August 10, 2017 — Ekev

This week’s section is called “Ekev.”  You will find it in the Book of Deuteronomy 6:12-11:25.  Like much of Deuteronomy, this week’s parashah teaches its lessons by means of farewell speeches. Moses continues his review of Israel’s history, emphasizing the rights of the people to the land, and their need to love the stranger.  Deep within the… View Article

August 3, 2017 — Tishah b’Av

We read this week’s Torah portion soon after we mark the saddest of days, Tishah b’Av.  Now, however the tone changes from one of self-deprecation to self-determination.  Called “VaEtchanan” (I beseeched You) and found in Book of Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11, the section reminds us that control of one’s life narrative is, just like the flowing of… View Article

July 27, 2017 — Sefer Dvarim

This coming week we not only usher in the reading of the Fifth Book of the Bible but we also begin the summer fast know as Tisha b’Av (9th day of the Biblical Month of Av).  Sefer Dvarim, or as it is known in English translation, the Book of Deuteronomy, acts a summation of the other… View Article

July 20, 2017 — Matot and Ma’asey

This week we read a double Torah portion:  Matot and Ma’asey (Numbers 30:2-36:13). They bring the Bible’s fourth book, the Book of Numbers (in Hebrew, Sefer BaMidbar or the Book in the Desert) to its conclusion.  In a sense these two sections may be called “travel-sections”.  They not only act as a review of the Israelites’ travels through the… View Article

July 6, 2017 — Chukat and Balak

Because last week we did not study Parashat Chukat this week we will examine both that parashah and the one for this week, Parashat Balak. You will find Parashat Chukat in the book of Numbers 19:1-22:1 and parashat Balak in the Book of Numbers 22:2-25:9. Chukat deals with issues of water, for purification, for drinking, and… View Article

June 23, 2017 — Korach

You will find this week’s Torah portion in the book of Numbers 16:1-18:30.  Called  “Korach,” the section speaks about Korach’s attempted and failed coup d’état It is a revolt based on arrogance and blind hatred and brings the nation to the brink of civil war. As in the case of all other revolutions there is… View Article

June 1, 2017 — Naso

This week’s parashah may be one of Hebrew Scriptures’ most unique and unsettling sections.  Called Parashat Naso, you can find it in the Book of Numbers 4:21 – 7:89. What makes this section so problematic is that it is the only place in Jewish law where there is a “trial by ordeal.”  The section centers on… View Article

May 26, 2017 — Sefer BaMidbar

This week we begin the fourth Biblical book, “Sefer BaMidbar.”  Also on Monday night we begin the holiday of Shavuoth or, as it is known in English, Pentecost.  The English translation of  Sefer VaYikra is the Book is the “Book of Numbers”.  The Book’s English title, however, does not do this book justice. The Book… View Article

May 19, 2017 — B’har and B’Chukotay

This week we conclude our annual reading of the Book of Leviticus with a double parashah. You will find this double parashah In the book of Levitucus starting with chapter 25:1 and extending to the end of the book.  The two sections are: Parashat B’har (Leviticus 25:1-26:2), and Parashat B’Chukotay (Leviticus 26:3-27:34). As is true of most of Hebrew Scripture, it is possible… View Article

April 28, 2017 — Yom Ha’Atzmaut, 5777

Yom Ha’Atzmaut, 5777 Independence Day 2017 Dia de Independencia 2017 Among the topics upon that that week’s parashah addresses is the calendar and the Biblically mandated festivals.  Over the many millennia of our history, we (the Jewish people) have not only kept these festivals, but also added new commemorative days. For example, both Purim and… View Article