President Reuven Rivlin visits Herzog College for 929 study program.
(photo credit: JEREMY SHARON)
An innovative daily study program for the Bible called 929 is set to launch next week in English after its first three and a half year cycle in Hebrew concluded last week.
The project, so called because there are 929 chapters of the Hebrew Bible, provides study tools for one chapter of the Bible every day, five days a week, accessible on 929’s website, via a mobile app, and through email.
Every day, the text of the Bible chapter in question from the JPS translation is presented, along with an audio reading of it, and accompanied by a plethora of other supporting materials. The English-language site will go live on Monday, July 23
929 was pioneered by prominent national-religious leader and author Rabbi Benny Lau
, and garnered a large following in the first cycle of the Hebrew project.
Director of the 929 English project Rabbi Adam Mintz, a prominent modern-Orthodox rabbi and teacher in New York, will be producing a two minute audio feature on the chapter of the day, every day, while there will also be a daily segment called Millim, words in Hebrew, focusing on one particular word of the chapter, written by 929 Chief Editor Dr. Jeremy Benstein.
In addition, there will be a daily contribution on the chapter from former UK Chief Rabbi and International President of 929 Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in the form of a short video, written idea or other format.
The Drisha Institute for Jewish Education is also partnering with 929 in the English language project, and will include daily recordings from Founder and Dean of Drisha Institute Rabbi David Silber of eight to ten minutes on the chapter.
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Alongside this material will be a wealth of contributions, such as poems, songs, art, photographs and other media, from a wide spectrum of American Jewry, from rabbis to artists, authors, photographers, scholars, layman, people in politics and film, and from all denominations, be it Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, or Reconstructionist.
“We want to create an online resource for serious Jewish content by people who have thought about that particular chapter, and have a serious thoughtful approach to the Bible,” Mintz told The Jerusalem Post
Mintz says that the intention is in short order to use the project as a platform “to create a conversation that is not political or religious,” but to use the Biblical chapter as a spring board to discuss various ideas, for example the notion of temptation in the very first chapter, using the blandishments of the serpent to Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as a starting point.
The rabbi adds that eventually, 929 English wants to also create “a grand conversation” between US and Israeli Jews, with a point and counterpoint format where two individuals take differing positions on the wide variety of issues affecting the global Jewish community
“We are very excited to launch 929 English and to adapt Rabbi Benny Lau’s revolutionary project in Israel for the English speaking audience throughout the world,” said Mintz.
“929 English will provide a launching pad for the sharing of many different voices from a broad spectrum of English speaking Jews on the ideas and images that emerge from the chapters of the Jewish Bible and impact all of us to this very day.”
Shira Hecht-Koller, Director of Communal Engagement at Drisha said that the project had the potential to bring Jewish people "from every facet of the English-speaking world" together around the Bible.
"Our heritage can provoke dialogue, discussion, debate, and even criticism – but within the context of a community. We hope that people will be moved to get involved, to respond to the text artistically, philosophically, and in every other way, and thus strengthen our collective collection to our heritage and to each other. For Drisha, this is core to our mission: breaking down the walls between the beit midrash and the world, so that each can illuminate the other.”
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