June 2016

Shelach

The Eyes of the Heart

This week's Torah reading begins by recounting the spies being sent into the land of Canaan on behalf of the Children of Israel. Joshua, Caleb and ten other qualified leaders were chosen from each of the twelve tribes and sent into the land of Canaan ahead of the Children of Israel in order to scout out the land and report back their findings. Their job was to spy out the land, as it says in Numbers 13:2, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan ..." As we know, ten of these twelve men came back with an evil report that slandered the land God had promised to them. That evil report delayed their entrance into the Land of Promise by forty long years.

Generational Messianic Judaism

Rabbi Yosi said: Let the property of your fellow man be as dear to you as your own. Prepare yourself for the study of the Torah, for the knowledge of it is not yours by inheritance. Let all your deeds be done for the sake of Heaven. (m.Avot 2:17)

Parashat Beha'alotcha - Numbers 8:1-12:15

Kindling the Fire of Discipleship

As you have probably noticed, there is almost always something fascinating to discuss at the very beginning of the weekly Torah portions. This week is no exception. Parashat Beha'alotcha begins with the instructions on how Aaron, the kohen gadol (high priest), should kindle the menorah for the Tabernacle. It begins:

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you set up [baha'alotcha] the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand." (Numbers 8:1-2)

Parashat Nasso - Numbers 4:21 - 7:89

Shalom Bayit

Babies. Isn't that what naturally comes to your mind after reading this week's Torah portion? Confused? Let me explain.

This week's reading contains an unusual ritual, the testing of the sotah (the wayward wife). This is a strange and even fantastical ritual, quite foreign and bizarre to the modern mind. To the modern ear it appears to be more akin to alchemy than biblical instruction. It goes like this: 

Bechukotai

Leviticus 26:3-27:34