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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Your Torah

One of the most important things that I learned from Parshat Devarim is that Moshe is the one who is narrating this book of Devarim. This book contains Moses' Torah. As one person put it, this is not a book where we see frequent references to "And God said." This is the Torah of Moses.

For the past few years I have been doing these poems each week and learning as I go along. I recall that Rabbi Hamilton of Congregation Kehillath Israel consistently speaks of people sharing their torah. I realized this week that this is where he gleans this idea of learners sharing their own Torah. I am beyond grateful that Rabbi Hamilton and KI have given me this opportunity to express my Torah each week. The journey has been life changing.

I wanted to put this series of thoughts (maybe a poem?) out there about the idea of "Your Torah." I suspect that the list could be much longer and as a reader of these thoughts and poems, I would be most grateful for you to share a definition of"Your Torah" with me. You can comment on this page or send me an email at

I would love to hear your ideas.

With wishes to all of you for a Shabbat Shalom and an easy fast. I hope to write and post about Tisha B' Av on Sunday.


Your Torah

There is Moses’ Torah

the Torah of the rebbes,

and your rabbi ,

and the rabbis

There is the Torah of the One and the Torah of seventy faces.

There is the Torah of various truths

there is the Torah of questions and answers

the Torah of threats and war

the Torah of vengeance

and the Torah of love and mercy.

The Torah of light and darkness

darkness and light.

There is the Torah of destruction

and Torah as a source of renewal.

There is the Torah of men and then there is the

Torah of


the Torah of

slaves and

the Torah of


and Torah of the pure and the impure.

There is the Torah of enemies and the Torah of friends.

There is the Torah of mystery, eternity and forevermore.

There is the Torah that grows from roots planted deep and the Torah that grows


its branches far reaching.

There is the Torah of p’shat and the Torah of secrets

and thousands of pages in between.

There is the Torah of cans and can nots,

haves and have nots,

insiders and outsiders.

There is the Torah that is died for and the Torah that gives life

There is the Torah that changes from generation to generation,

there is the Torah that never changes

There is the Torah that defies definitions and even words

the holy Torah.

There is the Torah you speak of to others

and the Torah that belongs just to you.

Your Torah.

What is your Torah?

אֵ֣לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־כׇּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן בַּמִּדְבָּ֡ר בָּֽעֲרָבָה֩ מ֨וֹל ס֜וּף בֵּֽין־פָּארָ֧ן וּבֵֽין־תֹּ֛פֶל וְלָבָ֥ן וַחֲצֵרֹ֖ת וְדִ֥י זָהָֽב׃ These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan.—Through the wilderness, in the Arabah near Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab,

Taken from Sefaria Devarim 1:1

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