This Friday sees the celebration of Simchat Torah - "Rejoicing in the Torah" the end of the yearly cyclical reading of the Torah in the Jewish Liturgical Calender and I wanted to highlight an excellent resource for Christians who want to engage with the Hebrew Scriptures as Jewish Scripture and follow the yearly cycle of readings . A Catholic initiative Light of Torah says:
Light of Torah is a network of Catholics who engage in Torah study. As a lay movement within the Catholic community our purpose is to facilitate a grassroots awakening to the beauty and riches of the Old Testament through the study of Torah in homes, parishes and small community settings. We do so with attention to the biblical insights and traditions of the Jewish people—our ancestors in faith and their present-day descendents—through whom God was revealed in history and through whom we have received Jesus, the Living Torah. We seek to draw closer to Jesus and his people by learning more about the Scriptures he loved and the way in which he, as a Jew, approached them. Our Jewish spiritual heritage is important to us. Christianity is rooted in Judaism as a plant is rooted in the earth. Vatican II recognized this in Nostra Aetate, a ground-breaking document that signalled a new era in Jewish-Christian relations. (More) As part of our Torah study we enjoy ‘sacred time;’ we share Torah insights over a meal, using table-rituals that refresh body and soul. Thus the twofold table of Word and Eucharist, so central to Catholic worship, is here reflected in the everyday rhythms of our homes. We experience Torah as light to the mind and joy to the spirit. Through Torah, God ‘speaks’ to us, drawing us into loving and intimate conversation. We want to be good conversationalists with God! And we want to draw others into this language of love. We develop ways of sharing what we learn with our friends, families and parishes, through publications, workshops and Holy Land immersion experiences.
Our interest in Judaism does not suggest any intention, explicit or implicit, to 'convert' Jews. We recognize that the Jewish people have a unique relationship with God and an irreplaceable role in salvation history. As Catholics we can only be enriched by the influence of vibrant Jewish communities responsive to God's call.
For more about our vision and mission, click on the links highlighted above.
A general information leaflet “What is Light of Torah?” can be downloaded here.