Devarim - weekly Torah portion

The Israelites have walked an incredible distance in the desert and now are on the brink of entering Eretz Israel. Moses who has led them until that point is going to step down from history’s stage and there is someone there ready to replace him. Moses, in his farewell speech, says that he has made a last minute effort, “I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.” Even this heartbreaking please does

Matot - Masei - weekly Torah portion

This Shabbat we are going to finish the reading from the Book of Numbers, reading two portions on one Shabbat. Among others we read about an affair that makes Moses quite angry. The tries of Reuben and Gad have a large number of livestock. Noting that the land that they are currently on, east of the river Jordan, is good for the livestock, they prefer to stop their journey to the Promised Land and stay there. They do not want to continue and have a simple argument, “the land which the Lord [b]conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” They also add, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as

Pinchas - weekly Torah portion

Two seemingly different events are described in chapter 27 of the book of Numbers from which we read the Torah portion of this week. The fist even is the case of the daughters of Zelophehad. The five daughters, appearing by name, “Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah” argue before Moses and Eleazar the priest, “Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.” I am confident all of us remember t

Balak - weekly Torah portion

Naturally Balak is very worried of the fact that the Israelites are getting closer and closer to his land. As the custom was in those days he seeks an expert to come over and spoil these efforts of the People of Israel to reach the promised land. That man, Balaam, receives a clear warning on his way, and notifies ahead of time that he can prophesize only according to what the Lord commands him to say. Well, it is no wonder that Balak, after hearing the words, “Behold, a people rises like a lioness, And as a lion it lifts itself; It will not lie down until it devours the prey, And drinks the blood of the slain.” complains to BalaamThe words in Hebrew “גַּם-קֹב לֹא תִקֳּבֶנּוּ; גַּם-בָּרֵךְ, ל

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