Category Archives: 2015

A Brief Note on Actions and Consequences – Parshot Behar and Bechukotai

This week the two portions that complete Sefer VaYikra, are read: Parsha Behar and Parsha Bechukotai. They offer a simple premise: obey God’s laws and be blessed, disobey His commandments and be cursed.

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A Brief Note on Expectations – Parshot Achrei Mot and Kedoshim

This week’s Torah reading consists of two parshas: Achrei Mot and Kedoshim. These texts record the last of the laws relating to the sacrificial rite and then the focus returns to the special social and cultural weal that God expected the Israelites … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Fear and its Isolation – Parshot Tazria and Metzora

This week’s double reading is the combined Parashot of Tazria-Metzora, literally to conceive and to be afflicted with a tzara’at, a word that has no known meaning but represented some sort of foreign growth that would settle on the skin, clothes or … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Going off the Script – Parasha Shemini

Parsha Shemini records two major narratives. The first is the story of the macabre deaths suffered by two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu; the other is a rather dry listing of which wildlife, from the land, air and sea, may and may not … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Original Sin – Parsha Ki Tisa

In the third month of their freedom, the Children of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai. There, they were to hear the Word of God, when He uttered the Ten Commandments. The Torah reports that when the people saw … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Clothes that Make the Man – Parsha Tezaveh

Parsha Tezaveh introduces the priesthood. The priests of Israel – the Kohanim – were a dedicated hereditary cadre of men to serve both God and man in the Mishkan. Only they were allowed to offer the various sacrifices to God. The Torah declared that one man … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on the Pot and the Kettle

The text of Parsha Mishpatim, the Book of the Covenant, records a series of laws, which on first glance, appear as a disjointed compilation of decrees that cover a myriad of unrelated subjects. Some describe the actions of one man killing another … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Parsha Yitro

Parsha Yitro speaks to four of Judaism’s main pillars: the belief in one God, the primacy of God’s the Law [a term which encompasses morality and ethics], the Sabbath and, the worship of God. The focus of the Parsha is naturally … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Two Sides of One Coin – Parsha BeShalach

Parsha BeShalach completes the narrative cycle that began with God’s prophecy to Abraham of the Egyptian Exile, the longest and most complex story arc in the Torah. As recorded in Parsha Lech Lecha: “Know with certainty that your offspring shall be sojourners … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on the Exodus – Parsha Bo

The study of the Torah usually involves developing an understanding of the text and how the various incidents and laws have been interpreted by generations of Torah scholars, usually beginning with the commentaries of Rashi, Rambam, Ramban and Ibn Ezra. … Continue reading

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