National Book Month for the People of the Book(s)
While the Torah is technically a m’gilah (scroll), the word we usually refer to it is as a seifer torah (Book of Torah). Maybe this is the origin of the moniker, “The People of the Book.” Or, maybe it’s because of all the extra-biblical text that we’ve come to associate with our scriptural tradition--mid’rash (rabbinic explanation), tal’mud (study/Talmud/3rd-7th century Jewish legal text), and sh’eilot ut’shuvot (questions and answers/rabbinical responsa). Perhaps this is why author Adam Kirsch titled his 2017 work examining 18 classics of Jewish literature The People and The Books.
Regardless of the origin of the name, historically we have put a great emphasis on reading and the acquisition of knowledge. Supporting this tendency, the Jewish Book Council designates the month preceding Chanukah as “Jewish Book Month.” There may even be a book festival near you in which you can participate. At the ISJL, we love when this month comes along—not only because it gives us a theme for the newsletter, but also because we love books! We love reading books; we love talking about books; some of us even love writing books.
In this issue of the newsletter, you can find:
We hope you delight in these ocular articles!
The ISJL Education Team
We're proud to provide our partners with new monthly resources and enrichment to share with your classrooms and communities! If you have newsletter questions or requests, email Education Director Rabbi Matt Dreffin: firstname.lastname@example.org.