Parashat Terumah Summary; Exodus; Chapter 25 Verse 1 – Chapter 27 Verse 19

02/14/2018 01:49:56 PM


General Overview: G‑d commands the Jewish People to build a Mishkan (Tabernacle). He provides the exact details of how to construct it, and how to build the different instruments and vessels which were used therein.

1st Section: A list of raw materials necessary for building the Tabernacle was presented to the Jewish People: gold, silver, copper, wool dyed sky-blue, dark red, and crimson, linen, goats wool, ram skins, acacia wood,...Read more...

Parashat Mishpatim Summary; Exodus; Chapter 21 Verse 1 – Chapter 24 Verse 18

02/05/2018 10:50:45 AM


General Overview: This week's Parasha details many laws, including laws related to slaves, personal injury, loans, usury, and property damage. The end of the portion speaks of the preparations the Israelites made before receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai.

1st Section: The laws of a Jewish slave, Jewish maidservant, manslaughter, murder, injuring a parent, kidnapping and cursing a parent are all detailed.

2nd Section: The laws...

Parashat Yitro Summary; Exodus; Chapter 18 Verse 1 – Chapter 20 Verse 23

01/31/2018 11:30:01 AM


General Overview: Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law, arrives at the Israelite encampment and advises them to set up a smoothly functioning legal system. The Israelites experience the divine revelation at Mount Sinai, and receive the Ten Commandments along with the complete Written and Oral Torah.
1st Section: Yitro brings Moshe’s wife and two sons to join him in the desert. In 18:10, Yitro proclaims his belief in G-d and identifies His...Read more...

Parashat Beshalach Summary; Exodus; Chapter 13 Verse 17 – Chapter 17 Verse 16

01/24/2018 09:54:39 AM


General Overview: Pharaoh pursues the Jewish People into the desert. The Red Sea splits, the Jewish People cross the sea while the Egyptian army is drowned. Moshe and the Jewish People sing a special song thanking G‑d for this miracle. The Jewish People complain about a lack of food and drink. G‑d sends Manna and quail for them to eat, and miraculously produces water from a rock. Amalek attacks the Israelites and is soundly...Read more...

Parashat Bo Summary; Exodus; Chapter 10 Verse 1 – Chapter 13 Verse 16

01/17/2018 11:42:40 AM


General Overview: This week we read about the last three plagues G-d inflicts on Egypt; Locust, Darkness, and Death of the Firstborn. Moses commands the Israelites concerning the Paschal offering and the laws of the Seder. After the final plague, Pharaoh unconditionally releases the Israelites from his land.

1st & 2nd Sections: Moses and Aaron forewarned Pharaoh about the Locust. His advisors begged Pharaoh to consider Moses’s...Read more...

Parashat Vaera Summary; Exodus; Chapter 6 Verse 2 – Chapter 9 Verse 35

01/10/2018 03:37:39 PM


General Overview: This week Pharaoh refuses to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, even after Aaron exhibits miraculous powers, transforming his staff into a serpent. The first seven plagues strike Egypt: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Beasts, Pestilence, Boils, and Fiery Hail.

1st Section: The year is 2448 and Moshe had unsuccessfully confronted Pharaoh. The situation had gotten worse, not better, and Hashem reassured Moshe that in fact...Read more...

Parashat Shemot Summary; Exodus; Chapter 1 Verse 1 – Chapter 6 Verse 1

01/02/2018 10:50:51 AM


General Overview: This week we start with the second of the Five Books of Moses; Exodus. Pharaoh issues harsh decrees against the Israelites, beginning decades of Jewish suffering and slavery. Moshe is born and raised in the Egyptian royal palace. After killing an Egyptian, Moshe escapes to Midian and marries. G‑d appears to him in a burning bush and demands that he return to Egypt to redeem the Israelites. Moshe returns to Egypt with the...Read more...

Parashat Vayechi Summary; Genesis; Chapter 47 Verse 28 – Chapter 50, Verse 26

12/26/2017 09:57:57 AM


General Overview: This week's Torah reading discusses Yaacov Avinu’s final years. Shortly before his passing, Yaacov blesses Yosef's children as well as his own. A massive funeral procession escorts Yaacov's body to Canaan. The reading, and the Book of Genesis, conclude with the death a Yosef.

