Posts by esabes@comcast.net

R’eih – Torah In Haiku

R'eih'

Do not add to them … And don’t take away from them … Adonai’s commands — לא תסף עליו ולא תגרע ממנו מצות אדוני Deuteronomy 13:1 Be careful to observe only that which I enjoin upon you: neither add to it nor take away from it. For Reform (and other theologically liberal) Jews, this verse […]

R’eih (See)

R'eih

Deuteronomy 11:26 to 16:17 Moses worries that the people will stray from the Eternal and worship other gods. Today, the problem of intermarriage and a fear of a declining Jewish population still exists. While Moses suggests death to the unfaithful, we must look for more civil solutions. The following words begin Moses’ Third Discourse to […]

Eikev – Torah in Haiku

Eikev – Torah in Haiku

Give thanks to your God … When you have eaten your fill … Birkat Hamazon — Deuteronomy 8:10 When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to Adonai your God for the good land which has been given you. In Eikev we are commanded to give thanks for God’s bounty. This verse is part of […]

Eikev (Because or Results)

Eikev

Deuteronomy 7:12 to 11:25 Moses tells the Israelites that they are about to enter a land of plenty. But, they must always remember that success in the land is a result of the partnership including their efforts and the resources God has provided. Both are needed for success. This week’s text continues the second address […]

Va-et’chanan – Torah in H...

Va-et’chanan – Torah in Haiku

​ Doing commandments… It’s only part of our task… We must study, too — Before reciting the Ten Commandments in this week’s portion, Moses tells the people, “Hear, O Israel, the laws and rules that I proclaim to you this day. Study them and observe them faithfully!”‘ (Deuteronomy 5:1) Should we do and then learn, […]

Ve-et’chanan (And I Pleaded)

Ve-et'chanan

Deuteronomy 3:23 to 7:11 This week’s text contains the most well-known prayer in Jewish liturgy… The Shma. Through the ages, this prayer has had different meanings reflecting the thinking of the time. Moses ends his first discourse and begins a second address to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land. In the second address, […]

D’varim (Words)

D'varim -words

Deuteronomy 1:1 to 3:22 A new book of Torah begins. The book is composed of the addresses Moses makes to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land. This week we begin a new book of Torah. As with all the other books, it is known by both the Hebrew name, D’varim, which is translated […]

Matot (Tribes) / Mas’ei (Travel...

Numbers 30:2 to 36:13 In a discussion of vows – promises to God to perform a specific act, give a gift, or make a sacrifice – Torah states that a father or husband has control over the vows of a daughter or wife. Last week we read about how the daughters of Zelophehad were given […]

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 […]

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