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The Torah: an Anthology

The Torah: an Anthology

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They call us the "People of the Book" because of our legendary devotion to it. When a child is born, we wish its parents, "May you merit to raise him/her to Torah," and the first words that a Jewish parent teaches his or her child are: Torah tzivah lanu Moshe, morashah kehilat Yaakov ("The Torah that Moses commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob"). Jewish law states that we are obligated to pursue the study of Torah every spare moment of our day and night.

For thousands of years, the study of Torah has been our life's occupation and our highest mark of achievement.

The Torah is our mandate as a people, the marriage contract of our special relationship with G‑d as His chosen "kingdom of priests and holy nation." But it is not only that: to the Jew, the Torah is nothing less than the basis and objective of all existence. In the words of the Midrash: "G‑d made a condition with the work of creation: if the people of Israel accept the Torah, you will exist; if not, you will revert to chaos and nothingness." "G‑d looked into the Torah," says the Zohar, "and created the world. The Jew looks into the Torah, and sustains the world."

For 40 days and nights Moses sat on the summit of Mount Sinai, as G‑d taught him the Torah; for the next 40 years, Moses taught it to the people of Israel. Thus our sages have said: "a person does not attain the mind of his master until after 40 years [of study]." We don't have 40 years to explain Torah; we only have an anthology of 40 essays, stories, meditations and readings, each offering a glimpse into something the Torah says about itself and its place in our lives:

Essays:

The Spark of all Truths
by Mattis Kantor

Reality and its Shadow
by Yaakov Brawer

Law, Truth and Peace
Three essays on three fundamental roles of Torah, adapted from the Lubavitcher Rebbe's talks by Yanki Tauber

The Third Knot
adapted from the Rebbe's talks by Yanki Tauber

Reasoning the Stone
adapted from the Rebbe's talks by Yanki Tauber

The Mathematics of Marriage
adapted from the Rebbe's talks by Yanki Tauber

Yes and No
adapted from the Rebbe's talks by Yanki Tauber

The Day that Nothing Happened
adapted from the Rebbe's talks by Yanki Tauber

How Do We Know that We Heard G‑d at Sinai?
by Tzvi Freeman

The Torah-Science Debates
by Professor Velvl Greene


Insights:

Is G‑d Religious?
by Simon Jacobson

Where the Roads Meet
by Andre Haijdu

The Lady, the Tiger and Freedom of Choice

In the Desert

The Breakthrough

Because it is There

How to Have

Say It in Your Own Words

Our Goodly Tents

Oxen and Cows

The Ten Commandments series
by Yanki Tauber


Meditations:
Condensed from the Wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Tzvi Freeman

Inner Engravings

Talking to Himself

Torah and the World

Grab the clothing

Youthful Wisdom


Stories:

A Cheder in Siberia
as told to Eliyahu Touger by Reb Mendel Futerfass

Original Ideas
by Yanki Tauber

Zaidy Pinchas' Torah
by Chana Weissberg

Echos
by Jay Litvin

The Problem
by Tuvia Bolton

The Survivor
by Shmuel Marcus

The Master of Song
by Yanki Tauber

The Cat
by Yanki Tauber

The Sinai Files
by Tzvi Freeman


Readings

Ethics of the Fathers Chapter Six

A Marriage of Minds (Tanya Chapter Five)

What is the Torah?
from To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim HaLevi Donin

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