Sedra Summary is a detailed summary of the traditional weekly Torah portion and the Haftarah reading for that week’s Shabbat or Yom Tov. In addition, we provide the translation and explanation of selected Midrash that is associated with them. We are also linked to the new Sedra Summary channel on YouTube. We hope to add videos based upon Torah, Prophets, and Midrash, which will remain available for viewing.
Each week has its sedra. Whatever else is happening in the world, the sedra’s events, imperatives and ideas are before us as an eternal foundation. The Torah is presented in fifty-four consecutive weekly portions. Each portion is a sedra. Each sedra is known by a title taken from its first distinctive word, name or phrase.
Sedra Summary, a digital work in progress, is offered as a kind of standard curriculum of each week’s sedra, in summary form, short and long, and in midrash (classic interpretation). I can imagine your picking it up as your week begins, continues or concludes. When you have the opportunity to sit down for a Sabbath meal on Friday night or Saturday, I can imagine your combining your dining with weekly words of Torah. I hope that they contribute to a fulfilling link between your six days of creation just ended and soon to begin.
When you are alone or with company, you might choose to read aloud the words of the short summary. (I envision them as an introduction to the Sabbath meal.) You can depend upon the long summary to provide you with all of the main points in a moderate amount of time. Short or long, your summary can be seasoned with one or more items of midrash.
The Sabbath or Shabbat is well known as the last day of the week, the day on which the week’s achievements and challenges, the six days of creation, are brought to a temporary close and reflection. So wedded to the six days of creation is Shabbat that “Shabbat” also means the week itself. Likewise, every sedra, associated with its Shabbat, is also the name of the week that leads up to that Shabbat. In that spirit I wish you Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Eric H. Hoffman