Yaacov and Ronit Gross

Phillip Kahn

Phyllis Hammer

David Tropper

Mitch W.

+ Anonymous donors

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Friends

Prof. Sasha Englard

Rabbi Edwin and Laurie Farber

William Friedlieb

Boris Myschkowski

Dr. Ari Robicsek

David and Sara Tesler

+ Anonymous donors

To Our Writers

Please use the following links to download our updated submission guidelines and citation style guide.

Note: Due to time constraints and limited staff, we are not accepting unsolicited essays at this time.

 

Rabbi David D. Steinberg – Director, Editor and Co-Founder

David D. Steinberg is the director of Project TABS - TheTorah.com since its inception in December 2012. Born in Bnei Brak, Israel, David spent his teen years in Manchester, England. He learned in Manchester Yeshiva under the tutelage of Rav Yehuda Zev Segal zt"l followed by Gateshead Yeshiva in Newcastle, England. He then returned to Israel and learned in Mir Yeshiva, Jerusalem. David learned in Kollel for several years while concurrently taking the Ner Le’Elef Rabbinical Outreach training course. In 2002 he moved to Huntington, NY to work as an outreach rabbi for the Mesorah Center. In 2007 he joined Aish Hatorah NY as a Programs Director. His responsibilities included managing their Yeshiva in Passaic, NJ and serving as a Rabbi in their Executive Learning program. He later left his rabbinic post to create TheTorah.com.

Prof. Marc Zvi Brettler – Supervising Editor and Co-Founder

Marc Zvi Brettler is Bernice & Morton Lerner Professor of Judaic Studies at Duke University, and Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies (Emeritus) at Brandeis University. After graduating from the Yeshiva of Flatbush in New York, he studied at Brandeis University under Professor Nahum Sarna and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In addition to his academic writings on biblical historical texts, biblical metaphors and other topics, he is committed to making academic biblical scholarship accessible to a broader public, as seen in his How to Read the Jewish Bible, and The Jewish Study Bible, co-edited with Adele Berlin. He recently co-authored The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically and Religiously, which suggests that academic biblical study and Jewish observance are fully compatible. A member of the American Academy of Jewish Research, he is currently engaged in writing a section of a commentary on the book of Psalms for the Jewish Publication Society.

Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber – Fellow & Editor

Zev Farber holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Jewish Religious Cultures (Hebrew Bible focus), an M.A. from Hebrew University in Jewish History (biblical period) and a B.A. in psychology from Touro College. He also holds ordination (yoreh yoreh) and advanced ordination (yadin yadin) from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School. He is the editor of Halakhic Realites: Collected Essays on Brain Death (Maggid Press) and the author of Images of Joshua in the Bible and Their Reception (De Gruyter, BZAW 457).

Dr. Tina Sherman – Editor

Tina M. Sherman holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. She is currently lecturing in Bible at the University of Minnesota and finalizing the manuscript for her first book, which explores how the prophetic authors used plant metaphors to construct national identities for Israel and Judah. She is also the author of the “Biblical Metaphor Annotated Bibliography” (2014) and co-author, with Bernard M. Levinson, of “Law and Legal Literature” in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Ancient Israel (2016).

David Bar-Cohn – Manager of Operations

David Bar-Cohn is completing M.A. studies in Bible at Bar-Ilan University, where he is writing his thesis on purification rites in the Priestly Torah. He is the author of Ohr HaShachar: Torah, Kabbalah and Consciousness in the Daily Morning Blessings (Urim, 2014), an analysis of the birkhot hashachar prayers, as well as the article “Shemini Atzeret: Redacting a Missing Festival into Solomon’s Temple Dedication,” (TheTorah, 2019). David also holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and received semikha in Yoreh De’ah in 2008.

Dr. Eve Levavi Feinstein – Editorial Consultant

Eve Levavi Feinstein holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University and currently lives in Palo Alto, CA, with her husband, Efraim, and their two children. Eve grew up in New York City, where she attended Ramaz. She later went Brandeis University, where she majored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with a concentration in the Bible and the ancient Near East. Her first book, Sexual Pollution in the Hebrew Bible (Oxford University Press, 2014), explores the Bible’s use of purity and contamination language to describe sexual relationships. She has also written articles for Jewish Ideas Daily and Vetus Testamentum.

Learn more about our Authors.

The following principles inform our approach:

Torah min hashmayim" —Torah is from heaven (Sanhedrin 10:1).

Torah “lo bashmamyim hi”— The Torah is not in heaven (Bava Metzia 59b).

Eilu v’eilu divrei elokim chaim”—These and those are the words of the Living God (Eruvin 13b).

We are committed to the following values:

  • To uphold the spiritual importance of intellectual honesty. As the Talmud teaches: “The seal of God is truth.” (Yoma 69b). In the words of the psalmist: “Indeed You desire truth about that which is hidden” (51:8).
  • To value Jewish practices and observances independently of the historical origin of the Torah and rabbinic law.
  • To appreciate that Judaism is a text-based religion, connecting Jews to each other through study of common sacred texts.
  • To embody the ideal that “The words of the Torah should be as new to you as if they were given today” (Rashi Shemot 19:1). Every generation needs to find an understanding of Torah based on its current realities, including the latest knowledge of science and history.

In the words of Rabbi Avraham Kook:

“The greatest deficiency in yir’at shamayim (fear of heaven) that is not well connected to the light of Torah is that fear of thought replaces fear of sin. Because a human being begins to be afraid of thinking, he drowns in the morass of ignorance, which robs him of the light of soul, weakens his vigor, and casts a pall over his spirit.” (Orot ha-Qodesh, vol. 3, pg. 26)