1st Section: In the year 2255, Yaacov Avinu was 147 years old and Yosef was 56. Yaacov had been living in Egypt for 17 years. (Note that...Read more...

Parashat Vayigash Summary; Genesis; Chapter 41 Verse 1 – Chapter 44 Verse 17

12/20/2017 09:07:54 AM


General Overview: Yehuda responds to Yosef's demand that Binyamin remain enslaved in Egypt, pleading to be taken as his substitute. Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers. At Yosef's request, Yaacov and his family come down to Egypt.

1st Section: Yehuda confronts Yosef in the aftermath of the stolen goblet. Yehuda reviews the past events, starting from Yosef’s suspicious interest in their family.

2nd Section: Yehuda’s...

Parashat Miketz Summary; Genesis; Chapter 41 Verse 1 – Chapter 44 Verse 17

12/12/2017 12:39:50 PM


General Overview: Yosef interprets Pharaoh's dreams, becomes viceroy over Egypt, and implements his plan to save the region from famine. Yosef is harsh with his brothers who come to Egypt to buy food, and demands that Binyamin be brought to Egypt. When Binyamin eventually comes, he is framed and accused of theft.


Parashat Vayeshev Summary; Genesis; Chapter 37 Verse 1 – Chapter 40 Verse 23

12/05/2017 04:23:31 PM


General Overview: Yosef relates to his brothers his grandiose dreams of greatness, arousing their jealousy. He is consequently sold into slavery to an Egyptian master. After defying his Egyptian master's wife, Yosef is thrown into jail, where he interprets the dreams of Pharaoh's cup-bearer and baker. The story of Yehuda and Tamar is also related at length.

1st Section: In the year 2216, Yaacov was settled in Canaan. Yosef was 17...Read more...

Parashat Vayishlach Summary; Genesis; Chapter 32 Verse 4 – Chapter 36 Verse 43

11/28/2017 04:15:59 PM


General Overview: Yaacov returns to Canaan, but is fearful of his brother Esav. They meet and make peace. Yaacov wrestles with an angel, and his name is changed to Yisrael. Yaacov's daughter Dina is abducted by the prince of Shechem. Shimon and Levi destroy the city of Shechem and liberate Dina. Rachel dies while giving birth to Yaacov's twelfth son, Binyamin. Yitzhak dies at the ripe age of 180.

1st, 2nd & 3rd Sections: It’s...

Parashat Vayetze Summary; Genesis; Chapter 28 Verse 10 – Chapter 32 Verse 3

11/21/2017 01:53:07 PM


General Overview: Yaacov Avinu travels to his uncle Lavan. On his way he stops at the Temple Mount where G‑d appears and assures him that he will return safely to the Land of Canaan. Yaacov stays for twenty years in Charan before returning to Canaan. During his stay he shepherds Lavan's sheep, and survives and prospers despite all his uncle's attempted deceptions. He marries Leah and Rachel, and the first eleven tribes are born.

1st...

Parashat Toledot Summary; Genesis; Chapter 25 Verse 19 – Chapter 28 Verse 9

11/14/2017 02:25:02 PM


General Overview: This week we read about the birth of Esav and Yaacov. Yitzhak relocates to Philistine where he digs wells, resulting in friction between him and the locals. Rivkah and Yaacov successfully deceive Yitzhak, tricking him into giving to Yaacov the blessings he had intended for Esav.

1st Section: Yitzhak is 40 years old (2088) when he marries Rivkah. After 20 years, Esav and Yaacov are born. The Torah portion jumps from...Read more...

Parashat Chaye Sarah Summary; Genesis; Chapter 23 Verse 1 – Chapter 25 Verse 18

11/07/2017 03:04:32 PM


General Overview: In this week's Torah reading, Chaye Sarah, Sarah dies and Avraham purchases the Cave of Machpelah as a burial plot for his wife. Avraham's servant Eliezer travels to Aram to find a wife for Yitzhak. Yitzhak marries Rivkah. Avraham dies.

