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

Matot Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Matot Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13)

We end the 4th book of the Torah, with a story about the 5 daughters of Zelophehad (in Hebrew it means shadow of fear). These 5 brave daughters ask Moses for the right to inherit their father. Moses does not know what to say (women in the Bible do not have that right nor the right to own property). Moses asks God, and God answers, the girls are right. God sets a new law – daughters can inherit their father’s property.

Our rabbis learn: unlike men, God has compassion for every creature, not only for men.

MATOT MASEI SUMMARY:

Moses explains to the Israelites the laws concerning vows made by men and women. (30:2—17)
Israel wages war against the Midianites. (31:1—18)
The laws regarding the spoils of war are outlined. (31:19—54)
The tribes of Reuben and Gad are granted permission to stay on the east bank of the Jordan River. (32:1—42)
The itinerary of the Israelites through the wilderness from Egypt to Jordan is delineated. (33:1-49)
Moses tells Israel to remove the current inhabitants of the land that God will give them and to destroy their gods. (33:50-56)
The boundaries of the Land of Israel are defined, along with those of the Levitical cities and the cities of refuge. (34:1-35:15)
God makes a precise distinction between murder and manslaughter. (35:16-34)
The laws of inheritance as they apply to Israelite women are delineated. (36:1-13)

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

Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)

Five women: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah – the daughters of a man named Tzelofchad – stand up before Moses and Eleazar the Priest and all the people at the entrance of the Tabernacle and claim their right to inherit their father’s portion in the Land of Israel. 

Unlike the Rebellion of Korach which we read in the Torah portion just two weeks ago, here in Parashat Pinchas Moses listens to their plea, consults God for an answer, and grants their request – changing the law for them and all the generations of women in Israel. 

Why is the challenge which these women bring considered praiseworthy while Korach’s challenge is an affront against God? Because the daughters of Tzelofchad asks to inherit to preserve their father’s name and the rights of their family among all the households of Israel. Korach seeks power. The daughters of Tzelofchad seek justice. And for justice sake the Torah was created. 

May all our disagreements be for the sake of justice for us all. 

PINCHAS SUMMARY:

SUMMARY:
Pinchas is rewarded for killing the Israelite and the Midianite woman who cursed God. (25:10–15)
Israel fights a war against the Midianites. (25:16-18)
A second census is taken. (26:1–65)
The daughters of Zelophehad force a change in the laws of property inheritance. (27:1–11)
Joshua is chosen to be Moses’ successor. (27:15–23)
The sacrificial ritual for all festival occasions is described in detail. (28:1–30:1)

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

Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)
Horses were cherished in Biblical society, but not so the donkey. At best the “aton”, or she-ass, was a steady beast of burden. The word “aton” appears 34 times in the Hebrew Bible, 14 of which occur within the context of our Parashah, Balak. The 20 other references are considerably less positive. Donkeys were commonly portrayed in ancient literature as foolish, stubborn, wicked or servile at best, and generally represented the lowest classes of society.

Here in our Torah portion the famous seer Bilaam cannot see the angel which God has placed in his path, but his donkey can. There are three confrontations with the invisible messenger of the Lord, each one increasingly difficult to ignore. Even a dumb animal can see that Bilaam is acting against God’s plan, even though the great “seer” cannot. The question for our Torah portion is, can this great seer raise himself to the level of a she-ass and see what is right and what God requires of him? The question for us to answer is – can we?

BALAK SUMMARY:

SUMMARY:
Balak, the king of Moab, persuades the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites so that he can defeat them and drive them out of the region. However, Balaam blesses the Children of Israel instead and prophesies that Israel’s enemies will be defeated. (22:2-24:25)
God punishes the Israelites with a plague for consorting with the Moabite women and their god. The plague is stayed after Pinchas kills an Israelite man and his Midianite woman. (25:1-9)

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

Chukat (Numbers 19:1 -22:1)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Chukat (Numbers 19:1 -22:1)

This week’s Torah Portion marks the passing of Miriam, the first of that remarkable family of leaders who brought us forth out of Egypt. But consider this simple lesson in the numbers of Numbers: Moses is mentioned 766 times in the Torah, Aaron’s name is mentioned 347 times, and Miriam is mentioned by name 12 times. In sum, one generation of one family of Israelites is mentioned in the Torah 1125 times and Miriam represents only 12.

What does that teach us? Well, it teaches us that the words of women are undercounted in the Torah, and yet it also teaches us that Miriam mattered. Miriam is remembered as the first woman to be called a prophet in Israel. Miriam who protected Moses as a child, who led the women in Song as we crossed the Red Sea, who found water for our thirst during our wanderings through the desert, Miriam who is mentioned just 12 times in the Torah is remembered by millions still today. May we all be worthy of such a memory.

CHUKAT SUMMARY:

The laws of the red heifer to purify a person who has had contact with a corpse are given. (19:1-22)
The people arrive at the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies and is buried there. (20:1)
The people complain that they have no water. Moses strikes the rock to get water for them. God tells Moses and Aaron they will not enter the Land of Israel. (20:2-13)
The king of Edom refuses to let the Children of Israel pass through his land. After Aaron’s priestly garments are given to his son Eleazer, Aaron dies. (20:14-29)
After they are punished for complaining about the lack of bread and water, the Israelites repent and are victorious in battle against the Amorites and the people of Bashan, whose lands they capture. (21:4-22:1)

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