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Parshah in Just Two Minutes! Concise Summaries of the Weekly Parshah by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear

Throughout the years, I had seen the average parshah sheet that would be handed out in shul, but it just did not provide the fullness of the parshah I felt so many needed. Many years ago I had started working on making a systematic summary of the weekly parshah. Actually I had gone through a number of different versions of what I felt would be best for the average reader who would want a full grasp of the parshah in as little time as possible. I wanted to produce something that would make it easy to work through. As a result, I ended up with some really concise summaries which I later realised were just not enough to provide for a full understanding of the parshah! I think my summaries of the entire parshah took around a minute to get through!

Refining My Ideas For a Comprehensive Yet Succinct Book

I went through each verse of the Torah and considered its value for inclusion and then adjusted what I felt would be best to turn the parshah into a present tense version of the topic being discussed. This made it a living happening for anyone choosing to read it.

After having considered things further, I also felt that a lot of the literal understanding of the text lacked something. I felt that by adding some appropriate Rashi comments would end up adding to the quality of the text. This would give the reader the opportunity to be introduced to Rashi if they had not as yet read any of his commentary. Let's be honest — studying Torah without Rashi creates a gap in appreciating what the parshah is really all about!

I really wanted something for those who were too busy to work through a full English translation to still keep attuned to the parshah. Here, by reading a summary, they would be getting the basics of what anyone would need. At the same time they would get a "full" overview of the entire Torah. In fact, you could read the entire book in one or two sittings and stand to gain the full story of the entire Torah from beginning to end and actually see how the entire story of the Chumash unfolds. For those who have never done this before — do yourself a favour! So much gets lost during the year that we forget how the Torah began and just how we got to where we are! Think about this... We start the reading with the unfolding of Creation and move on to the birth of the forefathers, the Covenant that G-d makes with Avraham, and how the Jewish people end up going into Egypt, building a mishkan (sanctuary), going through the wilderness and reach the promised Land (where most reading this might already be!) After reading the full story in one sitting, one suddenly sees how it all fits into place. One sees the promises starting, and their fulfilment. Now — the Torah comes alive with a story one can follow easily and return to again and again!

Presentation

Each parshah has its own heading and is neatly presented so that the reader can also keep up with the reading on Shabbat day itself if they have the book with them in shul. Often, due to the "mi shebeirach" prayer after an Aliyah and other similar delays, those in shul find themselves wanting to talk about unnecessary things. Now, they can open this book, and quickly grasp the next Aliyah to be read while waiting for the next person to ascend for his Aliyah. For those who don't understand the Hebrew while it is read, they'll be clued up on what is being read. This makes for a meaningful reading.

Blueprint of Creation

The Torah is the blueprint of Creation. God looked into the Torah and created the world. The Zohar teaches that God looked into the Torah once,  twice, three times and four, before He created the world...

It is a mitzvah for a Jew to study the weekly parshah each week — together with the entire community. On Shabbat, the parshah is read in shul. Many understand the text in the original Hebrew. Many struggle and read a full English translation. Now, the parshah has been concisely summarised for those who would like to get a simple grasp of the parshah in two minutes (or perhaps a little more)! These simple summaries can be read at the Shabbat table so that the entire family can hear the most important parts of the parshah during the meal. They can be used for further discussion. They are also a great way to revise important points to remember the main themes of the parshah at any time! Use them to prepare for school tests — as you get the gist of the parshah — in just a couple of minutes!

Use these summaries as a springboard to further your learning, working through the entire parshah at a later stage — with the necessary and important Torah commentaries — such as Rashi.

Each book opens with some beautiful Torah quotations, sharing hints about the parshiyot to come... or simply carry an important lesson to consider while reading, or discussing the weekly Torah reading!

Excitement!

I'm excited to have this book out! It can be obtained on the Amazon site at: https://www.amazon.com/Parshah-Just-Two-Minutes-Summaries/dp/1530446546

I hope that readers — whether beginners just starting to learn Torah, or those who can already keep up with the Hebrew — will be able to gain something and enjoy learning the weekly Torah portion using my book. I hope this in turn inspires them to grow further in their Torah knowledge, working through all of Tanach and proceeding to learn the Oral Torah with love and excitement. It is our heritage and we should cleave to it. It is indeed a tree of life for those who hold on to her, and those who support her are happy!

More Info and Contact Information

For more information about Eliyahu's own activities, please see his main website www.lovingkindness.co where he is actively involved in sharing Torah both in the written word, as well as offering lessons privately and in groups over Skype. Here you can join him for a live shiur in a book of your choice online — in the comfort of your home. For seniors, it is also a great way to meet up in cyberland, meet other seniors, have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake (in your own home!) and interact with others who enjoy discussing these Torah concepts with you — as much as you do with them!


Eliyahu can be contacted at rebeliyahu@lovingkindness.co for more info.

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