Monthly archives for July, 2016

Pinchas (Son of Eleazar the Priest)

Pinchas

Numbers 25:10 to 30:1 In Biblical times at the time of a death, all property was inherited by the male heirs. Five women – the daughters of Zelophehad – requested a change so that their father’s property could stay within their family even though there were no sons to inherit it. In the time of […]

Balak (King of Moab)

Balak

Numbers 22:2 to 25:9 In Balak we encounter the strange story of Balaam, the sorcerer, and his talking donkey/ass. However, we learn that the story can take on added meaning if we change the ending. This week, while researching for these comments, I came across an article focusing on Ballam’s treatment of his donkey/she-ass. It […]

Chukat (Law)

Chukat

Numbers 19:1 to 22:1 Thirty-eight years have passed since last week’s parsha. A lot has changed. Most of the Israelites who left Egypt have died. The deaths of Miriam and Aaron are told in the text. Moses learns he will not enter the Promised Land. This week’s parsha begins with a detailed discussion of the […]

Korach – Torah In Haiku

God’s angry – again … Moses and Aaron speak up … “Spare the innocent” — God relents – again … “I’ll punish the sinners, but … Spare the innocent” — Numbers 16:20-23 God spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Stand back from this community that I may annihilate them in an instant!” But they fell […]

Korach

Korach

Numbers 16:1 to 18:13 Again this week we read about a miracle from God. The earth swallows Korah and his followers. Did it really happen? Biblical scholars through the ages have commented on the meaning behind Biblical Miracles. In this week’s parsha, the complaining that has been observed over the past weeks continues. Now, takes […]

Sh’lach L’cha-Haiku

Kol Nidre worship … Includes several verses … From this week’s portion — The evening worship service for Yom Kippur is called Kol Nidre, named for the well known prayer with which the service begins. After the Kol Nidre prayer is chanted, the following verses from this week’s Torah portion are recited: Numbers 14:19-20 “Pardon, […]

Sh’lach L’cha (Send for yourself)

Sh'lach L'cha

Numbers 13:11 to 15:41 More kvetching … The Israelites want a new leader to take them back to Egypt – out of the desert. God is angered and responds with a commandment for all future generations. This is the second week we read from the parshot I have titled The Book of Kvetch… successive parshot […]

B’haalot’cha-Haiku

  Moses gets God’s help … The people suffer God’s wrath … The difference? One word. —  This week’s portion is full of complaints. The people complain, “If only we had meat to eat!” (Numbers 11:4). Moses complains, “I cannot carry all this people by myself … If You would deal thus with me, kill […]

B’haalot’cha (When you put up)

B'haalot'cha

Numbers 8:1 to 12:16 The Israelites are full of complaints. We learn about the people’s desire for a greater variety of food and Miriam’s complaints against Moses. Additional complaints will follow in future text. This week’s text can be divided into three differing sections: First, a continuation of laws for the community… The second section, […]

Naso (Take a census)

naso

Numbers 4:21 to 7:89 This week’s text demonstrates that both our world and the world of the post-Sinai Israelites have a goal of creating a community where all will receive the blessings of God. This is a rough week to watch televised news or even think about the news…. Fifty killed in Orlando…. A senseless […]

B‘midbar (In the Wilderness)

B'midbar -In the Wilderness

Numbers 1:1 to 4:20 B’midbar – Numbers … two meaningful titles for the fourth book of Torah. Each name presents a different aspect of this text. Again, both the English and Hebrew titles tell us a great deal about the future content. Numbers – The parsha we read this week begins with a census of […]

B’chukotai (Follow My Laws)

Naso

Leviticus 26:1 to 27:34 As we read the listing of “blessing and curses” this week, we ask: How can this listing apply to a 21st Century world? In addition to providing specific blessings and curses, Torah also tells us why it can apply more today than ever before. In this, the last parsha of Leviticus, […]

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