Tag Archives: torah

A Flood and a Tower

Parashat Noach A Flood and a Tower. These are the two central narratives within this week’s parashah. Noach is rich with lessons for our day, connections to other biblical events, and full of historical allusions within the greater ancient Near East. … Continue reading

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Genesis in Context

I love the book of Genesis! Not only as a religious Jew, but as an academic. I value the theological understandings gleaned through thousands of years of Jewish interpretation. However, I also value the rich tradition of Genesis from its … Continue reading

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Holy Cow!

Shabbat Parah This week is a special Shabbat, called Shabbat Parah. It is named after the special supplemental reading, called the maftir, from Numbers 19 that describes the process for sacrificing the Red Heifer. This portion is always read before the beginning … Continue reading

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Divine Presence

Parashat Terumah What is the connection between the construction of the Tabernacle, its furnishings and the Presence of G-d among the people of Israel? This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Terumah, centers on the instructions concerning the building of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) and … Continue reading

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Passover, Elijah, and Shabbat HaGadol

Shabbat HaGadol This week is Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat that occurs at the beginning of the week in which Passover will be observed (Passover begins next Friday evening). There are five special shabbatot leading up to Passover. Each special … Continue reading

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Purim: A Sudden Reversal

Shabbat Zachor The Shabbat that precedes Purim is called Shabbat Zachor – the Shabbat of Remembrance. For on this Shabbat, there is an added maftir (a different concluding reading) and a different Haftarah reading because we are to recall the Torah command to blot … Continue reading

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“Get Out!”

Parashat Lekh Lekha “GET OUT!” – G-d makes it very clear to Avram that only through self-imposed exile can he attain his ultimate spiritual potential. Parashat Lekh Lekha, unlike our first two portions in Genesis, emphasizes this convergence between G-d … Continue reading

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Creation and the Hidden Light

Parashat Breishit The Torah relates the story of the six days of creation in order to refute other theories that claim that the universe came into being through some cosmic accident or coincidence. As such, the story of creation speaks … Continue reading

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Are You Listening?

  Parashat Ha’azinu The Hebrew word Ha’azinu means “listen.” It is a command to pay attention to the words of the song Moshe recounts to the Jewish people before his passing. The verbs to “listen,” “hear,” and “pay attention to” … Continue reading

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Lost Property and Relationships

Parashat Ki Tetze What can lost property teach us about relationships? Parashat Ki Tetze contains seventy-two different mitzvot, the largest number in any Torah portion. From the outset, it seems to be just a condensed list of random instructions. However, the format … Continue reading

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