A New Song: Poems Inspired by the Weekly Torah Portion



Roberta Chester, the author of A New Song, has chosen a particular detail from each weekly Torah portion, and shares her perspective in expressive poetry. Her viewpoint creates a “new song,” entertaining a possibility in the biblical text that illuminates and animates the past with the sensibility of the present. Each of these poems is in essence a midrash, whose root meaning is “to search out, to seek, to inquire.”

4 reviews for A New Song: Poems Inspired by the Weekly Torah Portion

  1. “Roberta Chester has the remarkable gift to sing the songs of our holy Torah by way of poems. By doing so, she has opened up a new chapter in Torah commentary. A marvelous read!”

  2. “Roberta Chester is a poet of great faith and profound vision, who hears Hashem’s voice. Her poems emanate from a heart that overflows with the joy — and the pain — of the eternal Jewish experience. Her poems are like signposts along the road to the promised Redemption; like the secret whisperings of our ancestors; like pre-birth intuitive wisdom; like the white spaces in the Torah that give us the opportunity to pause in wonderment, breathless and thankful that this is our turn to be alive, not hungry for bread or thirsty for water, but to hear the words of Hashem.”

  3. “In each of the poems of A New Song: Poems Inspired by the Weekly Torah Portion, Roberta Chester presents us with her emotional and spiritual responses to the events and utterances narrated in the text. These responses might be reflections of her insight into the psychology of the characters and their interactions, her perception of esthetic or sensual aspects of features of the physical descriptions, or her personal identification with the spiritual concerns of the ancient, and yet still current, texts of the Torah — a new song on an ancient script.”
    — Marc Klein, author of The Serpent’s Skin: Creation, Knowledge, and Intimacy in the Book of Genesis

  4. “. . . This work is not intended to be a verse-by-verse commentary to the Torah, but by sharing her reactions to the biblical text in beautiful and evocative poetry, Roberta invites the reader to engage in their own voyage of discovery, to find the meaning of the Torah as it applies to their lives and experiences. May Hashem bless her efforts with much success.”
    — Yitzchak A. Breitowitz, Rav, Kehillat Ohr Somayach

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