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Read weekly Torah commentaries

Read weekly Torah commentaries

Reflections on the Torah reading cycle

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Holiday Learning and Resources

Holiday Learning and Resources

Commentaries and more on the themes, texts, and liturgy of the holidays.

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Join online classes

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Listen to JTS podcasts

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Nusah & Cantillation

Nusah & Cantillation

The tunes for Shabbat, festival, and high holiday services and Torah readings

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Featured

What Blessing Do You Need Now?

What Blessing Do You Need Now?

Jun 14, 2024 By Andrea Merow | Commentary | Naso

In Parashat Naso we learn the blessing used by so many, called birkat kohanim, the blessing of the priests. Amid our longest parashah, nestled between laws of the Nazirites and final preparations for how to use the Tabernacle, our holy space, God teaches that people can use their words and actions to bless one another, all while noting that our blessings come from The Holy One.

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Becoming Like the Wilderness

Becoming Like the Wilderness

Jun 7, 2024 By Eitan Fishbane | Commentary | Bemidbar | Shavuot

With the start of Sefer Bemidbar, the narrative of the Torah turns to the long journey of Benei Yisrael through the wilderness—punishment for the sin of the Golden Calf and preparation for entry into the Land of Israel. Passage into the sacred terrain first requires an arduous ordeal of wandering—a physical process of movement and quest. Penitence, pilgrimage, and transformation are anchored in the space of wilderness.

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The Terrifying Third Aliyah of Behukkotai

The Terrifying Third Aliyah of Behukkotai

May 31, 2024 By Marcus Mordecai Schwartz | Commentary | Behukkotai | Shavuot

Why do we continue to read such horrible curses, and another passage much like it in Parashat Ki Tavo (Deut. 28:1–68), each year? The simplest answer is that we read the entirety of the Torah each year, omitting nothing. However, the Mishnah (Megillah 3:6) already notes something special about the curses of the Leviticus passage: “The section of curses must not be broken up but must all be read by one person.”

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JTS Alumni in the World: Scholarship and Impact

JTS Alumni in the World: Scholarship and Impact

May 30, 2024 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video | Video Lecture

Join esteemed JTS alumni to hear about the important contributions they are making through their work as scholars and thought leaders in their fields. Through their engagement with Jewish text, history, and thought, they are enhancing the spiritual and personal lives of individuals, building more inclusive communities, and preparing the leaders of tomorrow, ensuring a stronger Jewish future.  

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What Can a Bird and a Seed Teach Us About Shemitah?

What Can a Bird and a Seed Teach Us About Shemitah?

May 24, 2024 By Yael Hammerman | Commentary | Behar

In Parashat Behar, God tells the Israelites that when they enter the land that God will give them, “the Land shall observe a Sabbath of the Adonai”—veshavta ha’aretz Shabbat l’Adonai (Lev. 25:2). This becomes known as the shemitah year. For six years, you can work to your heart’s content—you can sow, prune, and gather, but in the seventh year, the land shall have a full, complete rest: shabbat shabbaton yihiyeh la’aretz (Lev. 25:4)!

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