Weekly Parasha Study
Rabbi Kaiserblueth presents a contemporary look at our ancient texts.
We delve into our weekly portion looking at difficult passages, inspiring texts, and stories.
Please join us via Zoom.
✓ No prior experience necessary
✓ Texts and sources will be provided
Rabbi George Mordecai presents a weekly class in learning to chant Torah, held on Monday evenings in term.
The Torah is at the centre of Jewish tradition. All of our festival cycles including Shabbat, and the basis of our legal tradition flow from the Torah. In honour of this we read a parsha, portion of the Torah every Shabbat morning as well as Shabbat afternoon, Monday and Thursday mornings and on festivals. It is one of the greatest honours for a Jew to learn how to leyn, chant from the Torah.
Learning the trope/cantillation patterns enriches our understanding of the Torah, however tropes primary function is grammatical and syntactic. Looking into a Torah scroll one immediately notices that it contains Hebrew words and letters but no, vowels, trope marks, full stops or commas. We don’t know, from looking at the Torah where a sentence begins and ends. The Masoretes- groups of Jewish scribal scholars who developed and codified the trope/cantillation system used in Jewish communities around the world- developed the system to punctuate and phrase the Torah in a way that reflected their theological and philosophical understanding the text. In so doing they codified the way in which Jews all around the world read the Torah as well as the Prophets and the Wisdom literature.
When we learn trope, we learn how to chant the Torah. We also learn how to accent, phrase and parse the verses giving both the ba’al koreh- Torah reader, and the congregation a deeper understanding and experience of the text.
I invite you all to come on the Torah Trope journey with all of us who are learning together and taking an increasingly meaningful role in Synagogue life.
Functional proficiency in reading Hebrew with vowels are essential before learning how to chant Torah.
✓ Functional reading with vowels essential
✓ Your commitment is just one session a week and 10-15 minutes practice a day
“One Shabbat, I saw a father reciting from the Torah on his son’s bar mitzvah. I knew immediately that I wanted to do the same. Soon after, my son started to prepare for his bar mitzvah and before I knew it, I was part of a group of four meeting weekly to master Torah trope with Rabbi Mordecai!
When I started I wasn’t sure that I had what it takes, or that I could even make space for it amidst the trials of daily life. I was sure that I would be found out to be a Trope imposter soon enough. However, I love it. My one hour Torah trope class each week with our little group has been an island of calm and focus in the midst of a year of change, loss and turmoil.
For someone who has only ever dabbled in music making, it’s a pleasure to use my voice, to learn and take part in the continuity of this tradition”
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