Parsha Pinchas: The Torah Goes Out on a Limb

One of the scariest things to do is to step out on a limb. Why? Because you never know if it will break and lead to your falling and hurting yourself. Yet, sometimes this is precisely what you need to do. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. This week’s parsha (Torah portion) is called Pinchas. He is the grandson of Aharon the late high priest and brother to Moshe (Moses). Our parsha is named after Pinchas because … Continue reading

Parsha Korach: Dealing with the Evil Inclination

Last weeks’s parsha (Torah portion) started us down path of negativity. This trend continues with complaints and rebellions by Korach, Datan, and Aviram. While our tradition points out that Korach’s argument is not a lasting one, his name continues to live on as the title of this week’s parsha. Here is a quick recap of this week’s parsha. It starts with the rebellions of Korach and 250 men, and of Datan and Aviram. The rebellions end with Korach and his … Continue reading

Parsha Shlach: Dying to Show a People that They are not Lost

This week we learn about sacrifice. I don’t mean the killing of animals. Rather, I am talking about the willingness of a person to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole. I do believe Spock (a good Jewish boy, bless his soul) in one of the Star Trek movies essentially said the same thing when he declared, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” I am jumping ahead though. Let me give you the background. … Continue reading

Parsha B’ha’alotcha: What Makes a Person Humble?

This week’s parsha (Torah portion) is a turning point. It starts off with meritous actions and it ends with complaints. It is called B’ha’alotcha and means, “In your causing something to go up,” and it is referring to haShem (god) telling Aharon he is to cause the candles of the menorah to light up. Before I get too much ahead of myself, let me summarize the parsha.   This week, the Torah begins with Aharon being told to light the … Continue reading

Parsha Naso: The Power of Confession

I hope everybody had a good Shavuot on Sunday. Our tradition says that Shavuot is the day haShem (god) spoke to us from Mount Sinai. In other words, it is a day of revelation. Did any of you have any revelations this past Sunday? If so, please share them in the comments section below. 🙂 Part of what haShem gave us on Sunday is this week’s parsha (Torah portion). It is called Naso which means to lift up or to … Continue reading

Parsha B’meedbar: I am not a Number!

This week we start reading the 4th book of the Torah. Both it and the parsha (the weekly Torah portion) are called B’meedbar which means, “In the wilderness,” in Hebrew. (The book is called Numbers in English). The beginning of this book coincides with our moving away from Mt. Sinai and into a 39 year sojourn in the wilderness. What? Yes, you are correct. It took us 40 years from the time we left Egypt until we entered the Promised … Continue reading

Parsha (double) B’har-B’chukoti: A Torah of Equality

This is the week I call catch-up week. I call it that because six weeks ago, at the end of Pesach/Passover, the Jews in Israel went back to reading the weekly parsha (Torah portion), while the rest of us took an extra day of Pesach and read a special parsha. Since then, Israel has been a week ahead of us in parshas. This shabbat the Jews of the diaspora and the Jews in the land get back in sync. How? … Continue reading

Parsha Emor: Don’t Be a Square Peg in a Round Hole

YOU WILL SAY! This is the name of our parsha (weekly Torah portion). In Hebrew, it is called Emor.   Who will say, who is commanding, and what is needed to be said is not hidden from us. HaShem (god) is telling Moshe (Moses) to tell the children of his brother Aharon, the cohen (priest) several laws around who they can marry, who they can bury, what condition they need to be in to make the offerings to haShem, and who … Continue reading

Parsha (double) Acharai-Kedushim: Repeating Torah

This week the Torah tells us that after death is holiness. How can this be? Easy. It is the translation of Acharai Mot-Kedushim, which is the Hebrew name for our parsha (weekly Torah portion). I added the word Mot, which means death, because some people feel it is part of the title due to the fact that Acharai (after) is not a unique enough word. The hard part is understanding what the Torah could possibly be trying to tell us … Continue reading

Parsha (double) Tazria-Metzora: Don’t Make a Problem Worse than It Is

This week we are treated to a double parsha.  A parsha is the portion of the Torah that is read on a particular week.  If you want to understand what a double parsha is, and why they exist, I suggest going to this blog entry where I explain it. Our parsha is called Tazria-Metzorah; the first word is the name of the first parsha, and the second word is the name of the second parsha.  Tazria is Hebrew for She … Continue reading