Parshat Tetzaveh

(Exodus: 27:21- 30-10) (Shmuel I, 15:1-34) (Parshat Zachor, Fast of Esther, Purim) [27:20 ] “And you will command the children of Israel and they will take for you pure olive oil…” The language of this pasuk is very strong in … Continue reading

Parshat Trumah

(Numbers 25:1-27:20) (Kings I,  5:26-6:13) [25:8] “…and I will live among them.” How does a central place of holiness cause God to dwell “among” or “between” the people? What does it mean to “dwell among” the people? [25:15] What is … Continue reading

Parshat Mishpatim

(Numbers 21:1-24:18) (Haftara: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25,26) [21:37] “…(the thief) will pay 5 cows for stealing a cow, and 4 sheep for stealing sheep.” The midrash says that God has mercy on a sheep thief because, unlike the cow thief, he … Continue reading

Parshat Yitr

(Numbers 18:1-20:23) (Haftara: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5,6) [18:1] According to Rashi, the Torah is not written in chronological order. According to the Ramban (R. Moshe ben Nachman 1194-1270, Spain), the Torah is written in the order in which it happened. So … Continue reading

Parshat Beshalach

(Numbers 13:17–17:16) (Haftara: Judges 4:4-5:31) [13:17] “God did not lead them by the way of the Philistines, even though it was close…” The Sfat Emet says that God didn’t want the Israelites to have an easy time at the beginning, … Continue reading

Parshat Bo

(Numbers 10:1-13:16) (Haftara:  Jeremiah 46:13-28) (Rosh Chodesh) [11:3] “God gave the people (of Israel) charm in the eyes of Egypt; also the man Moshe was very big in the land of Egypt…” The commentaries tell us that the Egyptians liked … Continue reading

Parshat Va’era

(Numbers 6:2-9:35) (Haftara: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21) [6:2,3] “I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov as “almighty God”, but by my name…” The Sforno (Ovadiah Sforno— Italy 1475 –1550) says that “almighty God (El Shadai)” means God as the creator, while the … Continue reading

Parshat Shmot   

(Exodus 1:1 – 5:23) (Haftara: Yirmiahu 1-2:3) [2:1] “A man from the house of Levi took a woman from the house of Levi (as a wife).” Our tradition tells us that Moshe’s father married his own aunt, and that that … Continue reading

Parshat Vayechi

(Genesis-47:28-50:26) (Haftara: Kings I  2:1-12) [48:14] “And Israel put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger…” Ya’akov got the rights of the first-born son even though he was younger than Esav. Now he is giving … Continue reading

Parshat Vayigash

(Genesis-44:18-47:27) (Haftara: Ezekiel 37:15-28) [44:18] Yosef is the model for Messiah ben Yosef. According to the Gaon of Vilna, the final redemption will be modeled on the redemption from Egypt, and one model will be Yosef and everything in his … Continue reading