Op-ed

Clergy for TheTorah.com

Many hundreds of rabbis and clergy use TheTorah.com as a resource. I am committed to help support it. Will you join me?

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October 21, 2020

RabbiRon Stern

Rabbi

Ron Stern

Clergy for TheTorah.com

Wallpaperflare, adapted

Dear colleagues,

I write this letter out of my love for TheTorah.com and because I am committed to help sustain this resource for our community—our scholars, clergy, and laity. For nearly five years, I’ve been using TheTorah.com and its essays, and it has enriched and transformed my teaching, and inspired my own deeper immersion in Torah.

This amazing undertaking of Rabbi David Steinberg, along with Prof. Marc Zvi Brettler and Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber, is nothing less than a revolutionary resource for our ever-changing Jewish community. If you have not discovered TheTorah.com, I invite you to peruse its copious collection of accessible essays reflecting modern biblical scholarship—grounded in the weekly parshiot, holidays, and other poignant topics—from the best minds of our generation. It’s likely that you in fact studied with many of the scholars who have contributed essays to the site. On the website, you’ll discover scholarly essays that will not only enhance your own learning, but also expand your content for Bible-based classes you may offer.

For Rabbi David Steinberg, TheTorah.com’s director and co-founder, the site is more than a labor of love. It is the life opus of a Jew raised traditionally in the Haredi world, whose passion for Torah was renewed through modern biblical scholarship. After his world was upended and his eyes opened to a critical examination of the sources of the Bible, its historical context, and an explanation for its notable inconsistencies beyond traditional apologetics, David essentially fell in love with the text all over again—this time through the lens of modern scholarship. The result is a beautifully organized website that provides a deep yet astoundingly accessible vision of Torah.

A site of this caliber requires a full-time staff. Soliciting the articles, compensating the writers, and editing the website takes time and costs money. Thus far, the organization has relied on a small group of generous supporters. While this has enabled the site to grow into what it is today, the need for a wider funding base is evident. Contributing your own funds is certainly welcome, especially if you use the site’s resources. However, you can help secure the future of TheTorah.com by making introductions with potential donors and foundations. Please reach out to David Steinberg (director@thetorah.com) and let him know how you can help.

We’ve been given a precious gift in TheTorah.com, open to all with no fees for use, but we must support it. If we, the purveyors and lovers of Torah, are not among those championing this amazing resource, who will?

Rabbi Ron Stern
Stephen Wise Temple

Rabbi Ron Stern is a rabbi at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles, where he has been serving since 1998. Originally from Morristown, New Jersey, he graduated cum laude from the University of Rochester and was ordained in 1990 at Hebrew Union College in New York. Rabbi Stern is the founding rabbi of the Wise Center for Tikkun Olam, which supports social welfare organizations in the US and Israel, and has helped to build Wise Readers to Leaders, the only synagogue-sponsored literacy enrichment program in the nation, serving over 400 children. Rabbi Stern is a founding member of Reform CA, a political action project of rabbis and congregants throughout California, and has been a member of the Religious Action Center’s Commission on Social Justice.

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