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

07/10/2018 10:10:26 AM


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 – Chapter30 Verse 1

07/05/2018 04:12:03 PM


Parashat Pinechas; Numbers; Chapter 25 Verse 10 – Chapter 30 Verse 1

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...Read more...

Parashat Balak; Numbers; Chapter 22 Verse 2 – Chapter 25 Verse 9

06/27/2018 12:06:49 PM


General Overview: This week's Torah reading, Parashat Balak tells of how Balak hires Bilam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, only blessings come out of his mouth—including prophecies concerning the Messianic redemption. Moabite women entice some of the Jewish people to sin, resulting in a plague. Bilam of Moab hires the sorcerer Balak.

1st Section: Parashat Balak begins with King Balak’s offer to Bilam the Prophet to...Read more...

Parashat Chukat; Numbers; Chapter 19 Verse 1 – Chapter 22 Verse 1

06/20/2018 10:58:20 AM


General Overview: This week's Torah reading, begins with a discussion regarding the laws of the Parah Adumah- the Red Heifer. Miriam and Aaron pass away. When the Jews are in need of water, Moshe strikes a rock – despite being commanded to talk to it. Water stream forth, but Moshe is banned from entering Israel. Amalek battles the Israelites and is defeated. Edom and Moab refuse the Jewish people passageway to...Read more...

Parashat Korach; Numbers; Chapter 16 Verse 1 – Chapter 18 Verse 32

06/12/2018 09:41:03 AM


General Overview: Korach stages a rebellion against Moshe, accusing him of a power grab. He and his entourage are swallowed up by the earth. The people protest, and a plague kills almost 15,000 people. Of the staffs submitted by all the tribes, only Aaron's blossoms; proving that he is G‑d's chosen. The Jewish people are instructed the various presents due to the Kohanim and Leviyim.

1st Section: Korach, along with Dattan, Aviram,...

Parashat Shelach; Numbers; Chapter 13 Verse 1 - Chapter 15 Verse 31

06/06/2018 01:21:22 PM


General Overview: Moshe sends scouts/spies to Canaan and all of them - except Joshua and Calev - bring back frightening reports. The people react fearfully and rebelliously. G‑d decrees a forty year delay until the Israelites will enter Canaan, during which time all males between the ages of twenty and sixty will perish. Many Jews then attempt to unilaterally proceed to Canaan, but are cut down by the Canaanites. Various laws are discussed:...Read more...

Parashat Beha'alotecha; Numbers; Chapter 8 Verse 1 – Chapter 12 Verse 16 

05/30/2018 10:29:41 AM


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General Overview: G‑d instructs Aharon concerning the Mishkan (Tabernacle) Menorah lighting. The Leviyim are initiated into the Mishkan service. The "Second Pesach" is instituted. At G‑d's request, Moses makes two trumpets, and is instructed how and when to use them. The Israelites leave Mount Sinai, and proceed towards the Land of Canaan. The people unreasonably complain about their "frugal" manna diet and...Read more...

Parashat Nasso; Numbers; Chapter 4 Verse 21 – Chapter 7 Verse 89

05/23/2018 12:58:19 PM


Parashat Nasso; Numbers; Chapter 4 Verse 21 – Chapter 7 Verse 89

General Overview: This week's Torah portion is the longest single portion in the Torah, containing 176 verses. The reading starts with a continuation of the Levite census and a discussion regarding their Mishkan (Tabernacle) duties. The laws of the Sotah woman and the Nazirite follow. The portion concludes with the Priestly Blessing and the offerings which the Tribal...Read more...

Parashat Bamidbar; Numbers; Chapter 1 Verse 1 - Chapter 4 Verse 4

05/16/2018 01:49:55 PM


Parashat Bamidbar; Numbers; Chapter 1 Verse 1 – Chapter 4 Verse 20

General Overview: This week's we begin the Book of Numbers, the fourth of the Five Books of Moses. This book of the Torah opens on the first of Iyar, one month after the inauguration of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), and several weeks before the Jews will depart from Mount Sinai and begin their journey to the Holy Land. In this...Read more...

Parashat Behar & Behukotai: Leviticus; Chapter 25 Verse 1 - Chapter 27 Verse 34

05/09/2018 11:25:34 AM


Parashat Behar & Behukotai: Leviticus; Chapter 25 Verse 1 – Chapter 27 Verse 34

General Overview: This week we read two Torah portions, Behar and Behukotai, which are the last two portions of the third book of Moses; Vayikra. We read about the Shemitah (Sabbatical) and Yovel (Jubilee) years, laws regulating commerce and the redemption of slaves. It also contains a vivid description of the rewards for observing G‑d's...Read more...

Parashat Emor: Leviticus;Chapter 21 Verse 1 – Chapter 24 Verse 23

05/01/2018 11:27:59 AM


Parashat Emor: Leviticus; Chapter 21 Verse 1 – Chapter 24 Verse 23

General Overview: This week we read about the specific laws which pertain to Kohanim (priests), and various laws which relate to sacrifices. These are followed by a lengthy discussion of the festivals. The portion concludes with the story of a blasphemer who was put to death.

1st Section: Specific restrictions for...

Parashat Acharei Mot & Kedoshim: Leviticus; Chapter 16 Verse 1 – Chapter 20 Verse 27

04/24/2018 02:13:07 PM


General Overview: This week we read again two Torah porions, Acharei and Kedoshim, which begins with a detailed description of the service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur. Dozens of commandments are then discussed, among them: the prohibitions against offering sacrifices outside the Temple; consuming blood; incestuous, adulterous, or other forbidden relationships; various mandatory gifts for the poor; love for every Jew, prohibition against...Read more...

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.


Tue, July 17 2018 5 Av 5778