About Melissa

A Love Affair with Torah

At the turn of the millennium, in 2001, I fell in love—with the Torah. Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield (of blessed memory) showed me how to find deeper meanings beneath the Hebrew sentences, and I discovered a new world.

Being a writer, I had to record my inspirations. First I began writing and delivering Torah monologues, first-person stories imagining what the characters in the Hebrew Bible were thinking. Then I learned Biblical Hebrew so I could find out what might be going on behind the English translations. I discovered that I love translating the Torah, as well as researching Torah commentary, so in 2009 I started writing my blog, “Torahsparks”. Every week I post an essay sharing my own insights about the weekly Torah portion.

In January of 2012, I completed a two-year training program and became a maggidah, a professional Jewish storyteller, speaker, and preacher. Naturally I have also been teaching, both Torah study and workshops on doing creative Torah interpretations. After all, the Hebrew word torah  means “teaching”.

What a blessing to spend so much of my time doing work I love!

In my free time, I play board games with my husband, re-landscape our yard, draw house plans, and read novels.  Next year I hope to get back to writing novels—both finishing the fantasy trilogy I wrote years ago, and finally writing a novel about the life of Moses’ wife, Tzipporah.  I’m bursting with ideas for it!


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  1. I trully enjoyed reading your commentary about the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire….I look forward to reading more of your posts….G*D bless, and thank you.


  2. Thank you for these amazingly human, intelligent, pragmatic interpretations of the Torah!

  3. Are you a convert? Cool blog!! 🙂 – Yitzchak

    • Yes, I converted 30 years ago. I was merely an atheist before that, but I felt a need for a religion, and Judaism spoke to my passion for ethics and my need to operate through philosophical inquiry.

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