Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

Judaism, Orthdodox

Text and Context: Torah and Historical Truth

Historical-critical and text-critical approaches to the Torah have a strong precedent in classical rabbinic literature. Yet Orthodox Jewish communities today pointedly resist these methods. It is time that critical thinking about the Torah be embraced within our educational systems.

Dr.

Barry Levy

,

,

“Torah Is from Heaven!” What Do We Really Mean?

Statements that express our feelings are often confused with factual assertions.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

Torah Thoughts, Rabbinic Mind, and Academic Freedom

Prof.

Zev Garber

,

,

Is the "As If" Approach Sufficient to Maintain Firm Religious Commitment?

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

The Significance of Hittite Treaties for Biblical Studies and Orthodox Judaism

Dr.

Yitzhaq Feder

,

,

Torah from Heaven: Redefining the Question

Many Orthodox Jews believe that God composed the Torah, and feel no need to inquire further.  Nevertheless, it does occurs to me to inquire further, and find a respectful answer to the question of how people, including myself, come to this belief. An honest question beats a dishonest answer, even if the dishonest answer produces much more comfort. And while I enjoy feeling comfortable, I would not want to stay comfortable by not thinking about problems.

Dr. Rabbi

Eliezer Finkelman

,

,

Torah from Heaven: A Question of Evidence or Loyalty?

What role does evidence play in believing that Torah is the revelation of God?

Dr. Rabbi

Eliezer Finkelman

,

,

The Challenges of Ancient Near Eastern Antecedents to the Torah

Thoughts on Torah Min HaShamayim

Dr. Rabbi

Michael Harris

,

,

My Name Is Yoel, I Am a Satmar Hasid and a Bible Critic

Sharing his religious journey into biblical scholarship, a young married Hasidic man challenges the Modern Orthodox world to lead where his community cannot. 

Yoel S.

,

,

Post-Liberalism as the Ultimate Safety Net for Classical Religion in the Modern World

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

Current Approaches to Revelation and Torah

Project TABS Editors

,

,

Bringing It All Together: The Interactive Paradigm of Divine-Human Relations & Conclusion

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

Seven Defenses Against Biblical Criticism

Understanding the Other Side

Dr. Rabbi

Lawrence Grossman

,

,

Bible Scholarship in Orthodoxy

An Historical, Philosophical, and Pedagogical Perspective[1]

Rabbi

Eric Grossman

,

,

In What Sense did Orthodoxy Believe the Torah to be Divine?

Decades before Facebook, blogs, and the Internet, at a time Orthodoxy was trying to distinguish itself from the Conservative movement, ten Orthodox thinkers responded to the question of what the divine revelation of the Torah meant in Orthodox Judaism. Did they meet the challenge of Biblical Criticism?

Dr. Rabbi

Lawrence Grossman

,

,

Revelation and Authority: Author’s Response

Prof.

Benjamin D. Sommer

,

,

Experiencing Moments of Torah Mi-Sinai

A Personal Reflection

Dr.

Michael Carasik

,

,

Why Now? Toward a Sociology of Knowledge Analysis of TheTorah.com

The interest in Project TABS – TheTorah.com has been widespread across many communities, but the extensive interest in the Orthodox community may seem surprising for some, and likely would not have been the case a decade ago. In this essay, Prof. Chaim Waxman, a prominent scholar of Jewish sociology, offers an analysis of why the approach taken by TABS has found such a large audience among the Orthodox at this time.

Prof.

Chaim I. Waxman

,

,

Metempsychosis (Gilgul), Academic Study of Bible and the Meaning of Truth

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

,

,

Torah min haShamayim: Conflicts Between Religious Belief and Scientific Thinking

Dr.

Daniel Jackson

,

,

The Significance of Ibn Ezra's Position that Verses Were Added to the Torah

“And this is the Torah that Moses Placed Before the Children of Israel”

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

The Linguistic Turn: A New Direction in Religious Thinking

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

How did Abraham Discover God? The Experiential Approach

Part 1 concluded by raising some questions about Maimonides’ rationalistic reading of the Parable of the Illuminated Fortress. In Part 2 we will now deal with alternative interpretations based on the idea of an experiential, living relationship with God.

Dr. Rabbi

Seth (Avi) Kadish

,

,

The Torah's Exodus

Weighing the historicity of the exodus story entails more than addressing the lack of archaeological evidence.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

Embracing Academic Torah Study: Modern Orthodoxy's Challenge

The study of biblical criticism cuts to the very meaning of the value system of Modern Orthodoxy, i.e. forging a distinctive synthesis of modern culture with traditional values.

Dr.

Steven Bayme

,

,

Myth of Origin and Narrative Theology: Rabbi Norman Solomon

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

The Dogma of Torah Mi-Sinai: My Personal Struggle with Unreasonable Belief

Prof.

Solomon Schimmel

,

,

Biblical Authority: A Jewish Pluralistic View

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

,

,

The Smashing of the Luchot as a Paradigm Shift

Rabbi

Herzl Hefter

,

,

How Can a Torah Commentary Be Source-Critical and Jewish?

Remarks Delivered at Interpreting the Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Celebrating The Jewish Study Bible Second Edition.  March 22, 2015, Pardes Institute, Jerusalem

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

,

,

Orthodox Solutions Thus Far

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

Lernen, Davenen, and Identifying Orthodox

Lernen versus learning, davenen versus prayer: an ethnographic analysis of how Orthodox Jews define themselves.

Prof.

Samuel Heilman

,

,

Teaching Biblical Scholarship in a Modern Orthodox High School

The personal and educational challenges I faced teaching an introductory course on biblical scholarship to Modern Orthodox high school seniors: What I learned, what my students took home, and some suggestions on how to move forward.

Sara Susswein Tesler

,

,

In the Footsteps of Leibowitz: Kasher, Levinger, Goldman and Schwartz

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

Authority Needs Language

By erasing the boundaries between Written and Oral Torah, and removing any clear content from God’s revelation of law, Sommer undermines the concept of authoritative halakha that he wishes to refine.

Prof.

Sam Fleischacker

,

,

Peshat vs. Halakha Dilemma: Shadal and Tradition

Correctly Construing Biblical Verses Upon which Halakhot Claim to be Based

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

,

,

Meeting the Challenge of Critical Scholarship with Leviticus

Dr. Rabbi

Irving (Yitz) Greenberg

,

,

Afterword: The Sum of the Matter

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

Can Orthodox Education Survive Biblical Criticism?

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Questioning the Centrality of Empirical Data

Prof.

Tamar Ross

,

,

Must We Have Heretics?

Prof.

Menachem Kellner

,

,

My Encounter with the Firmament

The Torah describes God’s fashioning the firmament (רקיע) on the second day of creation. This piece of the universe, however, doesn’t actually exist—a problem obfuscated in my yeshiva education.

Oren Fass M.D.

,

,