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Parsha Pekudei

This week’s final portion found in the book of Exodus describes the finishing construction of the Tabernacle. Everything that we have read about in the last few portions comes to fruition within these last chapters. The portion begins with the words, “This is the inventory for the Tabernacle…” But why do we need to suddenly … Continue reading Parsha Pekudei

Parsha Tazria/Metzora Leviticus 12:1-15:33

This week happens to be a double-portion which begins with the laws concerning an “Eesha—Woman” who conceives/bears a child and ends with the laws concerning the “Metzora—Leper.” I believe these portions teach some very powerful concepts when read as an entire unit. So with that being said, let’s jump right into this week’s reading.In the second verse of this … Continue reading Parsha Tazria/Metzora Leviticus 12:1-15:33

Parsha Tzav “Command” Leviticus 6:8(1)-8:36

This week’s portion begins by describing the various sacrifices and their functions. The first offering that is mentioned is called the“Korban Olah—Whole Burnt Offering/ Ascending Offering.” This sacrifice represents the idea of a person giving their entire being to the service of God. In past emails I have related the idea that the person offering the … Continue reading Parsha Tzav “Command” Leviticus 6:8(1)-8:36

Parsha Vayikra Leviticus 1:1-5:26

This week’s portion begins with the word “Vayikra” which means “And (He) called.”  In Hebrew this word is spelled out as “V Y K R A.” Notice that the “A— aleph” is smaller than the rest of the letters in the word. This is the way it is written in the Torah scroll. Rabbi Menachem Weiman writes that while “French may be the best language … Continue reading Parsha Vayikra Leviticus 1:1-5:26

Parsha Vayakhel/Pekudei Exodus 35:1-40:38

In this week’s double-portion we find a reiteration of the construction of the Tabernacle. The greatest difference found between these two instruction/construction passages is its verbal communication. In past portions God told Moses, “You shall make.” Now in these two portions we read the phrase “he made,” over and over again. The portions this week give action to God’s … Continue reading Parsha Vayakhel/Pekudei Exodus 35:1-40:38

Parsha Terumah Exodus 25:1-27:19

This week’s Torah portion begins by describing the construction of the tabernacle. Dennis Prager writes in his commentary, “More chapters are devoted to the Tabernacle and the details of its construction and functioning than to any other subject in the five books of the Torah.” This means that the topic of the tabernacle happens to be one … Continue reading Parsha Terumah Exodus 25:1-27:19

Parsha Vayechi Genesis 47:28-50:26

This week’s Torah portion describes the end of the life of Jacob. We read that “the time drew near [for] Israel (Jacob) [to] die.” Once Israel (the spiritual name of Jacob) realizes it is his time to “bite-the-dust” he calls his sons to bless them, to “tell [them] what sh[ould happen] in the last days,” and to make them promise to bury him … Continue reading Parsha Vayechi Genesis 47:28-50:26

Parsha Miketz Genesis 41:1-44:17

This week we read about Joseph’s promotion from “pit to palace.” In Hebrew, the first verse of this portion begins with the words, “V’yhi miketz—And it came to pass at the end…” What does the word “miketz” represent? We translate this word as “end,” but what happens when something comes to an end? A Beginning! Therefore, the word “miketz—end” should really be read … Continue reading Parsha Miketz Genesis 41:1-44:17

Parsha Vayeshev Genesis 37:1-40:23

This week’s portion begins with the words, “Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger.” In other words, “Jacob settled down.” We understand this verse to mean that Jacob attempted to become comfortable in his surroundings. Unfortunately, when the attempt is made to “settle down,” it often leads to “settling for less.” Rashi, in his commentary writes of this … Continue reading Parsha Vayeshev Genesis 37:1-40:23

Parsha Vayera Genesis 18:1-22:24

As I read through this week’s portion I couldn’t help but follow a seemingly common thread tying last week’s and this week’s portions together. The name of this week’s portion is “Vayera” which is generally translated as “And [He] Appeared.” The Hebrew root form of the word “Vayera” is the term “Ra’ah” and has to do with “sight, seeing and/or vision.” Reading through this Torah … Continue reading Parsha Vayera Genesis 18:1-22:24

Parsha Noah Genesis 6:9-11:32

In last week’s portion we read the words of Lamech when he named his son “Noach—Noah.” Lamech said, “This one will comfort us (y’nachamenu) concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” The name Noah comes from the Hebrew word “Nacham” which can be translated as comfort/mercy. However, why did Lamech … Continue reading Parsha Noah Genesis 6:9-11:32

Parsha Bereshit “In the Beginning”

