Jewish Call to Bible Reading

Hebrew - English Bible

This is the "Call of the Education department of Vaad Leumi to all the Jews in Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] and in the dispersion." The word Tenach or T.N.K. represents the first letters of the three parts of the Old Testament in the Hebrew; thus: TORAH, Teaching or Law; NEVI'IM, Prophets; K'TUVIM, Writings [Psalms, etc.] (Translated by Moses ben Maier.)

READ THE T.N.K. (Old Testament) DAY BY DAY

"Brethren, children of the People of the Book!

"In the morning of its history our people was privileged to a unique literary activity by the grace of the Most High: in the Book of the T.N.K. the whole of our opulent world was rolled up, the world of Torah, of prophecy and wisdom, our people's canticles and prayers, the history of the world's beginning, our own history, and the vision of the end of the days. Precious is the book to the whole world which crowned it with the name,'The Book of Books'. But to us it is the breath of life. Upon it we were brought up, and in its spirit do we bring up our children—a spirit of righteousness and justice, of grace and mercy, of straightforwardness and truth, of the love of God and of man, of belief in the freedom and equality of all the sons of man, of hating evil and loving good, of loyalty to the moral vision, and of longing for the triumph righteousness positive, in the end of days. The T.N.K. became the foundation for our great subsequent literary creations. In the Torah of Moses, the Written Torah, is bound up the fabric of our Oral Torah, with all its heart-purifying laws and precepts and enlightening stories: and upon the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the K'tuvim, have we built the temples of our studies and morals, our song and our prayer: and also, in the rest of our sacred writings, have the T.N.K. been a measuring line and a scale. By them we were able to identify whether the productions were really ours or only imitations of others. We know that when we draw nearer to them we bring nearer our salvation.

"What wonder then that the people bound itself heart and soul to the T.N.K.! The traditional reading of the weekly portion placed the Torah in the mouth and heart of each Jew. The study of the Pentateuch and Rashi, with N.K. and their commentaries, was the basis of the nation's education. And what wonder is it that the erudite sages have invested the best of their strength in the T.N.K. Each generation endeavored to understand the T.N.K., in the light of its own day. By seventy methods was the Torah searched, and we found in it seventy-seven graces and explanations. We studied it by the literal, typical, research, and the secret ways of interpretation. For all our revisions we found in it indications. A ray of light that suddenly shone from one of its verses unveiled whole worlds to our thinking. But not only was our thinking strengthened and renewed by the T.N.K.—our daily life was renewed and refreshed by them, as we have seen in them a vision of everything. The individual found indications or types for his own experience, and the entire people found in them comfort in captivity. They became the glory of our life in peaceful days, a mighty fortress in tribulation, and a fount of hope and redemption every day.

"And now, behold, we are returning to the land of our nativity,—we who build it here today, and you struggling and battling children of the galuth (exile) whose eyes are turned to this land,— a land in which the prophets have lived and prophesied, a land whose every lump of sod reminds us of the verses of the T.N.K., and each footstep of their sayings. And, lo, we have just returned to the language of the T.N.K., and revived it in our mouth and in the mouth of our children, and we have established it to be a sanctuary in our heart and life. Shall we not likewise renew the covenant of our love with the T.N.K.! Shall we not return with greater impetus and force to the fount of our physical power whose issues are for our renewal and quickening! And just at this hour, when the world attacks us, when it swears to cut us off from under heaven, let us return to the source from which we may draw power to withstand the wicked fist which is laid upon us, and the uncleanness of the people who hate us and consume us from every side. And if the image of God is departing from our enemies let us know how to barricade ourselves in the bulwark of our spirit, search ourselves daily, have our hearts open to the Torah, Nevi'im, and K'tuvim, and our souls bound to the eternal values, the moral laws, and the spiritual completion about which the prophets of truth and righteousness have spoken.

"O House of Jacob, come, let us return to the light of God which is in the Book  of the T.N.K."

Messianic Series by David L. Cooper, Th.M., Ph.D., Litt.D. :