The Parashah HaShavua
The Parashat HaShavua (a portion from one of the first five books of the Bible), together with the Haftarah (a portion from one of the prophetical books), is part of the Shabbath morning liturgy of every synagogue in the world. It is customary for Jews to begin the study of the Parashat HaShavua at the closing meal of the previous Shabbath. Any day of the week in Jerusalem and in other big cities groups can be found studying the Torah portion of the week.
The Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible is divided into 52 logical divisions. Each division is given a name that reflects the first significant word of the portion. Thus the first portion of the book of Genesis is named Parashat Bereshit, bereshit being the opening Hebrew word for ‘in the beginning’ Genesis 1:1.
Bat Kol alums are encouraged to make the study of the Torah Portion of the week a regular habit. Studying in havrutah (with another partner or group) is strongly encouraged. As well, Bat Kol alums are encouraged to join Parashat HaShavuah groups in local synagogues and other Bat Kol groups on their travels.
Each week a member of the Bat Kol international community writes a one-page commentary on the Parashat HaShavuah, which is published on the web and used by individuals and groups worldwide. Help to write these commentaries is available through books given to participants who attend Bat Kol sessions in Jerusalem. Abundant commentaries are also available on the web.
“It is a Tree of Life to those who hold it fast, and all who cling to it find happiness” (Proverbs 3:17-18)
A Beginning Bibliography: Fox: The Five Books of Moses (New York, 1995) Plaut: The Torah, A Modern Commentary (New York, 1981). Goldstein: The Women’s Torah Commentary (Vermont, 2000). Hayim: Torah and Commentary (Jewish Publication Society, New York, 2001 N. Leibowitz: Studies in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (Jerusalem). Scherman: The Chumash, Stone Edition (New York, 1993). Y. Leibowitz: Accepting the Yoke of Heaven, Commentary on the Weekly Torah Portion (Jerusalem, 2002). E. Frankel: The Five Books of Miriam, a Woman’s Commentary on the Torah (San Francisco, 1996).