Welcome to Temple Shabbat Shalom’s guide to scrolling through the year.
Our congregation includes members who are Jews Christians Hindu’s Atheists and agnostics. All, including Muslims and Bahai and Mormons are also welcome.

Our unrolling of the scroll is a pursuit of truth and wisdom and not exclusiveness.

Torah reading is a public event with ten required for a recitation of the traditional blessings before and after the ascent to the altar. The altar becomes an altar since some change is expected as a result of being called to the Torah. The calling is an ascent (Aliyah)and the blessings explain the alteration. Before we read from the Torah each person honored with an ascent calls the ten ( or more in attendance) to prayer. Every true study is a prayer. We then recite:

Blessed art Thou
Lord our God
King of the universe
Who has chosen us from all peoples
And given us Thy Torah
Blessed art Thou
O Lord
Giver of the Torah.

The portion of the Aliyah is read. A Revelation happens. The Truth becomes a given. We are not only standing on the Arête of Mount Sinai, we are back in The Garden of Eden. The truth of Torah is discovered when the Torah becomes, once again, The Tree of Life. We recite:

Blessed art Thou
Lord our God
King of the universe
Who has given us the Torah of truth
And planted everlasting life in our midst
Blessed art Thou
O Lord
Giver of the Torah.

“Everlasting life in our midst” may also be translated, “Everlasting life within us.” As we study together our prayer is that we transform the Tree of Knowledge into a Tree of Life.

Below are ten websites to orient you to the Seder of the unrolling of the scroll. We read from Genesis to Deuteronomy with an additional prophetic
Message or story thematically linked to the true teachings from the scroll.
The prophet gets the last word each week and holyday with extra blessings before and after the reading (Haftorah).

In The Beginning?

The first Parsha, also called a Sedra from the Hebrew root Seder is called B’ray sheet in Hebrew for the first word in the Torah scroll. What does the word mean? As far back as the middle ages Rashi doupts the accuracy of “In the beginning…”. What then? “ When God began creating”… ? B’raysheet is not a summarizing prefix, so the first word of Genesis does not imply “In the very beginning…” . In fact in our prayers we thank God for
constantly renewing the workings of B’raysheet. Creation is a process, as is the Seder of our Torah reading.

Based on today’s date the above websites will indicate where we are in the order of our reading.

Each week we will discuss the Sedra and invite your comments. Before we unroll the scroll a few insights.

The Torah Scroll is not chapter and versed. So sorry, fundamentalists!
Books are for squares. Scrolls are round for a reason.
The Torah scroll has no periods.
The Torah scroll has no colons or semi colons.
The Torah scroll has no question marks.
Numbers are written out.
The Torah is trope with cantillation marks.
The Torah is thus a chant.
The Torah is a song.
In the end, we are at the beginning again.

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