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Ki Teitzei (When you go out)

Ki Teitzei

Deuteronomy 21:10 to 25:19 Torah is said to contain 613 mitzvot or commandments, 72 appear in this week’s text. A central theme emerges stating that an individual should rise above self-interest and care about the well-being of others in the community. The week the parsha contains the “nuts and bolts” of Jewish practice…. We read […]

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 […]

T’rumah (Donations)

Tabernacle_in_the_Wilderness-400

Exodus 25:1 to 27:19 At Sinai the Israelites witnessed the Eternal and received God’s laws. But when they leave Sinai, will they remember God or turn to other gods? The Golden Calf incident is a warning … The Tabernacle – a home for God – is a response that brings God into the community. God […]

Chukat (Law)

Chukat

Numbers 19:1 to 22:1 After Miriam’s death the people had no water. Upon examination of both Torah and Midrash we see why the reaction of Moses to this shortage of water explains why he couldn’t lead the people into the Promised land …. And why Miriam is more significant that the text indicates. And the […]

Korach

Korach

Numbers 16:1 to 18:32 Korach states that “all the community are holy” and that leadership and decisions should be open to all. As a result of Korach’s actions he was punished by God. However, today these statements may be the direction of Jewish thought. And the kvetching continues …  It almost seems as if the […]

Ki Tisa – Torah In Haiku

Chagall Moses250

​ Two tablets of stone … Written by God, but destroyed … By Moshe’s anger —   Exodus 31:18, 32:19 And God gave to Moses, when they finished speaking on Mt. Sinai, two tablets of Testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God … As soon as [Moses] came near to the camp […]

Mikeitz – Torah In Haiku

Pharaoh's Drream-350

​ ​After two long years … Pharaoh’s cupbearer speaks up … Tells about Joseph — “When we were in jail … A Hebrew youth was with us … Interpreted dreams” — When he interpreted the cupbearer’s dream in last week’s portion, Joseph said, “think of me when all is well with you again, and do […]

Lech L’cha (Go for yourself)

footprints / follow me

Genesis (12:1 to 17:27) Ten generations after Noah, God examines creation and, again, desires to create a better world. This time the Eternal’s plan involves selection of a single family and its descendants to act as a “light to the nations” showing the way toward tikkun olam – a world repaired. “The Eternal One said […]

Ki Teitzei – Torah in Haiku

Promises made

Don’t make promises … Unless ready to keep them … Your word is your bond — Deuteronomy 23:22-24 When you make a pledge to G-d, do not be late in paying it, since G-d will then demand it, and you will have committed a sin. If you refrain from making vows completely, then you will […]

Ki Teitzei (When you go out)

Laws of Torah

Deuteronomy 21:10 to 25:19 The reading of Ki Teitzei contains 72 mitzvot or laws, more than any other portion of Torah. These laws are considered special because they go beyond an attempt to just keep law and order… they are designed to help create the “holy community” envisioned by Torah. “When you [an Israelite warrior] […]

B’har – Torah In Haiku

freedom ID-10021346

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 […]

M’tzora – Torah in Haiku

M'tzora keybd

IT STARTS WITH LEPERS … MOVES ON TO MOLDY HOUSES … THE REST? RATED “R”  ———- Is there a portion more difficult for a 21st century Jew who asks, “what does this mean for me today”? The haiku (sort of) summarizes the plain text of this week’s portion. But if you want some guidance in […]

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