Parsha Shoftim: What is a King? Torah

We are in the month of Elul, the month before Rosh haShannah.  I will keep this brief, but I feel I do need to share a few thoughts on this month. This month is a time to look backwards and forwards.  We look backwards to see what we have done that we did not like, that did not fit in with our perceptions of who we are and who we want to be.  We also are looking forwards visualizing how … Continue reading

Parsha R’ay: Enough Torah

It is time to wake you. Take a stretch.  I have some parsha (Torah weekly portion) thoughts to share.  This shabbat we read from the parsha R’ay which is the command form of the verb to see.  It is the first word in our parsha, which begins by saying, “See – I am giving before you today a blessing and a curse.”  The blessing is to listen to all of haShem’s (god’s) mitzvot (commandments/joinings), and the curse is if you … Continue reading

Parsha Aykev: A Suffering, Testing Torah

Once again it is time to take the proverbial pen in hand and share with you my thoughts on the parsha (weekly Torah portion) we read this shabbat.  The parsha is called Aykev which means, “As a consequence of,” and it begins by telling us that as a consequence of our listening to the judgements, and guarding them, and doing them, haShem (god) will guard the brit (covenant) for us. Before I go any further, I want to remind you … Continue reading

Parsha Vaetchanan: How to Speak Torah

This shabbat we read a very interesting parsha (Torah portion), which includes, among other things, the return of the ten utterances.  Let’s start, however, at the beginning. The parsha begins with Moshe (Moses) beseeching haShem (god) to allow him to enter the promised land.  This entreating of god is where the name of our parsha comes from.  In Hebrew, the verb is heetchanan and our parsha is called vaetchanan, which means, “And I beseeched.” God’s answer to Moshe is to … Continue reading

Parsha D’varim: A Torah of Perspective

This week we begin the final book of the Torah:  D’varim (Deuteronomy).  This also happens to be the name of the parsha (weekly Torah portion).  It is the beginning of the end, and like all good endings, it recaps and summarizes what came before it.  In a nutshell, here is what it says: We start by being told that this is Moshe (Moses) speaking to the people at a very specific location (no I won’t give that location, it is … Continue reading