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Chukat

Numbers 19:1-22:1

This week's Torah portion contains one of the least understood passages in all of the Scriptures. In the beginning of our portion we have the instructions for the parah adumah—the red heifer—whose ashes are mixed with water to create the singular source of ritual purity for specific conditions described within the Torah. For example, it is only by the water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer that corpse contamination could be negated. 

Parashat Korach - Numbers 16:1-18:32

The Test of Humility

If you've read this week's Torah portion, you already know that the story of Korah is a sad one. But there are many important lessons we can learn from the story of Korah. The primary, and most obvious lesson we can learn from Korah's mistake is in regard to humility. However, a deeper understanding reveals that his lack of humility stemmed from his disregard for mishchah, distinction. Let's explore this further.

Generational Messianic Judaism

Rabbi Yosi said: Let the property of your fellow man be as dear to you as your own. Prepare yourself for the study of the Torah, for the knowledge of it is not yours by inheritance. Let all your deeds be done for the sake of Heaven. (m.Avot 2:17)

To Kindle A Soul

Parashat Beha'alotcha - Numbers 8:1-12:15

As you have probably noticed, there is almost always something fascinating to discuss at the very beginning of the weekly Torah portions. This week is no exception. Parashat Beha'alotcha begins with the instructions on how Aaron, the kohen gadol (high priest), should kindle the menorah for the Tabernacle. It begins:

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you set up [baha'alotcha] the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand." (Numbers 8:1-2)

Parashat Nasso - Numbers 4:21 - 7:89

Shalom Bayit

Babies. Isn't that what naturally comes to your mind after reading this week's Torah portion? Confused? Let me explain.

This week's reading contains an unusual ritual, the testing of the sotah (the wayward wife). This is a strange and even fantastical ritual, quite foreign and bizarre to the modern mind. To the modern ear it appears to be more akin to alchemy than biblical instruction. It goes like this: 

Behar

Leviticus 25:1-26:2

Parashat Behar begins, "The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying..." We get the name of the parashah from this opening line. The word behar, in Hebrew, means "on the mountain." But why do we need to know this information? Didn't all of the commandments and instructions given by Moses originate at Sinai when he was given the Torah in its entirety? Why hasn't the Torah reiterated this fact prior to our current reading? Why do we need to be reminded of this obvious fact? 

How to Destroy the World

Rabbi Joshua said: An evil eye, the evil inclination and hatred of his fellow creatures put a man out of the world. (m.Avot 2:16)

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