By Sara Malka Winter
Special to WJW
The daily study of a chapter of Nach (Nach is an acronym for Neviim and Ketuvim — the Prophets and Writings in the Hebrew Bible) is as beautiful a concept as it is daunting. Those were my first thoughts when I was approached to be a lecturer for the daily Orthodox Union Nach women’s initiative. Daunting perhaps, but as of this writing, thousands of women have signed up for this program from all over the world, and together, led by women, have begun to immerse themselves in the world of Nach. They have completed book after book of Prophets, as they look forward to beginning the Writings.
This program, accessible to all women from all backgrounds, offers so much more than just a basic understanding of the text. Each short podcast lecture (typically 12-18 minutes long) is insightful, inspiring and cites commentaries, both modern and ancient, giving a multifaceted perspective into the richness and wisdom of the book.
In addition to being enriched from my own preparation and opportunity to lecture during the series, I have been moved, inspired and gained a deeper understanding of these ancient stories and their continuing pertinence to modern life from my fellow lecturers, as I join in this incredible and exhilarating journey.
In my capacity as a senior lecturer for Greater Washington Community Kollel and teacher for Yeshiva of Greater Washington, I cherish the opportunities for learning and teaching Tanach (Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim). I am always amazed by how relevant and timeless the words of our prophets are, as they encourage, inspire and plead with our nation to be bigger and to seek higher, to remember our roots and to live up to our mission.
Studying these chapters with women around the world connects us not only to our rich heritage, but to each other. And during this strange time of isolation, of quarantines and forced separation from loved ones, I am sure that, like me, so many women find this study to be unifying, comforting and heartening.
As we now finish the Prophets and begin the Writings with the Book of Psalms, I look forward to presenting on this ancient yet so relevant book that has for thousands of years been a beacon of hope for our people. As I am excited to study together with women across the world the majestic words of King David that have, since time immemorial, encouraged, united and connected.
Sara Malka Winter is a senior lecturer for the Greater Washington Community Kollel, a teacher at Yeshiva of Greater Washington and a presenter for the OU Women’s Initiative Nach Yomi series. She lives in Silver Spring.