Monthly archives for May, 2014

Naso – Torah in Haiku

Twelve tribal leaders … Twelve offerings – all the same … Twelve day ritual —— What is the lesson? … Communities need us all … But each is unique —— Numbers Chapter 7, the final section of this week’s reading, includes 12 virtually identical passages describing the offerings brought by each of the tribal leaders […]

Naso (Take a census)

Numbers 4:21 to 7:89 The reading this week contains the Priestly Benediction … three lines invoking the blessing of God on the Israelite people. It is believed to be the oldest known example of Torah text. The actual words were found on metal scrolls dating back to the First Temple – 2600 years ago. The […]

B’midbar – Torah in Haiku

  ​ The Book of Numbers … It begins with a census … Each tribe is counted —— In Hebrew it’s called: … B’midbar – in the desert … We’re still wandering —— Numbers 1:1-2 – God spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai … Take a census of all the congregation of the people of […]

B’midbar (In the Wilderness)

Numbers 1:1 to 4:20 This book of Torah has two names: Hebrew – B’midbar – in the wilderness and English – Numbers. Each tells part of the story. “On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Eternal One spoke to Moses in […]

B’chukotai-Torah In Haiku

​ The ultimate curse? … “The sound of a driven leaf … Shall put them to flight” —— Leviticus 26:36-37 – “As for those of you who survive [the land’s desolation], I will cast a faintness into their hearts in the land of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing […]

B’chukotai – (Follow my laws)

Leviticus 26:3 to 27:14 Torah provides us with a list of “blessings and curses” that seem to apply only to the Biblical past. But, if we consider that the actions we take have consequences, the blessings and curses and the actions we take can have great impact on our lives. “If you follow My laws […]

B’har – Torah In Haiku

Sabbatical year… Don’t plant or harvest your crops… Justice for the land —–   The Jubilee year… Slaves freed, liberty proclaimed… Justice for people —— Lev 25:4-5 “… the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest to the land, a sabbath for G-d; you shall not sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. That which […]

B’har (On the Mountain)

Leviticus 25:1-26:2 The Torah envisions a world where the ownership of land, freedom from debt, and freedom from slavery become a reality every fifty years. Thus eliminating the possibility of feudal rulers while creating a system where all people become economically more equal. Sabbatical Year explained: “The Eternal One spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: […]

Emor – Torah In Haiku

  ​ A blasphemer killed … But we do not know his name … Only his mother’s ——- Near the end of Emor, we learn that the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning: Lev 24:16 – “He who blasphemes the name of G-d shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone […]

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