Explore JTS’s Online Torah

We invite you to search our vast collection of today’s most compelling Jewish conversations, teaching, and resources, including weekly Torah commentaries, online lectures, curricula for community use, and more.

Use the search bar and filters to find what inspires you.

Read weekly Torah commentaries

Read weekly Torah commentaries

Reflections on the Torah reading cycle

Learn more
Holiday Learning and Resources

Holiday Learning and Resources

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

Learn more
Join online classes

Join online classes

Live series with JTS teachers

Learn more
Listen to JTS podcasts

Listen to JTS podcasts

Learn on the go

Learn more
Watch lecture recordings

Watch lecture recordings

Videos of public events

Learn more
Bring curricula to your community

Bring curricula to your community

Programs for facilitators to teach in their locales

Learn more

Featured

Was Laban Really Worse than Pharaoh?

Was Laban Really Worse than Pharaoh?

Dec 2, 2022 By Avi Garelick | Commentary | Vayetzei

According to the Passover Haggadah, Laban, Jacob’s father-in-law, is the archvillain of Jewish history, even more dangerous than the Pharaoh who enslaved the people of Israel and launched a campaign of male infanticide. Yet, after this provocative comparison, the Haggadah leaves the rest as an exercise for the reader. Laban “sought to uproot it all,” but how? What makes Laban so dangerous?

Read More
How Should a Jewish Philosopher Read the Bible? Hermann Cohen’s Problem with Spinoza

How Should a Jewish Philosopher Read the Bible? Hermann Cohen’s Problem with Spinoza

Nov 28, 2022 By Shira Billet | Public Event video

When the famous German Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen died in 1918, he was described in Jewish periodicals as “the greatest philosopher the Jews have produced since Spinoza.” But in 1915, at a time when Jews had reclaimed the 17th-century philosopher as their own, Hermann Cohen had argued that the herem (ban) on Spinoza had been justified. Cohen’s reasons for banning Spinoza were different from those articulated in the original ban. He agreed with Spinoza far more than we might expect, but he also thought Spinoza’s book on the Bible was misleading and dangerous. Cohen disagreed with central parts of Spinoza’s method of reading the Bible, and for Cohen, the stakes of getting the method right were very high with academic, religious, and political implications.

Read More
Two Nations in Your Belly

Two Nations in Your Belly

Nov 25, 2022 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Toledot

In the world of the ancient Rabbis who gave us Judaism—the world of the Talmud and the Midrash, from the first century through the seventh century CE—our Rabbis identified Esau / Edom with the Roman Empire. In doing so, they took on both aspects of that Empire—the earlier pagan Roman Empire and the later Christian Roman Empire, and conflated them into one image of Esau, forever at odds with Jacob / Israel. For the Rabbis, Esau most often was depicted as the enemy, our oppressor, “The Man” who kept us beneath his boot.

Read More
Intra-Jewish Censorship: The Case of Spinoza

Intra-Jewish Censorship: The Case of Spinoza

Nov 21, 2022 By Jonathan Ray | Public Event video

In July 1656, Baruch Spinoza was excommunicated from the Jewish community of Amsterdam for his “abominable heresies” and “monstrous deeds.” He was 23 years old. This class explore some of the key writings of Spinoza, as well as the social and political context of 17th-century Holland to try to understand the reasons behind Spinoza’s harsh, and historic, banishment.   

Read More
Rebecca the Patriarch

Rebecca the Patriarch

Nov 18, 2022 By Judith Hauptman | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

This week’s parashah, Hayyei Sarah (Genesis 23:1–25:18), is about continuing the line, producing progeny. The parashah opens with a report of Sarah’s death at 120 years old. It closes with a list of Abraham’s children from concubines and Ishmael’s many offspring (25:1–18). But the central story of the parashah, the entire chapter of Genesis 24, is about finding a wife for Isaac.

Read More

SUBSCRIBE TO TORAH FROM JTS

Our regular commentaries and videos are a great way to stay intellectually and spiritually engaged with Jewish thought and wisdom.