The Parsha Discussion is a new project launched by Rabbi Alex Israel in 5777. The Parsha Discussion is published every Thursday in preparation for Shabbos. The posts are short text-based essays that include questions to stimulate discussions on the parsha around the Shabbat table, especially with teenagers.
How can The Parsha Discussion be useful to you or your students and congregants?
It’s best to answer this by learning about how Rabbi Israel came to form this new initiative. According to Rabbi Israel, “A past-student contacted me and asked me to learn with him when he was visiting Israel. He wanted to study parshat hashavua with me. I was surprised. Why travel half-way around the world to study parsha; there are so many resources already on the internet!”
He explained: “I love to discuss the parsha at the Shabbat table. When my kids were young, we did a parsha quiz. Y’know – How many animals entered the Ark? How many sons did Noach have? For how many days did it rain? But now, my kids are 8 and 12; they don’t want these informational questions. They find them childish. And I don’t know how to direct discussions which are informed and relevant to them.”
To that end, if you have congregants, students and donors who want to elevate their Shabbos table, even those who learned in Yeshiva and can’t find the time to prepare, or may lack the confidence to engage their children or guests at their tables in significant Torah discussion – but are looking to do so on a weekly basis – The Parsha Discussion is something they will enjoy subscribing to and reading on a weekly basis.