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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, […]

B’har (In the mountain)

B'har

Leviticus 25:1 to 26:2 The Sabbatical Year gives the land a rest every seven years. The Jubilee Year proclaims “liberty/freedom” for both land and its people. The text gives us insight into what liberty/freedom means in the Biblical tradition. This is the last of the four parshot given the title of the Holiness Code – […]

Emor (Say)

Emor

Leviticus 21:1 to 24:23 Torah commands us to celebrate several festival holidays. Through the years these festivals have changed significantly to meet the needs of the contemporary times. This week’s text continues the section of Torah known as the Holiness Code. It is composed of a large collection of laws and commandments from God that […]

K’doshim (Holy)

Leviticus 19:1 to 20:27 The Israelite community is told by God to be a “holy people.” But sages through the ages have questioned the meaning and responsibilities of “a holy people.” “The Eternal One spoke to Moses saying: Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the […]

Acharei Mot (After the death)

Acharei Mot

Leviticus 16:1 to 18:30 Torah presents a list of forbidden sexual offenses. These were composed over 2,500 years ago. Today’s ethics and lifestyles have changed and suggest that this list should be revisited. The two parshot – Acharei Mot, read this week – and K’doshim – read next week – are one of seven pairs […]

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