These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

In The Beginning

Posted on December 9, 2013 by Aliza Geller

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From my blog:

Aliza Geller The Intensive Tanach Track with Neima Novetsky is exploring the “highlights” of the Torah this year. After completing the the first book, Bereshit we were tasked with coming up with a way to remember the contents of each Parsha. This would have been better for me if I had chosen my method from the beginning and added concurrently with learning. After this post, I will post as we go along which means I will have less work when Shemot is completed. I would like to have people comment with their own Six Word Stories about the Parsha, however I understand that this format is not for everyone.

It was not an easy task given that each Parsha could contain multiple stories. Even within a chapter it might not always be possible. It became difficult to make each Parsha stand out because of the reoccurring themes. At the same time, this exercises made the motifs of the Torah stand out even more.

About Six Word Stories: the concept originated with Ernest Hemingway. There was a bet that he could not write a story in just six words. This is also know as “flash fiction” in the extreme (usually these are around 300-1000 words). With the advent of Twitter and other social media platforms, the art of micro-story telling is a necessity. We may have increasingly small attention spans, this however is also teaching a new way to extract meaning from mediums or events that we interact with. As always if we don’t teach our students where they are at, they are usually unwilling to learn.

  • Bereshit: World begins, Adam v’Chava, Cain kills.
  • Noach: Humanity brings flood, covering Noach, babel.
  • Lech-lecha: Journey, Hagar, covenant restated, names changed.
  • Vayera: Visitors, Sarah laughs, Issac born, Akedah.
  • Chayei Sarah: Sarah dies, Machpela, Issac Marries Rivka.
  • Toldot: Yaakov gets Esav’s Birthright, runs away.
  • Vayetzei: Ladder dream, Rachel’s Kiss, leaving Laban.
  • Vayishlach: Reunited brothers, “Messenger” Wresting, Dina’s detour.
  • Vayeshev: Jacob’s sons, Joseph dreams, prisoners dream.
  • Miketz: Pharaoh dreams, Famine, Joseph meets brothers.
  • Vayigash: Joseph revealed, Israel’s family sojourns Egypt.
  • Vayechi: Son’s Blessings, Israel Dies, Joseph dies.