Torah Studies

We belong to a lay-lead synagogue (Kol Teffilah; and I frequently give the Torah lesson.

During most weeks, I use notes written on the back of old business cards (‘drash cards’), which here I have summarized as bullet points, and speak extemporaneously.  If you use them for your own drash, I recommend coming to the Bima with the Torah in hand, to read relevant portions as needed.  And of course, supplement the bullet points with literature and ideas that you find appropriate.

On special occasions and the High Holidays, I write out the drash, and here I have given them as written for the event. When doing that, I follow Churchill’s method of nesting the paragraph.

I am also interested in the connections between science and religion and discuss them on my professional web page.  Go there now.


Drash Cards

I believe that a drash should be short with one or two points for people to take away. When I am worried about being wordy, I got back and look at the Gettysburg address.  I put it here for your convenience

The Gettysburg Address

by Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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