February 19, 2018 – Trumah & Titzaveh

Due to a heavy travel schedule this week we will discuss the parashah for this Sabbath, “Trumah” (Exodus 25:1-27:25) February 16th, and next week’s portion called Titzaveh (Exodus 27:26-30:10). Although each of these parashiyot (plural of parashah) has its own specific theme, if we read them carefully we will note that there are several factors… View Article

February 8, 2018 – Mishpatim

Last week we studied Parashat Yitro. It is in that parashah that we read about the giving of the Ten Commandments.  This week we turn to Parashat Mishpatim. If we see the Ten Commandments as the theory of law, then this week’s parashah is the text’s first attempt to fill out the law.   From this… View Article

February 2, 2018 – Yitro

This week we turn to one of the great Biblical masterpieces, a work that provides great insights into both political science.  As a vignette, it stands alone as a literary masterpiece, and as part of the Exodus story, it takes us from the historical narrative to the philosophical and profound. You will find Parashat Yitro… View Article

January 19, 2018 – Bo

This week we compare the Parashah (Bible portion) for the week of January 19, “Parashat Bo” (Exodus 10:1-13:16) with the Parashah for the upcoming week of January 28, (Parashat B’Shlach: Exodus 13:17-17:16).  Although these two long parashiyot (plural of parashah) may at first seem disconnected, if we carefully examine their themes, we see that the… View Article

January 11, 2018 — VaYechi

These last few weeks have not been easy for much of the world.  From airport shutdowns to train wrecks, from winter storm to political turmoil we cannot help but feel as if we are watching the unfolding of events worthy of almost Biblical proportions. This week’s Bible portion seems to connect our current tragedy with past… View Article

January 4, 2018 — Shmot

We begin a new year with a new book of the Bible. The Hebrew name for the Bible’s second book is Sefer Shmot (the book of names), and its first parashah is also called by the same name: Parashat Shmot. This is a book that takes us from the universal, as expressed in Genesis, to… View Article

December 29, 2017 — VaYechi

This week’s portion is a perfect one with which to end the secular year.  Called VaYechi(meaning: He lived) this week’s portion is the final parashah of the book of Genesis.  You can find it in the Book of Genesis 47 28 – 50:26.  The parashah brings the reader to the conclusion of the first stage of Israel’s history and… View Article

December 21, 2017 — Vayigash

We pick up the thread with this week’s parashah called “Vayigash”.  You will find VaYigash, toward the end of the Book of Genesis in chapters 44:18-47:27. This section deals with the great climax of the Joseph stories, that of Joseph’s revealing himself to his brothers and the reunification between Joseph and his father, Jacob.  The… View Article

December 4, 2017 — Chanukah

On Tuesday night December 12 we begin the holiday of Chanukah and continue celebrating it until the final candle that will be lit on the night of December 20.  Chanukah is a holiday of miracles shrouded in mystery and mistakenly often viewed as a holiday for children.  Chanukah is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible,… View Article

November 17, 2017 — Toldot

This week’s Parashah (Torah portion) is called “Toldot”.  You will find it in the Book of Genesis 25:19-28:9.  Traditionally, this section is considered Isaac’s section, that is that it is the one part of the Torah that focuses on Isaac’s life, the least assuming of the three Patriarchs. The section, however, is as much about Rebecca… View Article