פרשת קורח Parsha Korach Bamidbar/Numbers 16:1 - 18:32 Korach was born into male privilege as the first born son of a Levite — the same priestly tribe his first cousins, Moses and Aaron, were born into. As the first-born son of a Levite and a Kehotite, the most prestigious of the Levites, Korach was indignant that he … Continue reading Korach – Rebel With A Cause or Seasoned Politician?
Akeidat Yitzchak - Genesis 22:1-12 This Parsha (Torah portion) is about Abraham bringing his son up to the mountain to sacrifice him. It’s one of the most shocking and disturbing passages in the bible. Oy Veyismer! Did God really command Abraham to slaughter his son as some kind of test of faith? Only to have … Continue reading Akeidat Yitzchak: The Binding of Isaac – Alternate Title: Abraham Flubbed Up
Why is it customary in some Jewish communities to salt one’s challah on Shabbat (the Sabbath) before eating it? The salt symbolizes endurance and God’s eternal covenant with b’nei Yisrael (the children of Israel). The Jewish sages said salt sealed the covenant "because salt does not spoil,” salt preserves. Sweeping salt flats stretched across the Dead … Continue reading Salt of the Covenant
Parsha Beha'alotcha / בהעלתך: Numbers 8:1 - 12:16 Beha’alotecha is translated as: “When You Go Up or When You Raise Up [the Light].” The root word alah עלה means to ascend. In this d’var Torah, I’m focusing on Miriam’s rise (up) and fall from grace. From Exodus to this Parsha, Miriam enters the limelight. … Continue reading Beha’alotcha – Miriam’s Story
Was leading and teaching the nation of Israel a dream come true for Moses? Not so much! Moses (Moshe) was a socially awkward shepherd, with a disability (a speech impediment) he was very self-conscious about. He didn’t apply for the job and he didn’t think anyone would heed his words. And Moses answered and said: … Continue reading Moses – Reluctant Leader
God tells Abraham (Abram) to “lech lecha” לֶךְ-לְךָ a term with a dual meaning and message for him to “Go out” and “go to yourself.” Lech Lecha was his outward and inward journey. The triangulated tsuris (troubles) of Sarah, Hagar and Abraham are highlighted in Lech Lecha, the Parsha (Torah portion) for this Shabbat. (11.05.22/11 … Continue reading Lech Lecha (Go Out!): Torah Portion of the Week (11.05.22)
Please read the prequel — Sarah, Hagar and Abraham Egyptian princess Hagar and Ishmael Some Rabbinical commentary and Midrash seeks to right the wrongs done to Hagar, although she is often victim blamed in old and new commentary, for being ‘haughty’ towards Sarah while forced to be her childbearer. Thank God, there are commentators that … Continue reading Abraham and Hagar Get Married: Repair and Reunification
In Parsha Lech Lecha, we gain many insights into Sarah’s trauma. When Sarah and Abraham (known at the time as Sarai and Abram) were refugees in Egypt, fleeing famine in Canaan, Abraham lets Sarah know her beauty is a liability. Once the Pharaoh’s men see he has a hot wife, he tells her, they will … Continue reading Sarah, Hagar and Abraham
A Story When the great Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov saw misfortune threatening the Jews it was his custom to go into a certain part of the forest to meditate. There he would light a fire, say a special prayer, and the miracle would be accomplished and the misfortune averted. Later, when his disciple, the … Continue reading G-D Loves Stories!
Noach is the parsha for this Shabbat. It is the 2nd weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle. Genesis 6:9-11:32 We've all grown up hearing schmaltzy stories about Noah’s ark, with cutesy pictures of the ark and the animals. It made for a great children's fable, but today we're going to explore the grown-up … Continue reading Noah: Torah Portion 10/29/2022 (4 Cheshvan 5783)