The Observant Life & Parashat Ha-shavua: A Study Guide

Our colleague Mark Greenspan has, over the course of a year, been preparing "Torah Table Talk" discussion sheets each week connecting The Observant Life with parashat ha-shavua. Each week, a chapter of The Observant Life has been designated for the parashah.

The study sheets follow the following pattern:

  1. A brief introduction to the topic in The Observant Life.
  2. A verse or a passage from the week’s parashah that relates to this chapter.
  3. "Sources and Resources" containing rabbinic, medieval and modern texts wrestling with the Torah passage.
  4. "Reflections" in which the sources and issues are analyzed. Wherever possible, the responsa literature of the Conservative Movement is drawn upon.
  5. "Halakhah L'ma-aseh" in which select quotes from The Observant Life have been chosen for discussion that have practical implication for serious Jewish living.
  6. "Questions to Ponder" addressing the main issues in the chapter.

Students can be encouraged to find a study partner to prepare for and/or as an element of the discussion session itself.

Note that this is not an attempt to cover every topic in The Observant Life or in the Parashah, and as such, students are encouraged to take the time to read through the parashah in Hebrew or in English as well as the associated chapter in The Observant Life in addition to the topics covered here.