Starting the Parsha Earlier In The Week

We know learning Torah is one of the most important activities we can do, yet there are probably many weeks when we don’t look at the Parsha till late in the week or on Shabbos.

We might use lack of time as our alibi, but we probably had time for some Internet reading or other non-essential activities.

It’s important for us to be very familiar with every Parsha and the prescription for that is Shnayim Mikra Ve-Echad Targum.

As we mentioned previously, there are prominent Poskim who hold you can fulfill the requirement by reading the Hebrew once during the week, reading the second time along with the laining on Shabbos and using an English translation such as Art Scroll for the Targum/translation component. If you’re not already accomplishing Shnayim Mikra weekly, then please try this method.

Rabbi Noson Weisz has a must read piece on this week’s parsha which gives a clear understanding on the different paths of spirituality for Jews and Non-Jews.

In a nutshell:
– Bilaam was the prophet for non-Jews who’s role is to teach non-Jews how to serve G-d.
– Bilaam knew the precise moment each day that G-d was anger which is the time when the Midas HaDin is strongest which results in G-d distancing Himself from the world.
– Moses was told not to connect to G-d when He was angry.
– The path of the Bilaam and the nations of the world is to serve G-d through the road of anger which results in withdrawal and self denial.
– The path of serving G-d for Jews is to connect to G-d via love which involves inserting spirituality and closeness to G-d in every aspect of everyday life through the mitzvos.
– Bilaam was the nation’s potential Moses but his unwillingness to accept the Jewish path of service as legitimate caused him to try and harm the Jews, ultimately bringing about the incident at Ba’al Peor.

Please take the time to read Rabbi Weisz article.

4 comments on “Starting the Parsha Earlier In The Week

  1. For many years, well before I was asked to submit the Parsha Roundup on a weekly basis by R Gil Student, I made it my weekly practice to review the Parsha with Rashi and Ramban, but early in the week, as opposed to later, when Shabbos preparations or on Shabbos itself. Since I began the Roundup, I realize that such preparation is indispensable and at least alerts me to the issues that the Mfarshim dealt and wrestled with, and it aides me in posting a series of links relating to the Parsha or Halachic and Hashkafic themes for that time of the year.

  2. I would second the comments above and the idea of the post and add the following: how about taking Torah sheb’chtav as seriously intellectually as Torah sheba’al peh? Obviously the rishonim did. Even a better reason, these are words directly dictated by God to Moshe! If people approached it this way, they would do 2x mikra and 1x targum, and more, each week.

  3. Six years ago, Rabbi Yisroel Reisman came to our shul and gave an annual drasha. At the end, he usually mentions one specific thing to work on…saying the Song of the Day or perhaps Aleinu with more concentration. That year, he mentioned finishing Shnayim Mikra Ve-Echad Targum each week, and I wasn’t doing it.

    Many resolutions haven’t stuck with me, but this one did! Since that drasha six years ago, I haven’t missed one week finishing the parsha, and it’s usually done early in the week.

    One reason is that the more I review Rashi, the better I understand the pesukim, and being a teacher, I can teach better to the students. Another reason is that you see the different opinions on each pusuk…the Ramban disagrees often with Rashi and sometimes each opinion makes more sense than the other. The Sforno and Malbim also bring down interesting ideas, and suprise…all of them ask questions about psukim which you might have had but just put in the back of your mind, or brushed them off completely!

    Chumash becomes a whole new world, and things start coming together. Just read some of these in English…doesn’t take much time, and it might turn out to be quite validating (yeah! I always wondered about that word/pusuk!)

  4. Targum Onkelos has recently been translated into English; the last volume is due out this month. I have the first four volumes; it is a real eye-opener. Onkelos has been inaccessible to many because it is in often difficult Aramaic, but the translation into English and accompanying commentary makes accessible the many departures from the Torah’s language and the reasons for the departure. Learning Onkelos makes clear where Rambam got much of his hashkafah, and it is a good balance to the commentaries that rely on midrashim.

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