Weekly Torah Portions
This course introduces the Jewish tradition of reading the Torah, as they read it fully and continuously. This includes a Torah portion every week for the whole entire year.
We will follow this traditional Jewish division into weekly portions, tracing selected themes from the Torah, one portion of each book of the Five Books of Moses, and their presentation and representation in the New Testament.
Meet Your Instructor
I am a licensed Christian Arab Israeli tour guide. I was born in Jerusalem in 1975 and love this city more than any other place in the world, which is why I chose to become a guide in this ancient land. Moreover, I enjoy sharing my love and knowledge of this unique country as a tour guide with a great passion.
The first video of this course is free, you can buy this course to see all the videos.
The first introduction lesson focuses on the roots of this custom of Torah reading that is traced back to the pages of the Hebrew Bible itself. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament hold information on practices of Torah reading and studying all the way from the time of Joshua to the time of Jesus and even afterwards until today. So, the discussion of all of these customs and rituals will help us understand better the times of the first century of Jesus. We will see how well the New Testament holds information on practices of Torah reading and studying at the time of Jesus, the synagogues he and his contemporaries attended, the rituals they knew and in which they participated.
1. “In the Beginning”, (פרשת בראשית- Parashat Berashit), Genesis 1: 1- 6: 8
Is the first Torah portion read on the first Shabbat after Simchat Torah, (the celebration of completing a cycle and beginning a new cycle of reading the Torah). Now in this Parasha we have some major events: From the creation story- to Noah, we will talk about the creation of Adam and Eve, the Fall and the Punishment, to the becoming of the sinful generation that led to the great flood, there is even the mentioning of Noah where the Parasha ends.
2. “Noah”, (פרשת נח- Parashat Noah) , Genesis 6: 9- 11: 32
We are going to talk about Noah’s character, and learn about the flood and how come that water was used as a means of destruction,
we will introduce more the symbol of the Ark, and discuss the covenant that was made by God with Noah and his family after the flood,
discovering together some of the Hebrew insights as well.
3. “Names”, (פרשת שמות- Parashat Shemot), Exodus 1: 1- 6: 1
The first focus of this Torah Portion is the new era in which the sons of Israel find themselves: When a new Egyptian king, unaware of the past of Joseph and his deeds, now fears the Israelites, who have multiplied into a nation. Fearing their power, the Egyptian king enforces a series of decrees against the Israelites, enslaving them and planning to kill all the boys born to them.
4. “And He Called”, (פרשת ויקרא- Parashat Vayikra), Leviticus 1- 5
Here we are going to focus on its main subject which is the sacrifices and offerings to god, we are going to learn about those different types of offerings, and their importance. Sacrifices were the central act of worship in Bible times and were therefore understood by everyone. But it baffles us, the modern readers. How can this crude and barbaric practice bring a person into a relationship with god? We will try to address this question as well.
5. “When You Set Up the Candles'', (פרשת בהעלותך- Parashat Behaalotcha), Numbers 8- 12
When you set up the candles, it is the third Parasha of the book of numbers. In this lesson we will focus on the menorah, because of the significance it has taken on, overtime throughout history, which became an important Jewish national and religious symbol. So, we will be looking into an overview of the history of the most important ancient symbol for the Jews, the menorah.
6. “Words”, ( פרשת דברים- Parashat Devarim), Deuteronomy 1: 1- 3: 22
This Torah portion contains a historical survey in the form of a speech by Moses, summarizing all the past events. So, we will be looking together at some of these themes that are found important in Moses' last speech.