Parsha Lech L’cha: What Do the Words Really Mean?

As I read the parsha (weekly Torah portion) in Hebrew, I like to to pretend that names are not just names, but that they mean something.  This give me the freedom to translate them.  The text takes on a new meaning in the process.  For example, in this week’s parsha, Lech lecha (go to yourself is a translation from Hebrew), we find Avram setting up an alter between two towns:  Bet-El and Ai, and from there he calls to god … Continue reading

Parsha Noah: Too Much God

I heard this from a friend of mine, Drew Tik (I mention him because it is always good to name your sources).  This week we read about Noah and the flood, followed by the tower of Babel, followed by being introduced to Abram.  Why was the tower story put in between the two?  Noah, in Hebrew means to rest;  so, Noah was a laid back kind of guy.  Ok, he did what god told him to do, but outside of … Continue reading

Parsha Breisheit: A Torah of What to Do

Is it time to write about our weekly parsha (Torah portion) already?  It seems like I just wrote one.  Ah, yes.  This is what happens when we finish our cycle of the Torah and begin again.  There really is no time, which means no rest for my Torah thoughts. Such is life. So, here we are, back to the beginning.  The parsha is called Breisheit and has many, many meanings.  It is normally translated as, “In the beginning.”  However it … Continue reading

Parsha vZot haBracha (Simchat Torah): The End of Torah, or Just the Birth Pains of Torah

The Torah really does not have a beginning and an ending.  Today (Sunday) is the end of Succot,  and on its heals is Simchat Torah which means, “Happiness of Torah.”  On Simchat Torah we finish reading the Torah, and start again to read the Torah.  We also dance with the Torah and celebrate simultaneous endings and beginnings.  If there was only one thing to learn from the Torah, then this cycle would be a circle.  However, when you read the … Continue reading