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October 7, 2015 | 24th Tishrei 5776
Torah Study


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  • Shabbat Morning Observance
  • Torah Reading on Friday Night

    1. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-7

      ...How many do have a regular Torah study and do you follow the sequence of the parashiyot, or are you working your way more slowly through the text?Paul

    2. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-7

      We currently do parashah study on Sunday mornings, while the children's religious school is meeting. We rotate leadership (though one very good leader has volunteered to take extra turns--which is great!) and we study the parashah of the week, which is to say the parashah which would be read on the following Shabbat. We chose this time because we're the only synagogue for about six counties around, and parents were driving as much as an hour to bring their kids to religious school--so why not get together and learn at the same time? We sometimes introduce other topics as well, but right now we're usually working with the parashah.

      We tried Saturday morning services for about six months; three couples were involved and attended reasonably regularly, but two of those couples travel on business a great deal... so we'd end up with four people for the service. (One or two others attended very sporadically.) The only good result I know of is that I learned to lead services.

      An unaffiliated small congregation I used to attend on Saturdays, about 65 miles from here, does parashah study in place of the Torah service--they stop the service, get out the Chumashim, everyone reads for ten minutes or so, and then the leader for the week brings up some discussion questions. It makes for kind of a long service, as discussions can become heated and enthusiastic, but it's a great learning experience.Robin

    3. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-7

      We have Torah Study twice during the week. A mid-week group studies the parashah; the Shabbat-morning group began at the beginning of B'reishit years ago and has been progressing steadily since then, reading and discussing a few verses a week. (Some weeks cover more ground than others, and sometimes a discussion will extend over several weeks without advancing in the text.) Torah Study is for half an hour before the morning service, which we hold every week. About half of the people who come for the service also come for study. (We used to have the service first and then study, but scheduling complications led us to change this about sixteen months ago.)

      This summer while visiting [out of state] I attended morning services ……where they had a short service (under an hour) followed by a Kiddush and then Torah Study based on the parashah. The study ran about 45 minutes as I recall, and most of the people who were there attended everything.

      Monica~860 households

    4. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-7

      We have a Torah study group that meets every Saturday morning and has for many years. It is generally led by the rabbi emeritus, but there are knowledgeable participants who fill in his absence. They usually finish by 11:00 and join in the service which started at 10:30 in the sanctuary. As recently as twelve years ago, when we did not regularly offer a Shabbat morning service, the Chevrat Torah had an abbreviated service so if there happened to be anyone who wanted to say Kaddish they could. Now that we have evolved and have a Shabbat morning service every week, whether there is a bar/bat mitzvah or not, they no longer have their own service.Dave
      400+ member units

    5. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-7

      We have Torah study from 11am-12:15pm every Saturday that the student rabbi is in town. (one to two times a month). We study the weekly parashah. We only have Friday evening Shabbat services.

      Carol20 families

    6. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-8

      We hold Torah study--parshat hashavua--every Saturday from 10–11 am. It was started by our rabbi over sixteen years ago and has been led by one of our para-rabbinic fellows for about the last four to five years.

      Iris680 member units

    7. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-8

      We began with a Torah study group in our chapel that studied the portion of the week for two hours--every Shabbat morning, whether there was a Sanctuary service upstairs or not. This was several years before my arrival here. I am told that it was attempted three times over quite a few years before it finally "took." Then, at some point, again before my arrival, the group added a short service--prior to the study. The current configuration: 10-10:45am service (it did not have a Torah reading in it; I added that on my arrival because sometimes it was the only service going on, and also because I believe the ritual reading of the Torah an the study of Torah are neither identical nor interchangeable), five minute break for challah and juice and muffins, and then study until noon. It is among my favorite services of the week on those rare weeks when I get there; usually our Associate Rabbi or our Educator lead that service; sometimes the Rabbi Emeritus helps out; sometimes we have professional hired substitutes (other colleagues in town), and sometimes--to my great delight--educated lay leaders.

      [In my previous congregation, there was a different model--difficult, but personally preferable, since I got to be with the great Torah study minyan every week--there they had a 9am Shabbat morning service with forty-five minutes of study, in the library, ending at 10:30am, and the Sanctuary service took place, if there was a bar/bat mitzvah, at 11am. At one point there were also Havdalah B'nei Mitzvah, at 5:30pm, so that was a bit much, but at least I was with the "studiers and serious daveners" every week.]

      The ironic twist in both places, of course: these services began as small "alternatives." But since they, the library service in my previous place, and the chapel service here, are the only services that meet every Shabbat, no matter what, since there is, in other words, no Sanctuary service if there is no bar/bat mitzvah, in some ways we really should think of these services as the "regular" Shabbat morning service of the congregation, and the Sanctuary service as the (40-week/year) "alternative."

      We follow the portion of the week. As to the amount covered, sometimes we do four verses, and sometimes (very rarely when I lead it), as last week, we got through two chapters.Michael

    8. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-8

      A Saturday afternoon Torah study session has been held in our small congregation nearly every week since a year ago Simchat Torah. As is most everything in our congregation, it is lay-led. Attendance is small, but there is a steady core of people who come each week. They are working their way through the text slowly, as opposed to following the parsha hashavua.Carol

    9. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-9

      We read the Torah very rarely on Friday nights--about five times per year. We have an early morning Shabbat service led by clergy that lasts about 75 minutes and includes a Torah reading (short reading, with one aliyah) and discussion on that parashah. Service was started in current format a little more than one year ago and is growing. We seem to be getting about twenty people at this point. The bar/bat mitzvah service is separate and follows this service on Saturday morning.David

    10. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-9

      [Our congregation] has had Saturday morning Torah Study at 9:30--prior to the 10:30 service--for the past ten years. Attendance has risen the last few years from 8-10 to 14-16. Torah Study does not meet during July or August. We follow the weekly parashiyot, with one notable

      exception: One year we studied the Numbers parashiyot in place of Leviticus because Numbers typically falls during July and August.

      Rabbi leads it and is invariably well prepared, but the discussion always goes in unpredictable yet enjoyable directions, as propelled by the participants.

      Edward480+ Households

    11. March 2007 Digest 031

      …Torah Study…as part of our answer as to how to get (more) people to participate (more) on Saturday morning.

      At my congregation we have three avenues for Torah study on Shabbat morning. At 9:30am each Shabbat morning there are two study groups going on simultaneously. First, our Rabbi Emeritus teaches a Torah reading/study in English. They are on a seven year cycle and go through the Torah line by line reading and studying.

      Secondly, our Senior Rabbi teaches a Torah study in Hebrew (I attend this session). We are reading the Torah in Hebrew line by line, translating and discussing. Not sure when we will finish but a totally engaging experience.

      Thirdly, we do Torah study during the service when the Rabbi gives a d’rash, and we participate in discussion.

      Might not this be a way to intrigue people to come? I am sure there are all types of Torah study groups that could be going on simultaneously: Taste of Torah (an introduction), Women's Torah Study, Family Torah Study. There are unlimited possibilities.

      500+ families


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