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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 2/19/21

A D’var Torah is an opportunity to share insights gained from the weekly Torah portion. Customarily a D’var Torah includes not only a description of the parashah, but also commentary about the relevance of the portion for today’s world.

I am always happy to help others less accustomed to giving a D’var Torah with the writing and editing of their D’var. Over the years, I have assisted hundreds of B’nei Mitzvah and Confirmation students in the creation of their Divrei Torah.

At the moment, I am working with a number of folks at Temple. We have two upcoming B’nei Mitzvah as well as six women who will become B’not Mitzvah in May.

As I read and comment on a draft, my primary intent is to enhance the clarity of what the speaker is trying to express.

But there is no accounting for what spellcheck might do to a D’var Torah. Just the other day, a student emailed me a draft. But instead of the subject line reading “My D’var Torah,” it read, “My Dear Torah.”

And I thought, what a delight! It is as if the student was addressing a personal letter to the Torah. “My Dear Torah,” gives a sense of personal relationship and even affection between the speaker and our sacred scroll.

Customarily, a Jew gives a D’var Torah by addressing the congregation. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if they began their D’var by turning toward the ark and saying, “My Dear Torah”?


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