Reading the tanakh in the 21st century

Whether one believes or not that God wrote or dictated a collection of books, the TaNaKh, the Bible is, still Israel’s greatest creation and contribution to humanity.

Because the TaNaKh forms the backbone of Jewish culture, Israel defines itself in terms of a book.

This “book” (in fact it is a collection of 24 books) cannot be read, it has to be studied. The TaNaKh purposefully brings up subjects that can be interpreted in different ways.

Talking about the subjects the TaNaKh raises, we are obliged to think.

The enduring power of the TaNaKh is not that it teaches us to think about a diversity of subjects but that it teaches us to thinking about subjects that generate knowledge about ourselves and the world we live in.

Not surprisingly the Talmud states that “the study of Torah is by itself equal in importance to all the other mitzvot (commandments) combined (M Pei-ah 1: 1).”

Thus, “The study of the Torah is a duty incumbent on every Israelite from childhood on (Deut. 5: 1; Deut. 6: 6-8; Deut. 11: 18-19).” 

The TaNaKh invites to be understood in different ways and, so, there is plenty of room for different forms of Judaism.

What it is not possible is to claim that an understanding of life  not framed by the concepts and values of the TaNaKh, is a form of Judaism.

Jewish textual illiteracy is thus, inexcusable.

In the 21st century what the TaNaKh says is understood very differently  from how Jews understood it ten centuries ago. But, it is the same TaNaKh, it is the same message. 

Maybe the message is richer because in accumulating experiences and learning, humanity is able to see more angles, more complexities, more shades than previous generations.

Humanity, nor knowledge are statics. Never it is “once for all.” Only laziness and ignorance can claim that understanding doesn’t change.

Readying the Torah in the 21st Century

A program and guide by Rabbi Moshe Pitchon

The Hebrew Scriptures -Israel’s Foundational Literature- is a collection of 24 books composed over a thousand years, by a large number of authors and editors.

In spite of its anthological character, in Judaism the Hebrew Scriptures are considered a coherent entity

For technical reasons, to refer to its different parts, the 24 books are classified into three sections

Torah (‘Teaching’, also known as the Five Books of Moses),

Nevi’im (’Prophets’) and 

Ketuvim (’Writings’).

The first Hebrew letter of each of the three traditional subdivisions forms the acronym TaNaKh.

“It is really one book, for one basic theme unites all the stories and songs, saying and prophecies contained within it.” (Martin Buber:  On the Bible: Eighteen Studies)

Every book of the TaNaKh, in turn, is divided into chapters, and every chapter into verses.

The study program of the synagogue divided the five books of the Torah into fifty-four sections to organize an annual weekly study of the first part of the TaNaKh, the Torah.

Las Escrituras hebreas -la literatura fundamental de Israel- es una colección de 24 libros compuestos durante mil años, por una gran cantidad de autores y editores.

A pesar de su carácter antológico, en el judaísmo las Escrituras hebreas se consideran una entidad coherente.

Por razones técnicas, para referirse a sus diferentes partes, los 24 libros se clasifican en tres secciones.

La Torá (“Enseñanza”, también conocida como los Cinco Libros de Moisés),

Nevi’im (“Profetas”) y

Ketuvim (“Escritos”).

La primera letra hebrea de cada una de las tres subdivisiones tradicionales forma el acrónimo TaNaKh.

“Es realmente un libro, ya que un tema básico une todas las historias y canciones, dichos y profecías que contiene”. (Martin Buber: Sobre la Biblia: Dieciocho Estudios)

Cada libro del TaNaKh, a su vez, está dividido en capítulos, y cada capítulo en versos.

El programa de estudio de la sinagoga dividió los cinco libros de la Torá en cincuenta y cuatro secciones para organizar un estudio semanal anual de la primera parte del TaNaKh, la Torá.

As Escrituras Hebraicas –  A Literatura Fundamental de Israel – são uma coleção de 24 livros compostos através de mil anos, por um grande número de autores e editores.

Apesar de seu caráter antológico, no judaísmo as Escrituras Hebraicas são consideradas uma entidade coerente

Por razões técnicas, para se referir às suas diferentes partes, os 24 livros são classificados em três seções

Torá (‘Ensino’, também conhecido como os Cinco Livros de Moisés),

Nevi’im (‘Profetas’) e

Ketuvim (‘Escritos’).

A primeira letra hebraica de cada uma das três subdivisões tradicionais forma o acrônimo TaNaKh.

“É realmente um livro, pois um tema básico reúne todas as histórias e músicas, ditos e profecias contidas nele.” (Martin Buber:  Sobre a Bíblia: Dezoito Estudos)

Cada livro do TaNaKh, por sua vez, é dividido em capítulos, e cada capítulo em versos.

O programa de estudos da sinagoga dividiu os cinco livros da Torá em cinquenta e quatro seções para organizar um estudo semanal anual da primeira parte do TaNaKh, a Torá.

Les Écritures hébraïques – La littérature fondamentale d’Israël – est une collection de 24 livres composés à travers une période de mille ans et écrits par un grand nombre d’auteurs et de rédacteurs.

En dépit de son caractère anthologique, les Écritures hébraïques sont considérées dans le judaïsme comme une entité cohérente.

Pour des raisons techniques, pour faire référence à ses différentes parties, les 24 livres sont classés en trois parties.

Torah (“Enseignement”, également connu sous le nom des Cinq Livres de Moïse),

Nevi’im (“Prophètes”) et

Ketuvim (“Écrits”).

La première lettre hébraïque de chacune des trois subdivisions traditionnelles forme l’acronyme TaNaKh.

«C’est vraiment un livre, car un thème fondamental réunit toutes les histoires, les chants, les paroles et les prophéties qu’il contient.» (Martin Buber: De la Bible: dix-huit études)

Chaque livre du TaNaKh, à son tour, est divisé en chapitres et chaque chapitre en vers.

Le programme d’étude de la synagogue a divisé les cinq livres de la Torah en cinquante-quatre sections afin d’organiser une étude hebdomadaire annuelle de la première partie du TaNaKh, la Torah.