light of torah
Christians learning from Jews & Judaism
The Lord make His face to shine upon you... with the light of the Torah... May he enlighten your eyes and heart in the Torah...For the commandment is a lamp, and the Torah is light (Prov 6:23). - Numbers Rabbah 11.6
Light of Torah offers educational resources for Christians, designed to foster a love for Torah and respect for the traditions of the Jewish people.
Christianity is grounded in Judaism as a plant is rooted in the earth. As Christians we acknowledge that we cannot live apart from the soil in which we are planted. Further, we recognise Judaism as a ‘living tradition’, to which Christians can turn as a deep well of knowledge, and Jewish communities as vital dialogue partners. This website models what this can mean in practice. The resources are created by a Catholic listening to Jewish tradition and pondering its wisdom for her own Catholic life and faith.
Light of Torah is the initiative of Teresa Pirola, ThD, a Sydney-based Catholic faith educator. She began this work in 2009, motivated by her experiences of Torah study under the guidance of Jewish and Christians teachers at Bat Kol Institute, Jerusalem. Since then, Light of Torah has created Torah-study resources, held workshops, networked small Torah groups, and co-facilitated five Holy Land tours for Australian Catholics.
In 2021, a new chapter begins for Light of Torah, with a focus on expanding its range of resources to include teaching and homiletic tips, as well as making accessible for general audiences the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the insights of subsequent Popes, Synods and Vatican documents with respect to Jewish-Catholic relations. Whilst the work is framed by the author's Catholic tradition, much of its vision is shared by and relevant to other mainstream Christian Churches.
This is a work-in-progress, with large sections of the site still under construction. Reader feedback welcome.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Br Dr John G. ('Jack') Driscoll cfc (1933-2010) of Jerusalem/New York and Rabbi Dr Pesach Schindler (1931-2017) of Jerusalem. Both were teachers and mentors who firmly believed in the importance of Light of Torah for the renewal of the Church, and who nurtured it through its early stages of development.
'I will praise the Lord while I live; make music to my God while I have my being’ (Psalm 146:2).
Image at left: The Jewish child Jesus touches the Torah scroll, and both are held secure in the arms of Joseph. Icon by Fr Nathanael Theuma OFM, Church of St Catherine, Bethlehem.