Sacred Texts

Learn about the sacred texts of Judaism and the role they play in Jewish spirituality and culture.

The Talmud

The Talmud (Hebrew for “study”) is one of the central works of the Jewish people.

The Mishnah

The Mishnah is studied both because it is part of the canon of Jewish literature and because it is the foundation of the Talmud.

Pirkei Avot

Originally known simply as Avot (literally, “fathers” or “ancestors”), Pirkei Avot is among the most well known of all writings in Rabbinic Judaism.

The Tanach

Together Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings) comprise what is known as the Tanach. This name for the Hebrew Bible is actually made up of the first letter of each of the three sections of the Bible.

Learn About the Middot

These Jewish virtues or values (in Hebrew "middot") serve as the basis for the study of a variety of Jewish texts. Perfect for students of all ages, middot can be studied individually, with a study partner, and by families. Whether engaging your family at the Shabbat dinner table or taking some time to study on a Shabbat afternoon, make middot part of your Jewish learning with these helpful study guides.

What's New

Unetaneh Tokef in the Time of a Pandemic

September 10, 2020
The Unetaneh Tokef has a long list of ways that people die, often violently, a way of shocking us into realizing our mortality. The original prayer, however, can be traumatizing. This version seeks a more empathetic approach to mortality.