Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

What is Torah?

Torat Emet: Finding Our Portion of True Torah

Prof. Rabbi

Rachel Adler

,

,

Torat Emet: A Torah of Core Truths

Prof. Rabbi

Andrea L. Weiss

,

,

The Opening Of Devarim: A Recounting or Different Version of the Wilderness Experience?

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

Torat Emet: The Intertwined Tree of Torah and Wisdom

Prof. Rabbi

Jonathan Magonet

,

,

How the Concept of Mosaic Authorship Developed

In the Persian period, the Torah, which is made up of various law collections, was ascribed to Moses as revealed by YHWH. A parallel development was taking place in Achaemenid Persia that sheds light on this process: The sacred texts called the Avesta, that contain the law​​ (dāta) and tradition (daēnā) of Zoroastrianism​, were being collectively ascribed to Zarathustra (Zoroaster) as revealed by Ahuramazdā.

Dr.

Yishai Kiel

,

,

A Stronger Faith Encourages a Loftier and Deeper Truth

Dr. Rabbi

Yehuda Brandes

,

,

Torah: Deuteronomy's Version of Wisdom for Israel

Deuteronomy reflects influence from ancient Wisdom traditions, such as those in the book of Proverbs and in other ancient Near Eastern literature. Yet Deuteronomy presents Torah as Israel’s own Wisdom teaching. This serves both to elevate Torah and to insist that it be in dialogue with the broader, non-Israelite world.

Ethan Schwartz

,

,

Torat Emet: Deriving Truths through Honest Inquiry and Torah Study

Prof.

Zvi Zohar

,

,

Highlighting Juxtaposition in the Torah

The well-known rabbinic principle of אין מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה (there is no chronological order in the Torah) is often understood to be a hermeneutical solution to a textual, peshat problem. The principle, however, should be understood as midrashic, formulated to highlight other reasons for which biblical accounts could have been juxtaposed.

Dr.

Isaac Gottlieb

,

,

The Shema's Second Paragraph: Concern Over Israel's Affluence

Deuteronomy 11 repeats, reworks, and supplements the core phrases and themes of the Shema paragraph in Deuteronomy 6 in order to teach the Israelites how to deal with one of their major future challenges: the temptations that accompany wealth, comfort, and affluence. 

Prof. Rabbi

Reuven Kimelman

,

,

Torah Is not “Only” a Human Creation

Rabbi

David Wolpe

,

,

In What Way Is Shavuot Zman Matan Torateinu?

Traditional and Academic Insights

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

The Multifaceted Revelation at Sinai

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

,

,

A Torah of Participatory Revelation in Context

Situating Sommer’s theology of participatory revelation and halachic fluidity among other Jewish thinkers and writings: Heschel, Maharal, Rosenzweig, and the Zohar

Prof. Rabbi

Alexander Even-Chen

,

,

Source Criticism Enhances Our Acceptance of the Torah

Traditional commentators endued certain Torah references with midrashic or esoteric purport in an effort to counteract those who mocked them. But in so doing, they were conceding the mockers’ evaluation of these texts as being, prima facie, inconsequential. Fortunately, source criticism helps us accept these texts without discomfort, obviating the compulsion to interpret them away.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

,

,