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The Torah class at Makom Ohr Shalom is an old tradition that dates back to our founding Rabbi, Ted Falcon. Since the mid 1990’s, we have supplemented the Rabbi led classes and teachings with a lay-lead Torah discussion group. The Torah discussion group currently meets once a month from 10 am to Noon in the Library at Bethel. (It meets on the Saturday following the second Friday of the month.) Everybody is invited to the class, from those who are just beginning to learn Torah, to those who have been studying for many years.
We are trying a new format. Our own Cantorial Soloist, Mitzi Schwarz, will lead a short prayer service from 10 am to 10:30 am, with the Torah discussion following from 10:30 am to Noon. We hope there will be a synergy where the davening will help seta kavanah to invite sacred energy into ourTorah discussion, and the Torah discussion will deepen our experience and appreciation of the davening.
It is written in the Midrash that the person who has read the Torah 100 times, cannot even be compared to the person who has read it 101 times. What does that mean? Is there something unique about the 101s treading? Perhaps the Midrash is hinting at the idea that there are endless levels of meaning to be found in sacred text.Hopefully, every time we read it we can discover something new that can open up the text in new ways and support our continued growth. Sometimes just rereading the text by ourselves is not enough to discover its deeper meaning. We need to study together. Everyone in sacred community has important and unique Torah to share, and therefore it takes a community to unlock the hidden meanings in the text.
I hope to see you at the next class.
Mike Melnick, Ritual Shomer