Parashat Hashavua Torah Study Center

English Lectures

Hebrew Lectures


Each week, the professors of Bar-Ilan University dip into their academic disciplines in order to find new meaning in the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, which is read, chapter-by-chapter, in synagogue s around the world. Through the internet and e-mail, and by hard-copy distribution in hundreds of synagogues across Israel, analysis of the Parashat Hashavua (weekly Torah reading) by one or more of the university's scholars is delivered to tens of thousands of readers, weekly.

This effort, now in its sixth year, is a sterling example of Bar-Ilan University scholarship at its best. The University's 1,300 faculty combine intensive knowledge of traditional Jewish sources together with excellence in phy sics, chemistry, life sciences, geography, mathematics, Jewish art, literature, history, Hebrew language and philosophy -- to offer bold, innovative interpretations and analysis of the Five Books of Moses.

Among the varied issues dealt with over the years: the boundaries between science and Jewish faith (issues such as genetic engineering, the Big Bang and creation); reinterpretation of Midrash in light of Jewish art (for exampl e, a study of Midrashic elements in Chagall's paintings regarding the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai); the relevance of mathematical theory to Bible study; studies in the climate, coinage, economics, flora and fauna of the Land of Israel as it impacts u pon interpretation of the Torah.

Previous essays also have inquired into Jewish philosophical concepts such as free choice, Divine providence, reward and punishment, prophetic dreams, etc.; studies in Hebrew language and its ancient Semitic counterparts in re lation to the Parashat Hashavua; studies regarding Yom Ha'atzmaut and the State of Israel; and studies on Jewish holidays.

The Parashat Hashavua Torah Study Center is a project of Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Jewish Studies, Paul and Helene Shulman Basic Jewish Studies Center, and the Office of the Campus Rabbi. It is sponsored by Dr. Ruth Borchard of the Shoresh Charitable Fund (SCF), and published with assistance of the President's Fund for Torah and Science.

How to Subscribe: By clicking on the option buttons below and following the instructions you can add yourself to one of our automatic e-mail servers in order to receive the weekly Parashat Hashavua essay. There are English and He brew language options. Alternatively, you can browse our web page archive of all past and current lectures, on any of the 52 parshiot in the Torah or the various festivals, in English or Hebrew. The essays can be printed directly from the web site, or dow nloaded as files by FTP from our server.


Inquiries and comments can be addressed to: Dr. Isaac Gottlieb, Department of Bible,, or to