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Writing D'vrei Torah

Get Ready to Explore:

  • The most important part in writing D’vrei Torah is to pick a passage that is interesting to you and that is relevant to you today.
  • Take time to read the actual passage, not just a summary of the parshah.
  • Select a particular verse or section that really matters to you.
  • Begin with a brief summary of that portion.

Formulate a Question:

What is it that you truly want to know about this passage that cannot be answered just from Torah text?

Read the Commentary:

Studying Torah means discovering what scholars from the earliest times to the present had to say about your passage. Do they answer your question?

Famous Commentary Sources:

Early and Medieval

Hashana Rabbah – early, pre-talmudic commentary. Often in the form of Midrash (stories to explain the unexplained).

Rashi – the most famous - an 11th century French commentator.

Tosafists – Commented often on Rashi.

RaMBaM (Maimonidies)

RaMBaN – (Nachmonidies)

Abramanel – Like RaMBaM and RaMBaN he is Medieval.

Modern

Nahama Leibowitz – 20th Century Israeli, explains Rashi and adds insight.

Gunther Plaut – The Torah: A Modern Commentary Stone Chumash – includes most of the early and medieval commentators.

Where you Come In:

Your job is not to be the expert, but to share you search. Here is the traditional order of your presentation:

  • Start off with a summary of the parshah of the week.
  • Present the question or topic you would like to explore further.
  • Share the commentary. Do you agree? Does it answer your question?
  • What is the relevance of this passage to you today? (If it doesn’t matter, don’t pick it!)


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