1st Section: Sarah dies at the age of 127. Avraham negotiates with Ephron the Hitite to purchase the Cave of Machpelah as a burial place for Sarah. Tradition says that this is also...Read more...

Parashat Chaye Sarah Summary; Genesis; Chapter 23 Verse 1 – Chapter 25 Verse 18

11/07/2017 02:31:43 PM


General Overview: In this week's Torah reading, Chaye Sarah, Sarah dies and Avraham purchases the Cave of Machpelah as a burial plot for his wife. Avraham's servant Eliezer travels to Aram to find a wife for Yitzhak. Yitzhak marries Rivkah. Avraham dies.

1st Section: Sarah dies at the age of 127. Avraham negotiates with Ephron the Hitite to purchase the Cave of Machpelah as a burial place for Sarah. Tradition says that this is also...Read more...

Parashat Vayera Summary: Genesis; Chapter 18 Verse 1 – Chapter 22 Verse 24

10/31/2017 02:20:30 PM


General Overview: This week the Torah starts with recounting the visiting of three angels to Avraham and Sarah. Rashi explains that each of them had a specific mission to fulfill; the first to inform them that Sarah would give birth to a child despite her advanced age, the second to destroy the evil city of Sedom and the third to heal Avraham from his recent circumcision. Then the third angle (Rafael) saved Lot and his daughters out of Sedom....Read more...

Parashat Lech Lecha Summary; Genesis; Chapter 12 Verse 1 – Chapter 17 Verse 27

10/24/2017 01:34:20 PM


General Overview: Avram and Sarai travel to Canaan. Due to a famine in the land they temporarily relocate to Egypt, where Pharaoh unsuccessfully attempts to keep Sarai as a wife. They return to Canaan with great wealth and Avram parts with his nephew Lot. Avram defeats the armies of the four kings who had taken his nephew Lot hostage. G‑d seals a pact with Avram, bestowing the lands of Canaan to his descendants. Childless Avram marries...Read more...

Parashat Noach Summary; Genesis; Chapter 6 Verse 9 – Chapter 11 Verse 32

10/17/2017 12:45:47 PM


General Overview: In this week's Torah reading, Noach and his family, along with at least one pair of each living creature, survive the Flood by taking refuge in an Ark. The erection of the Tower of Babel angers G‑d, and leads to the dispersal of Noach’s descendants. Abraham and Sarah are born.

1st Section: Noach, a righteous man, is introduced in contrast to a generation that...Read more...

Parashat Bereshit Summary; Genesis; Chapter 1 Verse 1 – Chapter 6 Verse 8

10/10/2017 12:55:52 PM


General Overview: This week we start with the first portion of the entire Torah, Bereshit. G‑d creates the world in six days and rests on the seventh. Adam and Chava eat from the Tree of Knowledge and are expelled from the Garden of Eden. Cain slays Abel and is punished accordingly. Enumeration of the ten generations between Adam and Noah, the birth of Noach, and the degeneration of mankind.

1st Section: The story of creation of the...

Parashat Nitzavim - Vayelech; Deuteronomy; Chapter 29 Verse 9 – Chapter 31 Verse 30

09/13/2017 03:06:11 PM


General Overview: Here we are at the threshold of a new-year and it’s all about being honest with ourselves. The degree of our commitment to Torah and Mitzvot will be in direct proportion to how many excuses we make for ourselves in avoiding commitment. The more the excuses, the less the commitment. As Moshe continued his final discourse, he confronted the primary excuses we all use in avoiding commitment and responsibility.

1st...

Parashat Ki Tavo; Deuteronomy; Chapter 26 Verse 1 – Chapter 29 Verse 8

09/05/2017 04:47:38 PM


General Overview: Following the last two Torah portions that focused on Justice and the value of individual rights, Moshe directed the nation’s attention to the realities of what it meant to live in the Land of Israel.

Our behaviors, as well as natural law, are subject to the word of G-d and interface with each other in the most intimate example of cause and effect. As the Chosen People, our lifestyle should manifest the...Read more...

