Parashat Tazria & Metzora: Leviticus; Chapter 12 Verse 1 – Chapter 15 Verse 33

04/16/2018 01:04:20 PM


General Overview: The bulk of this week's portion, Tazria-Metzora, discusses various forms of tzara'at (leprosy), skin maladies which are developed as a result of engaging in forbidden gossip. Also discussed are garment discolorations which constitute "clothing tzara'at," and the symptoms and laws of "house tzara'at," indicated by certain stone discolorations. Following is a discussion of various ritual impurities, including the laws of the...Read more...

Key Challah

04/11/2018 12:49:07 PM


There is a minhag (custom) to bake Key Challah for the Shabbat after Pesach. Key Challah is best known as a segula (good luck charm) for parnasa (livelihood), though there are also other reasons for it. Some bake the challah with an actual key inside, some make the challah in the shape of a key and some put sesame seeds on top in the form of a key. There are those who make...Read more...

Parashat Shemini: Leviticus; Chapter 9 Verse 1 – Chapter 11 Verse 47

04/11/2018 11:38:39 AM


General Overview: This week's Torah portion is a continuation of the previous week's reading, where we learned about the Tabernacle's seven-day inaugural ceremony. This week's reading opens on the eighth day, when G‑d's presence descends upon the Tabernacle. On that day, Aaron's sons Nadav and Avihu die when offering an uncalled-for incense sacrifice. The portion concludes with a discussion about the laws of Kosher consumption and ritual...Read more...

Parashat Tzav: Leviticus; Chapter 6 Verse 1 – Chapter 8 Verse 36

03/21/2018 11:22:51 AM


General Overview: This week the Torah continues describing the various sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle and Temple, a topic started in last week's portion. This is followed by an account of the seven-day inauguration of the Tabernacle.

1st Section: Additional instructions regarding the Olah – ascent offering, and the Mincha – meal offering are detailed.

2nd Section: The special meal offering of the Kohen Gadol (High...Read more...

Parashat Vayikra: Leviticus; Chapter 1 Verse 1 – Chapter 5 Verse 26

03/14/2018 03:40:05 PM


Parashat Vayikra: Leviticus; Chapter 1 Verse 1 – Chapter 5 Verse 26

General Overview: This week's Torah reading, begins the third book of the Torah, Leviticus. Last week we completed the reading of the book of Exodus, which concluded with a description of the construction of the Tabernacle. This week's portion will provide a description of the various sacrifices – animal, fowl, and meal-offerings – offered by the Kohanim in this...Read more...

Parashat Vayakhel & Pikudei: Exodus; Chapter 35 Verse 1 – Chapter 40 Verse 38

03/05/2018 12:02:14 PM


Parashat Vayakhel & Pikudei: Exodus; Chapter 35 Verse 1 – Chapter 40 Verse 38

General Overview: This week we read final two Torah portions of the book of Exodus, Vayakhel and Pekudei. Although we normally read only one Parasha per week, during a non-leap year there are some weeks we do read two portions since we don’t add an extra month of Adar. Moshe gathers the Jews and relays to them all the details regarding the...Read more...

Parashat Ki Tisa: Exodus; Chapter 30 Verse 11 – Chapter 34 Verse 35

02/28/2018 12:43:30 PM


General Overview: This week’s Torah portion discusses the census of the Jewish nation, the washbasin of the Tabernacle, the anointing oils for the kohanim and kings, the incense offering, and the Sabbath. The Torah then relates the story of the Golden Calf, G‑d's anger at the Jewish nation, Moshe successfully arguing for Divine forgiveness for the sin, the breaking of the tablets, and the giving of the second tablets.

1st Section:...

Parashat Tetzaveh: Exodus; Chapter 27 Verse 20 – Chapter 30 Verse 10

02/21/2018 10:58:53 AM


General Overview: This week we discover the special garments worn by the Kohanim (priests) and Kohen Gadol (high priest) when serving in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Following that, we read G‑d's instructions to Moses regarding the seven-day inauguration for the Tabernacle. The portion concludes with a description of one of the vessels of the Mishkan; the Incense Altar.

1st Section: The Parasha opens with the commandment to use pure...Read more...

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...

Tue, April 24 2018 9 Iyyar 5778