Last year our synagogue started a very exciting project: TBA Words of Torah. A portal for you, the members of our community, to share your teachings, personal divrei Torah, on the weekly portion.
On our website, the d’var Torah blog http://www.templebethami.org/tba-words-of-torah-divrei-torah has now had dozens of beautiful submissions from yor friends and neighboprs, and we hope during this year you too will now be inspired to share your own divrei Torah (plural of d’var Torah).
All kinds of help are available today in understanding and teaching Torah. On the TBA webpage www.templebethami.org/dvar-torah-sign-up you will find the weekly Torah portion, the week it is read, and the chapters/verses. You will also find a link to the Wikipedia page for the portion, which contains summaries, insights and links to other d’vrei Torah.
In addition, our Wednesday evening class, which meets each week at 7 pm, will continue to be an opportunity to discuss the TBA divrei Torah as well as those written by others throughout the generations and around the world.
When writing your own piece focus on one idea contained in the portion, it is easy to get lost in the many possibilities. Here are some basic questions to start with as you begin assembling your thoughts on the portion:
• What’s the simple meaning or literal translation?
• What did that signify in the context of its time?
• How has it been explained by the rabbis over the centuries?
• What should it convey to us today?
• Show respect for your audience. Chances are that many of them know as much about the material as you do. But don’t be intimidated by that either, because chances are even greater that most of them don’t.
• Be sure to translate any Hebrew word you use.
• Just because a d’var Torah primarily is designed to teach does not mean it may not entertain. A touch of humor is in order, as long as it is germane to the lesson.
• Make your comments appropriate to an audience of all ages
• Know what message you want to leave with the audience
• Please keep your d’var Torah under 800 words
An anniversary of Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or a birthday or anniversary, another special event are great reasons to write a d’var Torah. Maybe you like a particular portion or story and have been dying to share your insights. We are waiting for your d’var Torah!
Submit your date request through the website: www.templebethami.org/dvar-torah-sign-up.
When your d’var Torah is complete, make sure it is submitted by the Tuesday before the week it will be read/studied. For example, if Vayera is being read from 11/1-11/8, the d’var Torah is due 10/28.
Once it goes through an editorial pass, it will be published and up for the week, as well as archived. As a post it will also generate discussion, and comments (also screened), and they will accompany the d’vrei Torah posts as an ongoing dialog.
Yasher koach. May you be strong, and you in turn, will strengthen us, as you teach us Torah.