Parashat Ki Tetze; Deuteronomy; Chapter 21 Verse 10 – Chapter 25 Verse 19

08/29/2017 01:30:56 PM


General Overview: This week's Torah portion contains 74 commandments, more mitzvot than any other Torah portion. Some of the commandments discussed are: the law of the rebellious son, the obligation to bury the dead without undue delay, the requirement to return a found object, the prohibition against causing pain to any living creature, the prohibition against prostitution, the laws of marriage and divorce, the procedure of the Levirate...Read more...

Parashat Shofetim; Deuteronomy; Chapter 16 Verse 18 – Chapter 21 Verse 9

08/23/2017 03:13:36 PM


General Overview: This week the Torah addresses fundamental issues pertaining to the leadership of the Jewish people. It begins with a discussion regarding judges, and later gives rules pertaining to kings, prophets and kohanim (priests). Many commandments are introduced in this week’s reading, including: appointing judges, the obligation to follow rabbinic law and the words of the prophets, the obligations of a king, the punishment for...Read more...

Parashat Re’eh; Deuteronomy; Chapter 11 Verse 26 – Chapter 16 Verse 17

08/14/2017 02:07:14 PM


General Overview: In this week's reading, Re'eh, Moshe continues addressing the Jewish people just before he passes away; just before the Jewish people cross the Jordan River and enter the land of Israel. Moshe commands the Jewish people to proclaim certain blessings and curses on Mount Grizzim and Mount Eval after they enter the land of Israel. He directs them to destroy all vestiges of idolatry from the Promised Land. They must then...Read more...

Parashat Ekev; Deuteronomy; Chapter 7 Verse 12 – Chapter 11 Verse 25

08/07/2017 03:16:48 PM


General Overview: Moshe continues his pep talk to the Jewish people, cautioning them not to fear the Canaanite armies for G‑d will wage battle for them. He also notifies them that their entry into the Land is not due to their own virtues – Moshe reminds them of their many transgressions to emphasize this point – but rather, it is in the merit of the nation's Forefathers. The commandments of prayer and Grace After Meals are mentioned....Read more...

Parashat Vaetchanan; Deuteronomy; Chapter 3 Verse 2 – Chapter 7 Verse 11

08/02/2017 12:43:18 PM


General Overview: The book of Deuteronomy, Devarim is also called “Mishneh Torah – The Review of the Torah” because it repeats over 100 commandments already mandated in the previous 4 Books. Rabbi S.R. Hirsch explains that of the 100 commandments commanded in this book, more than 70 are new. The repeated commandments focus on areas that will be of greater immediate concern as they encounter the 7 Nations. For example, the prohibition...Read more...

 Parashat Devarim; Deuteronomy; Chapter 1 Verse 1 - Chapter 30 Verse 1

07/27/2017 09:59:45 AM


General Overview: This week's reading begins the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Five Books of Moses. Moses begins his final monologue, five weeks before his passing. He recounts the story of the Jewish people traveling through the desert, placing emphasis on, and rebuking them for, the story of the spies. He describes Israel's conquest of the Emorites and the Bashanites.

1st & 2nd...

Parashat Matot & Massei; Numbers; Chapter 30 Verse 2 – Chapter 36 Verse 13

07/19/2017 03:13:37 PM


General Overview: In this week's Torah portion the year is 2488 and the 40 years in the desert are drawing to a close. Miriam and Aaron have passed on, and Joshua has been appointed as the successor. In these last two portions of Sefer Bamidbar, Matot & Massei, G-d begins to wrap things up. Pay attention to the laws selected to end the 4th Book.

1st Section: The laws of personal vows are detailed and Moshe is instructed to “take...Read more...

Parashat Pinechas; Numbers; Chapter 25 Verse 10 – Chapter 20 Verse 1

07/12/2017 12:16:36 PM


General Overview: In this week's Torah portion Pinechas is rewarded for his bravery. A census of the Israelites is taken. The daughters of Tze’lophchad successfully argue for a portion in the land of Israel. Joshua is ordained Moses' successor. G‑d relays to Moses the details of all the holiday sacrifices.

1st Section: Last week's reading concluded with Moabite and...

Mon, February 19 2018 4 Adar 5778