New Talmud Study Resource Online!

Interested in Talmud study, but looking for a manageable study program online?

Rabbi Amy Scheinerman has just begun publishing Ten Minutes of Talmud. Each week she offers a bit of Talmud text in English with introductory notes and a commentary. You can follow it on the blog or sign up to receive it by email.

The program requires no tuition, no books, nothing but access to email and your time and attention.

Here is some background on Rabbi Scheinerman from her blog:

I am a Jewish community hospice rabbi, and I teach and write. I have served on the Board of Trustees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and as president of both the Baltimore Board of Rabbis and the Greater Carolinas Association of Rabbis. I was a congregational rabbi for 27 years, serving Reform, Conservative, and unaffiliated congregations. You can visit my home page at, my Torah commentary blog at, and the Talmud Blog I share with my chevruta, Rabbi Louis Rieser, at http://nuviewtalmud/

I wish you fruitful study with her!

Learn About Judaism Online

I said in an earlier post that I was going to share some online study resources.  Here are some favorites (not an exhaustive list). I have included only free sites, although several of them accept donations. If you use one of them a lot, consider contributing to them. – This is an online Jewish calendar, easy to use and easy to personalize. If I could have access to only one Jewish website, this would be it. It will tell you what day it is today and what Torah readings are assigned to the day (both for Israel and for the Diaspora, which sometimes differ.) You can go there and use the “date converter” to find out what day in the Hebrew calendar you were born. It will give you links from each weekly Torah reading to the reading itself, to an online tikkun (reading with and without vowel markings), and to assorted divre Torah (short sermons and studies) on the portion. You can even export parts of the Jewish calendar to your Google or Outlook calendar. ROCKS. – This is a searchable, hyperlinked, massive Jewish learning site. The articles are written simply and clearly by reputable scholars who know their subjects. It has recipes, definitions, holiday information, news, and a couple of online magazines. There are blogs addressing every imaginable aspect of modern Jewish life. Best of all, it’s a very inclusive site, respectful of all branches and flavors of Judaism. – This is another massive Jewish site full of great information. Again, the articles are from scholars of repute. It is a bit more challenging reading than, which may be a plus or a minus, depending on your interest and background. – The Jewish Telegraphic Agency calls itself “the Global Jewish News Source.” When there is news in the Jewish world and you want information, this is an excellent place to look. You can also sign up for their daily newsletter. – The Jewish Encyclopedia was published from 1901-1906, and its full text is available online at this site. While it does not have information about topics after 1906, for everything before that it is quite good. – YouTube is great for “how-to” demonstrations. Want to see exactly how to light Chanukah candles? Search “Chanukah” on YouTube. Want to learn some fun Purim songs? Search YouTube. Want to make a virtual visit to many sites in the Jewish world without buying a plane ticket? Often you can find a video on YouTube that will give you a distinct “You Are There” experience. – A good central source of information on Reform Judaism online, with links to all the major Reform organizations. – A good central source of information on Modern Orthodoxy. – The central address for Conservative Judaism on the web.

Jewish Reconstructionist Communities – The central address for Reconstructionist Judaism online.

ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal – The central address for Jewish Renewal online.


Some cautions:

Wikipedia on Judaism is a mixed bag. On the one hand, there are many articles there on Jewish subjects, from the weekly Torah portions to holidays to history. On the other hand, you don’t have any way of knowing how reliable a source the authors are using, or what the background of a particular writer. If you are a beginner, you don’t have much way to know the reliable sources from the unreliable ones.

Beware of any site that trashes other Jews. There are plenty of good websites that don’t do that, so why hang out on those that do? Any site that speaks scornfully of “liberal Jews” or “the Orthodox” is not worth your time.

Beware of allegedly educational sites that are not produced by Jews. Other people sometimes have very peculiar ideas about us, to put it politely. If you read something on a website that is troubling, talk to a rabbi about it or leave a message on a reputable site that has an “ask the Rabbi” feature.

Finally, keep in mind that while the Internet and your computer are powerful tools, there’s no substitute for learning with real live people. Find yourself a rabbi. Find yourself a study partner. There is a richness available in in-person Jewish study that even the best website cannot match.

Happy Learning!