Celebrating our 1st Anniversary
שבועות – Shavuot 5774
Dear Friends, exactly a year ago, to celebrate Shavuot as zman matan torateinu, traditionally “a time we received the Torah,” we went live with Project TABS (Torah and Academic Biblical Scholarship) and its associated website TheTorah.com. A year later we are excited to offer you an extensive first anniversary “issue.”
TheTorah.com has been a very enriching collaborative project, successful beyond our wildest expectations: We have had hundreds of thousands of page views and have included pieces from over eighty different people—professors, rabbis (from different denominations) and others who are passionate about the Torah and its importance to the Jewish community. We appreciate the contributions of all of our authors, and realize that they took time out from their busy professional lives to contribute more broadly to the Jewish community.
We believe that beyond the healthy discussion TheTorah.com has engendered in the Jewish community about how the Torah might be studied, it has created a forum that focusses on what unites us as Jews—the Hebrew Bible. Traditionally, an important prerequisite to accepting the Torah is “unity.” As Rashi famously explains (Exodus 19:2), the Torah describes Israel encamped opposite Mount Sinai in the singular form, teaching us that Israel encamped there “as one person with one heart.”
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the many people who have made this project possible, beginning with our friends and supporters who believed in the vision of TABS when it was just a dream and helped found the project, and all those who contributed over the past year. On this occasion, we are delighted to let you know that recently a number of supporters reached out to help us keep the project going next year. We appreciate their financial backing and hope that you will consider supporting us so that we can expand with more systematic presentations of the academic biblical studies, and explore the development of other programs.
Most importantly, we hope that we have contributed to, and will contribute further to Jewish education in the broadest sense, enhancing Jewish belief, observance, and identity through the study of Torah.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Professor Marc Brettler
Rabbi David Steinberg