“In the beginning God created…” The renowned portion that has been recounted through numerous generations and many centuries of time is once again upon us. As we read through this portion, I have heard people in the past speculate about what was before the universe’s beginning. It is definitely an interesting topic, one that generally leads … Continue reading Parsha Bereshit “In the Beginning”

Parsha Beshalach Exodus 13:17-17:16

This week we read about Pharaoh’s final last-ditch attempt to stop the Israelites from making their ultimate escape. Pharaoh asks his servants, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” After everything that had transpired in Egypt, Pharaoh is still not willing to admit defeat. Pharaoh doesn’t tell his servants to … Continue reading Parsha Beshalach Exodus 13:17-17:16

Parsha Shoftim Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

This portion begins with the words “Shoftim v’shotrim titen-l’cha b’chol-sha’arecha—You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates.” It then continues on by saying that Israel should do this once God brings them into the Land that He is giving them. The word “appoint” used in the above verse is the Hebrew word “titen.” This word can also mean, “give.” In essence, what God … Continue reading Parsha Shoftim Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

Parsha Re’eh “See” Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

This week’s Parsha/Portion begins with the words, “Re’eh Anochi Noten Lif’neichem Hayom Bracha Uk’la’lah.” Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful for our English versions and all the History behind how they came to be. However, I am also very particular about translations because I believe it can be easy to lose the Heart behind … Continue reading Parsha Re’eh “See” Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

Parsha Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

This week’s portion begins with the words “V’Hayah Ekev Tishmaun.”Most English translations render these words as something along the lines of “If you listen.” However, this would be an incorrect translation; or, a not completely accurate translation. A good translation would translate these words as closer to, “And it will be, because you listen…” If you look at the verse above you will … Continue reading Parsha Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

Parsha Va’etchanan Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

This week’s portion begins with the words “Va’etchanan el-Hashem Ba’et Haheev?—Then I pleaded with the Lord at that time…” These were Moses’ words when he was desperately requesting God’s permission to enter the Promised Land. Moses, with his entire being, wanted to enter into the Land promised to his forefathers; he wanted to see the Land, which … Continue reading Parsha Va’etchanan Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

Parsha Bo “Come” Exodus 10:1-13:16

This week’s Torah portion can be referred to as the “Yetsiyat Mitzrayim—Exodus from Egypt” segment. In this portion God delivers the nation of Israel “out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” However, the redemption of the Israelites wasn’t without devastation, destruction and death. Pharaoh’s increasingly hardened heart was continually at odds with the idea of allowing the … Continue reading Parsha Bo “Come” Exodus 10:1-13:16

Parsha Shemot “Names” Exodus 1:1-6:1

This week we begin reading the 2nd book of the Torah. The book of Exodus describes for us the horrors of Egypt, which the Israelites faced for the duration of their time of exile in Egypt. In Jeremiah 11, God describes Egypt as an “iron furnace” from which He brought the Israelites out. Egypt means “narrows straights or constriction,” which … Continue reading Parsha Shemot “Names” Exodus 1:1-6:1

Vayakhel Exodus 35:1-40:38

This week is a double portion that deals with the construction and raising of the Tabernacle. This was the first “Barn Raising,” if you could call it such, found in History; except a “Barn Raising” is when a community comes together to build for a certain individual while the “Mishkan Raising—Tabernacle Raising” was a community … Continue reading Vayakhel Exodus 35:1-40:38

“Tetzaveh” Exodus 27:20-30:10

This portion deals a lot with the Garments and Consecration of the Kohanim—the Priests. In great detail it describes the intricacies behind the attire specifically for the “Kohen Gadol—High Priest.” With all of these instructions concerning the outfit and vestments of the High Priest, it begs the question…Does God only look at the heart? Most … Continue reading “Tetzaveh” Exodus 27:20-30:10

Parsha Shemot Exodus 1:1-6:1

This week we have fast forwarded from the life of Joseph and moved straight into a new (but very old) book, continuing the same story line, but with new characters and a different setting. In other words, “the plot thickens.” I could write instead “the plot dickens,” but that would only make sense to those … Continue reading Parsha Shemot Exodus 1:1-6:1

Parsha Vayera Genesis 18:1-

In this week’s portion we read of Abraham’s great and final test of his life. Genesis 22 starts out by saying, “Now it came to pass…that God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’” When I first started writing, I wrote out the whole verses of Genesis 22:1-3. But the more I wrote, the more … Continue reading Parsha Vayera Genesis 18:1-

Parsha Noach Genesis 6:9-11:32

This week we are “submerged” in an enormous amount of information and stories from the account of Noah, the Flood, and finally concluding with the Tower of “babblings.” This is a large Torah portion, meaning, there are a lot of directions we could go this week. However, I didn’t even make it past the first … Continue reading Parsha Noach Genesis 6:9-11:32

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