Shabbat Talmud Study: The Best Kept Secrets of the Torah Service


with Rav Hazzan Aliza Berger

When we come to shul on a Shabbat morning, we see a service that is fully formed, filled with familiar melodies and rituals. Our service feels like a composed masterpiece-assembled at Sinai and safeguarded through the ages.

But if you look closely, our liturgy is more like a patchwork quilt. There are pieces of fabric from Sinai, threads from our ancestors, lace that our grandparents added, all stitched together with love. When we look at these individual pieces, when we trace the development of our service over time, we begin to see not only the wisdom of our tradition, but also ways we can access deeper meaning and connection during the service.

This Shabbos, we’ll be exploring the Torah service. We’ll trace the Torah’s journey since Sinai, we’ll discover how Torah became a military super-hero, the ways that Torah has been leveraged to create healing and wholeness in the world, and we’ll see that Torah is part of a theatrical and improvisational experience of learning that developed long before scientists touted the wisdom of active learning.

If you’ve always wondered why the Torah service is the way it is (or if the Torah service bores you to tears) please join me this Shabbos at 8:30!

Aliza