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

Vayeira (Genesis 18:1–22:24)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Vayeira (Genesis 18:1–22:24)

Tales of Destruction abound in the literature of the ancient world. Flood stories, fire stories, stories of war and plague and destruction. And, in many ways, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is just a Jewish version of that same sort of terrifying tale. And yet, the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah takes these tales and turns them on their heads to ask some deeper questions about the nature of God, the meaning of justice, and the role which we, God’s children, are commanded to play.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about the destruction of two cities, lost to the sand and salt of time. The moral of this story is a more lifted legend. The lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah is simply this: God is not in the whirlwind, not in the destructive hand. God is in the still small voice which murmurs beneath the blessing, beneath the pain, beneath the lives we all lead upon this earth. God is in Abraham’s willingness to provoke God, and God is in God’s listening to Abraham’s call. The moral of our story is: never be afraid to provoke, even God, for the cause of justice.

Vayeira Summary:

First, Abraham welcomes three visitors. They announce that Sarah will soon have a son. (18:1-15)
Then, Abraham argues with God about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (18:16-33)
Moreover, Lot’s home is attacked by the people of Sodom. So Lot and his two daughters escape as the cities are being destroyed. And then, Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt. (19:1-29)
After that, Lot impregnates his daughters, and they bear children who become the founders of the nations Moab and Ammon. (19:30-38)
Abimelech, king of Gerar, takes Sarah as his wife after Abraham claims that she is his sister. (20:1-18)
Yet, Isaac is born, circumcised, and weaned. Hagar and her son, Ishmael, are sent away; an angel saves their lives. (21:1-21)
In conclusion, God tests Abraham. Most importantly, God instructs him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. (22:1-19)

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

Lech L’cha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Lech L’cha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

This week’s Torah Portion is called Lech L’cha which means “Go Forth” and it is, at its essence, a journey tale – our first journey tale, as our great, great, greatest ancestors Abraham and Sarah set forth on their journey, to a new land, a new life, and a new understanding of their relationship with God. And, at the same time, Lech L’cha is more than the legend of the physical journey of our ancient forbearers across time and space – it is our story, the story of our people, our family, in every age. It is the story of the spiritual journey from what we know, toward that something greater which we can hope to reach. Lech L’cha is that universal story of courage and faith which teaches us how hard it is to let go of the familiar patterns of our lives, the easier paths of less resistance, the way things have always been, even when we long for a better future. Lech L’cha is an ancient legend waiting still for us to live again, this day and every day.

Lech L’cha, Go Forth! How will you answer God’s call?

Lech L’cha Summary:
Abram, Sarai, and Lot go to Canaan. (12:1-9)
Famine takes them to Egypt, where Abram identifies Sarai as his sister in order to save his life. (12:10-20)
Abram and Lot separate. Lot is taken captive, and Abram rescues him. (13:1-14:24)
Abram has a son, Ishmael, with his Egyptian maidservant, Hagar. (16:1-16)
God establishes a covenant with Abram. The sign of this covenant is circumcision on the eighth day following a male baby’s birth. (17:1-27)
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

Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

At the end of the story of the great flood God places a rainbow in the sky as a token of the covenant between God and all the people of the earth.

Why does God choose the rainbow? The rabbis teach us that the rainbow is an appropriate symbol of peace because it is made up of many different colors, and when you look at it, it is impossible to distinguish one color from the next.

The rainbow reminds us that even though no two humans are alike, we are all part of one covenant with God. Like the colors of the rainbow, we are all different, and yet we are all God’s children and we all have a share in the fulfillment of that covenant to help God create a world of Shalom.

Noach Summary:
God decides to cause a flood that will destroy the world, sparing only Noah’s family and the animals that Noah gathers together on the ark. (6:9-8:22)
Life starts over again after the Flood. The Noahide Commandments are listed, and God uses a rainbow to make a symbol of the first covenant. (9:1-17)
People start to build a city and the Tower of Babel. God scatters the people and gives them different languages to speak. (11:1-9)
The ten generations from Noah to Abram are listed. (11:10-29:2)
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

B’reishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

This Week’s Torah Portion: B’reishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

The Big Bet which Begins each Torah scroll with the word B’reishit is clearly not an accident. God really seemed to want to make a point of beginning the Torah with the letter Bet. This assumes, of course, that God wrote that first letter, with a quill pen and a deep brown ink upon a parchment scroll, just as scribes have done in writing that first word of Torah again and again for thousands of years.

There is a mystical midrash, a legend of our people, which teaches us that God considered beginning the Torah with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet which is Alef. God decided against the Alef because Alef is the beginning of the word Aror, which means “curse”, whereas Bet is the beginning of the word B’rachah, which means, blessing.

May each of us write our works upon this earth for blessing and not for curse, and may we together become repairers of the breach – builders of a better world.

B’reishit Summary:
God creates the world and everything in it in six days and rests on the seventh. (1:1-2:3)
Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden, where they eat the forbidden fruit and are subsequently exiled. (2:15-3:24)
Adam and Eve have two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain kills his brother, Abel. (4:1-24)
Adam and Eve have another child named Seth. The Torah lists the ten generations from Adam to Noah. (4:25-5:32)
God regrets having created human beings and decides to destroy everything on earth, but Noah finds favor with God. (6:5-6:8)

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