Parshat Para

(Shmot: 35:1-40:38)

Parshat Para

(Bamidbar 19:1-22)

(Haftara: Ezekiel 36:16-38)


  1. [40:36] The cloud on the mishkan represents the presence of God. When the cloud lifted, the Israelites traveled. How is there a presence of God in our lives? What does it mean in the inner spiritual-psychological life when we say that when the cloud lifts, we travel?


  1. [Parshiot Para, Hachodesh and Hagadol] We read Parshat Para to remind us that we have to purify ourselves as a preparation for Pesach. We read Parshat Hachodesh to remind us that Pesach is approaching and we read Parshat Hagadol to remind us that Pesach is very close. The other festivals do not have so many reminders in the synagogue that the festival is approaching. Why is there this emphasis on preparing for Pesach?


  1. [12:11] At the Passover meal in Egypt, one sat at the table in a state of “chipazon”—staff in hand, dressed, alert and ready to leave Egypt. What do alertness and energy have to do with the themes of Passover?


  1. [Pesach] In Jewish ethical thought, the rising of the dough in bread and cakes represents the evil inclination. Why is this a good metaphor for the inclination to do evil?


  1. [Pesach] Someone cleaned his or her house and removed all the chametz (grain products). Then he or she saw a cat go into the house with bread in its mouth. Would one have to clean the house again, or could one assume that the cat will eat the bread?


Holy is your name, holy is your work, holy are the days that return to you. Holy are the tears that you uncover. Holy are the hands that are raised to you, and the weeping that is wept to you…Holy and shining with a great light is every living thing, established in this world and covered with time, until your name is praised forever.

–Leonard Cohen, born 1934, Canada and USA, Book of Mercy #43.


This study page is dedicated to the memory of Eli ben Avraham Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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