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March 10, 2024

Learning Guide

AB Staff

Staff and Scholars

Dear Aleph Beta member,

Welcome to your free trial! We’re Ari and Evan, two scholars and editors here at Aleph Beta. We have put together some suggestions for you to make the most of your free trial. These suggestions are meant to give you a tiny taste of the breadth and depth of what you can find in our library but remember this list is by no means the only way to engage with our library. In fact, we encourage you to stroll through the stacks and pick anything off the shelf that sparks your interest. 

In this list we suggested a different focus for each day (or if you signed up for a 14 day trial, break it into two days to give yourself more time to enjoy.) Feel free to approach this list any way that works for you. We went ahead and broke each day into: short videos and deeper dives. There really should be something for everyone. 

Alright enough from us, let’s start learning…

Day 1: Why We Do What We Do

At Aleph Beta we are committed to unlocking the deep meaning and beauty behind Jewish ritual practice.

Today’s Recommended Video: Understanding Mikvah

How does immersing myself in a spiritual bath, or mikvah, bring me closer to God? In order to understand the formation of this commandment, join Aleph Beta Scholar, Beth Lesch as she traces the origins of mikvah to its original source: the Creation story, in the book of Genesis.

Want to dive deeper into the meaning behind mitzvot? Check out this video on Why We Only Eat Kosher Animals.

Prefer to listen to a podcast while you commute/walk/fold laundry, etc? Listen to this podcast on the Meaningful of Kashrut.

Day 2: Life’s Big Questions

What is Judaism trying to teach us about the purpose of life or the right way to live? There isn't a clear and simple answer to this question, but we can find guidance in God's words by looking closely at the Torah's stories, laws, and language.  

Today’s Recommended Video: Science & Torah

Does science disprove or prove the existence of God? Can science and God coexist, or must it always be debated within the parameters of God versus science? In this video, Rabbi Fohrman adds to the great debate by asking about one of the interesting names of God and taking us on a whirlwind tour of modern cosmology. 

Want to dive deeper into life’s big questions? Watch this video on The 10 Commandments: What is Judaism All About?

Prefer to listen to a podcast while you commute/walk/fold laundry, etc? We recommend Job: Am I Allowed To Be Angry At God?

Day 3: Prayer

How can we begin to understand the majestic, intense and complicated experience of conversing with God? One way is to look closely at the prayers themselves and their sources in the Torah.

Today’s Recommended Video: Why Should I Pray?

Frantically flipping pages and mumbling words — for many this experience is familiar in our daily prayers. Our days are busy, difficult, and tiring. As a result, our prayers lose priority and, slowly, meaning. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s another way to think about prayer in our modern lives that is rich with meaning and inspiration. 

Want to dive deeper into the meaning of our prayers? Take a look at our series Making Sense of Morning Prayers.

Prefer to listen to a podcast while you commute/walk/fold laundry, etc? Check out Refa'einu: Prayer, Sefirah and Healing from Trauma

Day 4: Shabbat


Today’s Recommended Video: The Meaning of Melacha and Creation on Shabbat

In Vayakhel, the Tabernacle and Shabbat are juxtaposed, which leads our Sages to explore the idea of refraining from work, and the spiritual meaning of keeping Shabbat law. But what is the actual connection between the Tabernacle and Shabbat? Join Rabbi Fohrman as he reexamines the creation story and the original Sabbath.

Want to dive deeper into the meaning of Shabbat? We recommend Shabbat: Why Do We Rest?

Prefer to listen to a podcast while you commute/walk/fold laundry, etc? Here is a podcast on the Meaning of Shabbat.

Day 5: Parsha

Explore the animated parsha videos and guides that made Aleph Beta famous on our Weekly Torah Portion Page

Prefer a parsha podcast? Listen to the first season of Into The Verse.

Day 6: Holidays 

Purim is just around the corner. Don’t let it catch you unprepared.

*Suggestion: Queen Esther’s Mysterious Past

*Dive Deeper Video: The Queen You Thought You Know

*Dive Deeper Audio: BLNO S3 (waiting for it to go live)

Day 7: Super Deep Dive: 

Suggestion: Meaning of Life

Dive Deeper Video:

Dive Deeper Audio:

We really hope you find these suggestions helpful. Please let us know if and how it helped you through your 7 or 14 day trial. If you have other suggestions on how we could help you and others make the most of your free trial, please let us know by writing Thanks so much for joining the Aleph Beta Community.

Ari Levisohn

Evan Weiner