From time immemorial Jews have been studying the assigned Sidrah (Torah lesson) every week of the year. Jews study the Sidrah beginning Shabbat afternoon, when the Sidrah for the following week is read in the synagogue. A favorite time to study has always been at the Friday night Shabbat dinner table. As soon as all the prayers and rituals are chanted and performed, the delicious Shabbat meal has been consumed, and Birkat HaMazon (Grace After Meals) has been chanted – and perhaps several zemirot (Shabbat hymns) have been sung with gusto – a traditional family will turn to the “parshah,” as it is familiarly known. If they are more advanced they may open a Humash. Or they may have before them a copy of Sidrah Sparks.
Serious discussion is a lost art at the family dinner table, and Torah study is surely not common among most families today. Using Sidrah Sparks is a wonderful way to revive the inspiring and enlightening Jewish custom of turning our attention to serious discussion, and to create opportunities for Jewish educational enrichment. Using traditional Torah texts to share our ideas, our philosophies, our values and our feelings is a wonderful way to enrich our minds and spirits, and also our closest relationships.
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