Parsha Nitzavim-Vayelech: The Longer Shorter Way

This we read parsha Nitzavim-Vayelech which is really a double portion.  Parsha Nitzavim-Vayelech consists of Deuteronomy 29:9–31:30.  Nitzavim means  “ones standing” and Vayelech means "then he went out."  You can find a brief summary here. From Said Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananiah: "Once a child got the better of me." "I was traveling, and I met with a child at a crossroads. I … [Read more...]

Parsha Ki Tavo: Whom Do You Thank?

This week we read parsha Ki Tavo (Ki Thavo, Ki Tabo, Ki Thabo, or Ki Savo) “when you enter”.  Ki Tavo consists of  Deuteronomy 26:1–29:8.  And here is a very brief summary of the parsha.   Deuteronomy 26 1When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, 2take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from … [Read more...]

Parsha Ki Teitzei: A Loved Wife, a Hated Wife, and the Firstborn Son?

This week we read parsha Ki Teitzei (Ki Tetzei, Ki Tetse, Ki Thetze, Ki Tese, Ki Tetzey, or Ki Seitzei) which means "When/If you go..."  Ki Teitzei consists of  Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19.  You can read a brief summary here.   Parsha Ki Teitzei is riddled with laws and rulings.  There are 74 of the 613 laws given in just this parsha.  Since I wrote about the captive woman last time, this … [Read more...]

Parsha Shoftim: The Asherah Hypothesis

This week we read parsha Shoftim (Shofetim or Shof'tim) which means "judges."  Shoftim consists of  Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9.  You can find a very brief summary here. Just before parsha Shoftim begins we read at the end of parsha Eikev, that the Lord instructs us to observe Holy festivals - concluding with the command to be joyous on Sukkot. Deuteronomy 16 (NIV): 13Celebrate the Festival of … [Read more...]

Parsha Re’eh: You Can’t Have it Your Way

This week we read parsha Re'eh (Reeh, R'eih, or Ree) which means "see."  Re'eh consists of Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17.  You can read a very brief summary here. Deutoronomy 12:8  You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit,... Again we find there is nothing new about humanity.  3,500 years ago people wanted to simply do what felt good to them.  God (who brought them out of … [Read more...]

Parsha Eikev: Mission Impossible? Or Mission So Simple?

This week we read Parsha Eikev (Ekev, Ekeb, Aikev, or Eqeb) which means "if you."  Eikev consists of  Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25.  You can read a brief summary here. Deuteronomy 7: 12If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13He will love you and bless you and increase your … [Read more...]

Parsha Va’etchanan: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

This week we read Parsha Va'etchanan (Va'eschanan) which means “and I pleaded.”  Va'etchanan consists of  Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11.  You can read a very brief summary here. Deuteronomy 4 (NIV): 32Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has … [Read more...]

Parsha Devarim: We Still Need Corrective Vision

This week we read parsha Devarim (D’varim, or Debarim) which means "words."  Parsha Devarim consists of Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22.  You can read a brief summary here. Deuteronomy 1:1 1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan, in the desert, in the Arava, opposite Suf, between Paran, and Tofel, and Lavan, and Hazerot, and Di-Zahav  From Chabad: According to … [Read more...]

Parsha Masei: Are We There Yet?

This week we read Parsha Masei (Mas’ei or Masse) which means "journeys".  Masei consists of Numbers 33:1–36:13.  You can read a brief summary here. The first verse of Parsha Masei is: Numbers 33: 1These are the journeys(masei) of the children of Israel going out of the land of Mitzrayim (Egypt)...  Why is the word "journeys" instead of the singular form "journey"?  Wasn't it one long journey … [Read more...]

Parsha Matot: God Ordered Genocide?

This week we read parsha Matot (Mattot, Mattoth, or Matos) which means "tribes".   Matot consists of  Numbers 30:2–32:42.  You can read a brief summary here. Parsha Matot provides ammunition for those who wish to dismiss or attack the Torah (and God) as barbaric and cruel.   The reference is usually in relation to the episode regarding the vengeance on Midian, and supposedly God ordered … [Read more...]