Jewish Texts

Quiz: Bible Characters

How much do you know about bible characters?

A Summary of the Torah

A description of the highlights of the Torah, according to the divisions of the weekly portions.

Parashat Nasso: Summary

God describes the service of the Gershon family of Levites; laws relating to the suspected adulteress and the nazirite are given; God tells Moses and Aaron the priestly blessing; the heads of tribes bring gifts to the Tabernacle.

Ashrei: Psalm 145

The internal and external structure of this carefully-crafted Psalm serves to reinforce its theme of praising God as the caring, divine ruler of all creation.

The Limits Of Power And Conquest

The Book of Numbers, full of bloodshed and division, ends with a call for unity and a discussion of the sanctity of life.

The Family Album

The list of places through which the Israelites traveled in the wilderness teaches us to understand Judaism through our everyday experiences.

Creation Mysticism: Fashioning the World From Letters

An early group of Jewish mystics conceived of the Hebrew alphabet as the building blocks of creation.

Dramatizing the Torah

The Torah reading in most synagogues is inaccessible, the author says, and needs to be "livened up" through the use of drama and performance art.

National Redemption

The blessings that conclude the Amidah's center section emphasize God's redemption of Israel.

The Blessings Around the Shema

The structure of these three blessings reflects the historical progress from creation to revelation to redemption.

Shema as a Love Story

The three paragraphs of the Shema can be interpreted allegorically by connecting each of the three paragraphs to a different stage of a growing, loving relationship.

Near and Far

The very structure of the normal Jewish blessing formula (Barukh Atah…) reflects the tension of recognizing and responding to God's immanence and transcendance.