The Torah is the sacred religious text of the Jewish people. It’s sometimes called the Five Books of Moses. Sometimes its called the Hebrew Bible (more on that here) and the Old Testament. The Torah consists of the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Each week Jews around the world read the same section of the Torah. This section is called a Torah portion or parsha in Hebrew. It is read aloud during services, most commonly at Shabbat services on Saturdays.
Each Torah portion recounts a story from the Torah and is read in order. The Reform and Conservative communities read only one-third of each weekly parsha so it actually ends up taking three years to completely read the Torah. Orthodox communities read the entire parsha each week and finish reading the Torah on Simchat Torah.
While some Jews go to services and hear the reading of the Torah portion, others read each parsha in the comfort of their own home.
The root of the word torah can also mean instruction, law or even parent. Pretty cool stuff!
Read “The Torah” at http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-torah
Take a look at our friends BimBam. They have every Torah parsha animated on YouTube.
Pick any BimBam parsha video from YouTube. Explain what you like about it. Don’t just repeat what the video says — talk about what the story in the parsha means to you.