About

TheTorah.com is the world’s leading platform for Torah study informed by academic scholarship, and is widely used as a resource by rabbis, educators, academics and lay readers from all backgrounds and denominations.

TheTorah.com is the flagship website of Project TABS, a nonprofit 501(c)3 educational enterprise founded in 2012. We solicit original works of scholarship on the weekly Torah portion and Jewish holidays from noted academics. 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.

The Torah is the foundation of Judaism; how we study it shapes our future. By making contemporary biblical scholarship accessible and engaging, TheTorah.com provides an honest intellectual engagement with Torah. We believe this is key to fostering a more open moderate society in the 21st century and beyond.

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

Our Mission

Making academic biblical scholarship accessible and engaging to readers from all backgrounds.

Our Vision

Torah study informed and enriched by contemporary scholarship.

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Website

As of September 2019, our website has been completely revamped. Here is a brief tour of what’s new:

  • Torah Portion Pages - Every Torah portion now has its own page, with info on the parasha, featured topics, and a list of all essays on the parasha.
  • The Five Books - Pages for each of the Five Books of the Torah are organized around topics found in each book, with links to the Torah portions.
  • Holiday Pages - Essays on each of the holidays are organized and easily navigable by topic.
  • Scholarship and Faith - We now have pages with collected essays on Biblical Criticism, Modern Faith, Archaeology, Morality & Ethics, and more, highlighting academic scholarship as well as thought pieces grappling with faith and religious observance.
  • Individual Author Pages - Authors each have their own pages, including bio, their articles on TheTorah.com, and books written by the author.
  • Inline Footnotes - In addition to having the footnotes at the end of the article, you can view them as you read (desktop: on hover, mobile: on tap).
  • Article Topics - Articles are now tagged with related topics, which you can drill into and view other articles on that topic.
  • Browse Topics - You can browse and discover all topics on a single page.
  • Search - Research any subject easily with our improved search feature.
  • Citation Tool - Cite our articles in SBL and APA format.

We hope you enjoy the new site as much as we do. If you have any feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

Credit: We would like to thank the talented team at Bagel Studio for their outstanding work in helping us to redesign and develop the 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 & 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.

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, TheTorah.com

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. Shai Secunda – Fellow & Editor, TheGemara.com

Shai Secunda is a Martin Buber Society fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he lectures on rabbinic literature and comparative religion. He is a founder and co-editor of the Talmud Blog. His first book, The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in its Sasanian Context was published by UPenn press in 2013. His forthcoming book, Like a Hedge of Lilies: Menstruation and Difference in the Talmud and its Sasanian Context explores the development of the laws of menstruation in the Babylonian Talmud against approaches to menstrual impurity held by Babylonian Jewry’s neighbors.

David Bar-Cohn – Project Manager

David Bar-Cohn is completing graduate studies in Bible at Bar-Ilan University, where he is writing his thesis on purification from ritual impurity in the Priestly Torah. He is the author of the book 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)