TORAH TIDBIT

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Tazria Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha Korach Matot Masei D'varim Va-et’chanan Eikev Nitzavim Chayei Sarah Tol'dot Mishpatim

Korach (Numbers 16:1−18:32)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Korach – קֹרַח (Numbers 16:1−18:32)

Korach, one of the great villains of the Torah, has a theological claim, “For all the community are holy, all of them, and Adonai is in their midst”.

We are all Holy people, says Korach to Moses. God choose all of the people of Israel, all are Holy and should be regarded as Holy.

The end is that Adonai our God, kills Korach for that claim, why?

We are not Holy, the Torah asks us to try and become Holy. “You shall be Holy,” meaning to live a worthy life,  trying to do good.

If you think you are there, you failed; we always are on the journey trying to be what we ought to be.

Parsha Korach Torah Summary:

Korach and his followers, Dathan and Abiram, lead a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God punishes the rebels by burying them and their families alive. Once again, God brings a plague on the people. (16:1-17:15) The chief of each tribe deposits his staff inside the Tent of Meeting. Aaron’s staff brings forth sprouts, produces blossoms, and bears almonds. (17:16-26) The Kohanim and Levites are established and assigned the responsibility of managing the donations to the Sanctuary. All of the firstborn offerings shall go to the priests and all the tithes are designated for the Levites in return for the services they perform. (18:1-32) Korach Korach, one of the great villains of the Torah, has a theological claim, “For all the community are holy, all of them, and Adonai is in their midst”. We are all Holy people, says Korach to Moses. God choose all of the people of Israel, all are Holy and should be regarded as Holy. The end is that Adonai our God, kills Korach for that claim, why? We are not Holy, the Torah asks us to try and become Holy. “You shall be Holy,” meaning to live a worthy life, trying to do good. If you think you are there, you failed; we always are on the journey trying to be what we ought to be.
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Tazria Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha Korach Matot Masei D'varim Va-et’chanan Eikev Nitzavim Chayei Sarah Tol'dot Mishpatim

Sh’lach L’cha (Numbers 13:1−15:41)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Sh’lach L’cha – שְׁלַח-לְךָ (Numbers 13:1−15:41)

“…we saw the Nephilim there—the Giants …and we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must have looked to them.” (Numbers 13:33).

How we project ourselves can become how others see us. May we always be able to see the goodness in ourselves, and project it to others. May we never see ourselves as grasshoppers.

Parsha Sh’lach L’cha Torah Summary:

Moses sends twelve spies to the Land of Israel to report on the inhabitants and the country. Despite the positive report of Joshua and Caleb, the people are frightened. (13:1–14:10) God threatens to wipe out the Children of Israel but relents when Moses intercedes on their behalf. To punish the people, God announces that all those who left Egypt would not enter the Land of Israel except for Joshua and Caleb. (14:11–45) Moses instructs the Israelites regarding setting aside challah, the observance of the Sabbath, how to treat strangers, and the laws of tzitzit. (15:1–41) Sh’lach L’cha “…we saw the Nephilim there—the Giants …and we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must have looked to them.” (Numbers 13:33). How we project ourselves can become how others see us. May we always be able to see the goodness in ourselves, and project it to others. May we never see ourselves as grasshoppers.
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Tazria Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha Korach Matot Masei D'varim Va-et’chanan Eikev Nitzavim Chayei Sarah Tol'dot Mishpatim

B’haalot’cha (Numbers 8:1−12:16)

This Week’s Torah Portion: B’haalot’cha – בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ (Numbers 8:1−12:16)

Ten times in this week’s Torah Portion B’haalot’cha we find different versions of the same Hebrew root א-ס-פ asaf, which means “to gather.” It is not that common a word. Having it appear so many times, so closely together, teaches us that the Torah is playing with the word, drawing our attention to its meaning, teaching us a lesson hidden between the lines. So what can we learn from the word asaf, how can we “gather” its wisdom?

Well, depending on the form of the word and how it is used in the text, asaf can have positive or negative meanings, from the self-absorbed concerns of complaining troublemakers to the embracing generosity of a concerned community. But the first and the last time which the word appears, we gather not in strife but for blessing.

The first time we meet asaf in the text it refers to the tribe of Dan who is the rear guard, following along behind the Children of Israel as they marched their way through the wilderness. It was their job to “gather up” any stragglers, returning them to their family, and to “gather up” any stray objects, lost along the way, returning them to their rightful owners.

The last time we meet asaf, we are gathering Miriam back into the community after she is punished for rebelling against Moses, after Moses prays to God on her behalf. There is a lot of complaining along this journey, but the first and the last time we meet the word asaf, it teaches us a lesson about caring for our family no matter what.

In The Book of Words, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner defines Yisrael as “Family.” He says:

“Home is where they have to let you in simply because you’re you. And family are the people who live there. The power of congregational life comes precisely from this involuntariness of association. These members of our community, just like the people in our family literally make us who we are. For this reason, the place where you grew up with your ‘family,’ where you became who you are, is called ‘home.’”

May our congregation always be a home for us all, and may we be the family who lives there.

Parsha B’haalot’cha Torah Summary:

God speaks to Moses, describing the menorah for the Tent of Meeting. The Levites are appointed to serve as assistants under Aaron and his sons. (8:1-26) Those who are unable to celebrate Passover during Nisan are given a time in the month of Sivan to observe a “second Passover.” (9:1-14) A cloud by day and fire by night show God’s Presence over the Tabernacle. When the cloud lifts from the Tabernacle, the people leave Sinai, setting out on their journey, tribe by tribe. (9:15-10:36) The Israelites complain about the lack of meat, and Moses becomes frustrated. God tells him to appoint a council of elders. God provides the people with meat and then strikes them with a very severe plague. (11:1-34) Miriam and Aaron talk about the “Cushite woman” whom Moses has married. In addition, they complain that God speaks not only through Moses but also through them. Miriam is struck with leprosy, and Moses begs God to heal her. After her recovery, the people resume their journey. (12:1-16) B’haalot’cha
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Tazria Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha Korach Matot Masei D'varim Va-et’chanan Eikev Nitzavim Chayei Sarah Tol'dot Mishpatim

Naso (Numbers 4:21−7:89)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Naso – נָשֹׂא (Numbers 4:21−7:89)

Sometimes the cycle of the reading of the Torah seems divinely inspired in its timeliness and hope. This week as the first rays of hope shine forth for a cease fire and an end to the violence which has gripped the Land of Israel, we read from the Torah our most famous prayer for peace, the Priestly Blessing:

יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהֹוָה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ׃
יָאֵר יְהֹוָה  פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ׃
 יִשָּׂא יְהֹוָה  פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם׃

May God bless you and keep you from harm.
May God’s face shine upon you and favor you.
May God’s face be lifted unto you and grant you peace.

A blessing is an expression of hope, and while hopes may begin by giving them words, peace can only come when we do the work of peace ourselves. May we become partners with God in the building of a world of peace.

Parsha Naso Torah Summary:

A census of the Gershonites, Merarites, and Koathites between the ages of thirty and fifty is conducted and their duties in the Tabernacle are detailed. (4:21-49) God speaks to Moses concerning what to do with ritually unclean people, repentant individuals, and those who are suspected of adultery. (5:1-31) The obligations of a nazirite vow are explained. They include abstaining from alcohol and not cutting one’s hair. (6:1-21) God tells Moses how to teach Aaron and his sons the Priestly Blessing. (6:22-27) Moses consecrates the Sanctuary, and the tribal chieftains bring offerings. Moses then speaks with God inside the Tent of Meeting. (7:1-89) Naso

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