A. She restored the glory of studying the written Torah, and of Bible study in general, following the Peshat, the literal meaning of the text, in according with the medieval commentators and the midrashim, both the halachic and the aggadic. She channeled her energies primarily into her great undertaking:the commentary of Rashi on the Torah.
B. She expanded the commentary library of the student by revealing many commentaries which were not known to the learner, and acquainted him with the supercommentaries, which imparted an additional, more profound, dimension to Torah study.
C. She introduced didactic methods for the teaching of the Torah that also influenced religious studies as a whole. the goal of these methods was to turn the pupil into a learner, employing the question, the difference, the shared and the disparate, synthesis, structure, form and content, precise definitions, and error as a basis for further effort.
D. She emphasized the meanings relevant to the contemporary learner: by citing modern commentaries, by her extraordinary sensitivity for the learner's problem, the ability to determine the message contained in the sources, and her sharp and clear formulation of these messages in a language and style that speak to every learner.
E. She caused everyone to fall in love with Torah study: young and old, layman and scholar, teacher and pupil, in Israel and in the Diaspora.
F. Following in her path, the regular study of parshat ha-shavua, the weekly Torah portion, was begun in Israel and the Diaspora. Every Shabbat, classes on parshat ha-shavua are held, using Nechama's "gilyonot" (sheets) and her collections of studies. The study of parshat ha-shavua has become an institution throughout the Jewish world.
G. She made an inestimable contribution by training generations of teachers, for all levels of study, in Israel and the Diaspora. These teachers transmit her insights and her method of study to their pupils, and to their pupils' pupils.
H. The Torah that she taught in such a glowing, open manner to every student, to whomever addressed questions to her, day or night, from throughout the world, the light within her, the Torah she taught, and her countenance - that are the reason why the Torah shall be taught by countless numbers of individuals, through love of the Torah.
shall be inscribed for all eternity among the greatest
disseminators of Torah throughout the generations.
All religions gravitate towards exclusive power and forget their birth in inclusive tolerance. We need to return to their births to find our presence.
31.9-13 describes Moses writing down the law, the Torah, and
giving it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the
ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the elders of Israel.
Moses commanded them that:
finishes writing the law, having it be placed in the Ark of
the Covenant, and next summons all the people and sings to
them his song - which Portia will echo in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.
The Torah becomes forgotten. Until 621 B.C.E., when King Josiah asjs the high
priest Hilkiah to account for all the money received in the
Temple so that it may be used for repairing the same. During
this search the book, the Torah, is rediscovered in the
Temple. It is brought to the king and read to him. In
consternation, the King asks how he can find what God wills
they should do, not having observed the Torah for
generations. The priests and the scribes go and ask the
Prophetess Huldah, the wife of the keeper of the wardrobe
who lives in the Second Quarter of Jerusalem. She replies
that God has told her that he will bring disaster for their
non-observance of the Torah.
Then the king directed that
all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to
him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him
went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he
read in their hearing all the words of the book of the
covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. the
king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord,
keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with
all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this
covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the
covenant. (2 Kings 22-23, 2 Chronicles 34.14-35.19).
Only King David
and the Prophetess Huldah are buried within the city of
Jerusalem, Huldah having a gate named after her. Rabbinical
literature explains that she is related to Jeremiah, both
descended from Rahab, wife of Joshua.
Next, in 458
B.C.E., Ezra returns from the
Babylonian exile with "book of the law of Moses" which he
studied with great care. We are told that he prayed and
confessed, weeping before the Temple, a great assembly of
people, 'of men, women,
and children', who also wept bitterly (Ezra
7.6-10.14). In Nehemiah it is further told, in replication of
Huldah's advice to Josiah, and God's advice to Moses, that all
the people gathered to hear the Torah, the Law (Nehemiah
the seventh month came - the people of Israel being settled in
their towns - all the people gathered together into the square
before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the
book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel.
Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the
assembly, both men and
women and all who could hear with understanding. This
was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it
facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning
until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could
understand, and the ears of all the people were attentive to
the books of the law. The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden
platform that had been made for the purpose . . . . And Ezra
opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was
standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the
people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God,
and all the people answered 'Amen, Amen', lifting up their
hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with
their faces to the ground. . . . the Levites helped the people
to understand the law, while the people remained in their
places. So they read from the book, from the law of God, with
interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people
understood the reading.
Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and
scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the
people, 'This day is holy to the Lord your God, do not mourn
or weep'. For all the people wept when they heard the words of
the law. Then he said to them, 'Go your way, eat the fat and
drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom
nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do
not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE
AND ITS CONTEXTS ©1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY
|| JULIAN OF NORWICH || SHOWING OF
LOVE || HER TEXTS ||
HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME || ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN
|| BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM|| THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS
) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY || BIBLE AND WOMEN PORTAL