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— Prof. David Hymes, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Northwest University, Kirkland, WA
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Our students are studying for the MDiv degree and most of them are second career students, so reading from the journals of the biblical studies guild is difficult for many of them. TheTorah.com provides the same quality of a journal but does not assume the insider language typical when writing for a guild of scholars.
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— Lord Gordon Wasserman, House of Lords, London SW1, UK
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— Rabbi Neil Schuman, Manetto Jewish Center, Plainview, NY
“TheTorah.com and TheGemara.com are some of my favorite online resources for deep and accessible scholarship. Whenever I'm preparing for a class or a d’var torah, these websites are among the places I read regularly to find new ideas and topics to explore. They always give me something to reflect on for myself, as well as new perspectives to share with my congregation. Thank you for bringing these important perspectives to our communities!”
— Rabbi Howard Tilman, Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains, NJ
“COVID-19 has forced me to avoid the synagogue and pray at home. This unfortunate state of affairs has had one benefit: on Shabbat morning I chant the Torah portion and the Haftarah at my own pace, taking the time to check the traditional and modern commentators whenever I spot a thorny problem. I look forward especially to the TheTorah.com selections for the week, which I print out each Friday, because they so often give me a new slant, an unconventional angle, for understanding our Torah. I long to return to shul, but when I do, The Torah.com will be in my tallit bag.”
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— Dr. Helen Leneman, Independent Scholar and Cantor, Bethesda, MD
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— Sharon Bloomgarden, Mequon, Wisconsin
“I discovered TheTorah.com about two years ago, and I use it regularly when I prepare shiurim for a study group or just feel like diving into a topic. The articles are the perfect level for my needs and interests—detailed and critical enough to lead one into the topic, with enough references for followup when wanting to go the next step, but not overly academic. Thanks for the great work.”
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“With an academic background of linguistics and English literature, I have found TheTorah.com, and my occasional forays into TheGemara.com, intellectually rigorous and spiritually fulfilling.
It has fueled my delight with Torah, inspired my cheder teaching and opened up my engagement with Judaism and its sacred texts. Thank you for such an approachable and vital contribution to contemporary Jewish thought.”
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“I first heard about TheTorah.com from a presentation led by a professor at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem a few months ago. I have been leading a Torah study group at my congregation for well over twenty years. The members like to look at Torah through the lens of scholarship.
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— Rabbi Jennifer Jaech, Temple Israel of Northern Westchester
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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.
The Torah is the foundation of Judaism; how we study it shapes our future.
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.
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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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.
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.
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).
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 holds an M.A. in Bible from Bar-Ilan University; his thesis is titled, Rites of Replenishment: Observations on Priestly Purification. He is also 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.
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 to 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.
“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).
“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)