The weekly Torah portion or parasha (Hebrew: פָּרָשָׁה, means “portion”) formally means a section of a biblical book in the masoretic text of the Tanakh. The Torah is traditionally divided into 54 parashas or parashiyot (plural). Each weekly Torah portion adopts its name from one of the first unique words in the Hebrew text. The traditional annual cycle begins and ends with the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
A strange question perhaps, yet one that expresses both our confusion and our skepticism regarding truth. Confusion, because with a multiplicity of religions and a diversity of beliefs around us we may genuinely wonder, “Where is the truth?” Skepticism, for it suggests that truth does not exist; in fact, there really is no objective truth.
The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, answers the question clearly. “Hashem, God is the truth” (Jeremiah 10:10; literal translation). For the Bible then, truth does exist; truth is association with God Himself. In fact, truth, Emeth, in the Hebrew language, is one of the 13 attributes of God. It falls seventh in the list in the exact center of the 13 attributes listed in Exodus 34:6; literal translation, a passage that is recited in the liturgies of Rosh Ha-Shanah Yom Kippur (Jewish New Year, Day of Attonement).
If truth is identified with Godʼs character, it does not come from us but is to be found outside of us – in God. This recognition implies that in order to find the truth we should not approach it with the preconceived idea that we know what the truth is. Instead, we should approach the truth with a question, “What is it?” This is the very same question, in fact, the ancient Israelites asked when confronted with the manna, the bread of God in the wilderness. “What is it?” they asked, and the question gave the name to this heavenly bread, for the Hebrew word manna means “What is it?” The meaning of the word manna suggests an important lesson regarding how we should approach Biblical truth. We should approach it with the question: “What is it? What is truth?” We should approach it with the same humble and honest mindset as the ancient Israelites approached the manna in the wilderness, asking “What is it? Asking the question from this frame of reference no longer suggests confusion or skepticism. Instead, it implies sincere questioning from one who expects a true answer from above.
Cause our hearts to understand, to discern, to comprehend, to study and to teach, to observe, to act and to fulfill all the words of Your Torah in love… ~ SIDDUR, AHAVAH RABBAH