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.
RaMBaN – (Nachmonidies)
Abramanel – Like RaMBaM and RaMBaN he is Medieval.
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!)