Posted on Oct 15, 2020 | 0 comments

Some of you have asked me why I study the Torah Portions each week when ‘I’m not Jewish’! Well the bottom line is because it helps me understand the bible in a perspective that, for most of my life, I have missed. After all, growing up Catholic one didn’t actually read the bible, much less what is called the Old Testament. We did have a large ornamentally decorated one on our coffee table with our family tree on the inside pages, but we didn’t actually read it. After all, that was the job of our local parish priest, who was I to question that protocol?

However, somewhere in my late 20’s, questions overwhelmed me and I had to go on a search for truth. And I did, with a vengenance. Little did I realize that there was such a phrase in this holy book:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7–8)

And he answered – I recieved, I found and it was opened!

Today, thirty years later, I am still asking, seeking and knocking as I know there is so much more to understand about this book called the Holy Bible!

So, what is a Torah Portion you might ask? 

First, the “Torah” is part of the Tanach, or Hebrew Bible, and the word Tanach is an acronym for Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings). The Torah Portion (parashat hashavuah) is a reading of scripture each week from what is known in Christianity as the Old Testament and serves as the focal point for much of Jewish learning.  Not only is this weekly reading invaluable for individual studies but for group discussions and can open so many new levels of understanding.

The Torah is also known as the Five Books of Moses or the Pentateuch. From that the Torah is then divided into 54 separate portions and each section is named from the first word or words of the passage.  Each passage is then linked to a specific week and it is amazing to watch how the passage intermingles with the happenings of your life.  If you are in a congregation, fellowship or synagogue the Parsha is typically read on Shabbat (Saturday) morning.

This year, Ancient Footsteps will begin a Weekly Torah Portion Page on our site that will be availalbe each Friday evening and if you sign up for our newsletter you’ll get the weekly Torah Portion excerpt and link to full post.

To follow along with us, download the new schedule for 5781 (2020-2021) from First Fruits of Zion which begins this Shabbat (Saturday) October 17. We’ve made it easy for you and you can download the schedule by clicking  here. 

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