Monthly archives for September, 2015

Ha’azinu – Torah In Haiku


God reminds Moses … He’ll view the land from Nebo … But will not enter — Deuteronomy 32:48-52 That very day Adonai spoke to Moses: Ascend these heights of Abarim to Mount Nebo … You shall die on the mountain that you are about to ascend, and shall be gathered to your kin, as your […]

Haazinu (Listen)


Deuteronomy 32:1-32 God gives Moses a song/poem to be read to the people. It recounts Israel’s past emphasizing the help of the Eternal. Then, it foretells the future consequences when the people stray from worship of God. In last week’s text we read that Moses gave the Israelites two documents that were to be read […]

Vayeilech – Torah In Haiku


Hak’heil et haam * … Men, women, and children, too … To hear the Torah — Vayeilech is the shortest portion in the Torah – just one chapter consisting of 30 verses. But it includes an important commandment, part of which is included at the beginning of the Torah service in Mishkan T’filah, the Reform Movement’s […]

Vayeilech (He went)


Deuteronomy 31:1-30 Before entering the Promised Land, God commands Moses to create written copies of two documents… The “Teachings” and a song that foretells the future when the people turn from the Eternal. Both are to be told to all future generations so that they will always know … and always follow the ways of […]

Nitzavim -Torah In Haiku

choose LIFE

            We’re given a choice … Life or death, blessing or curse … Moses says, “Choose life” — How do we do that? … Love God, heed God’s commandments … Hold fast to your God — Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose […]

Nitzavim (Standing)


Deuteronomy 29:9 to 30:20 As they are about to enter the Promised Land, Moses prophesizes that the people will stray from God’s way and be expelled from the land. But, through tshuvah – repentance – they will regain God’s love and return to the Promised Land. The title of this week’s parsha, Nitzavim (standing), refers […]

Ki Tavo – Torah In Haiku

Ki Tavo

We enter a land … Flowing with milk and honey … But not any oil — Three times in this week’s portion we read familiar words to describe the land our ancestors are about to enter: Deuteronomy 26:9 – God brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk […]

Ki Tavo (When you enter)

Ki Tavo

Deuteronomy 26:1 to 29:8 This text contains two prayers stating that Israel’s success is rooted in the struggles of their ancestors and the efforts of God. Because this success is not due to their efforts alone, they must share this success with the needy. This week’s parsha begins with the commandment that … “When you […]

Ki Teitzei – Torah In Haiku

Ki Teitzei

Remember, blot out… Memory of Amalek … Oxymoronic — This week’s portion concludes with a reminder of what Amalek did to the people during the desert wandering, and seemingly contradictory commandments to both “remember what Amalek did” and to “blot out the memory of Amalek”. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 Remember what Amalek did to you on your […]

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