Parsha R’ay: The Soul Torah

The parsha (weekly Torah portion) we we are reading this week is called R’ay, which is the command form of the verb to see.  The parsha begins with Moshe (Moses) commanding the people to see that he is putting before them a blessing and a curse, depending on if they follow in haShem’s (god) way or not.  We then read where they are supposed to do this ritual of blessing and curse, and of another warning to follow the laws, … Continue reading

Parsha Aykev: a Torah to Lengthen Our Stay on the Land

The parsha (weekly Torah portion) we read this shabbat is called Aykev which can mean, “Heel,” or, “To follow,” as in, “And it will follow you listening to these mishpatim (judgements)…” which is how the parsha starts. So, what will happen if we listen?  Well, the parsha goes on to say, not just listen, but also observe and do them.  And, if we do these things, then haShem (god) will guard for you, the brit (covenant), and the kindness that … Continue reading

Parsha Vaetchanan: A Torah on Relationships

In this week’s parsha (Torah portion), we have plenty of excitement and thrills and chills.  Let’s check it out.  The parsha is named after the first word, vaetchanan, which means, “And I pleaded or beseeched,” because the parsha continues Moshe’s (Moses) history lesson to the nation by telling them how he beseeched haShem (god) to let him come into the land.  HaShem denies the request and instead tells Moshe to climb a mountain and see the land.  God also tells … Continue reading

Parsha D’varim: Words Versus Actions in Torah

This shabbat we will read the fifth book of the Torah. It is called D’varim (Deuteronomy) which can either mean, “Things,” or “Speakings.” Our parsha (weekly Torah portion), is also called D’varim and begins by stating that, “These are the things/speakings that Moshe (Moses) spoke to all of Yisrael at the crossing of the Yardayn (Jordan) …” So, what did he say? We don’t know yet, because the Torah goes on describing the location and telling us that we are … Continue reading

Parsha (double) Matot-Mas’ay: A Travelling Stick Torah

This week we read the second to last double parsha (weekly Torah portion) of the year.  It is called Matot-Mas’ay.  Matot, the name of the first parsha means staffs or tribes.  Mas’ay means travels as that parsha begins with the words, “These are the travels…”  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though; let’s start with the first parsha, and not the second. The first parsha begins with Moshe (Moses) speaking to the heads of the tribes, to the children of … Continue reading