Re'eh - Weekly Torah Portion

"That which I have commanded you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” What can be clearer than this? Things are said and we are expected to obey without adding or subtracting. There are commandments and they have to be fulfilled to the letter, no more no less. Not harder nor easier, no additions and no omissions. What was received is to be handled. There is also no doubt that at these times we find a side that goes for the lesser, even to the nullification and abandonment of all, while there are also those who demand a more stern approach, adding limitations upon limitations whenever and wherever they can. Maybe the right thing to do is actually read thi

Eikev - Weekly Torah Portion

Two statements lead the portion of the Torah we read this week. The first statement is: “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.” However, there is also another statement, “It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and ser

Va'etchanan - Weekly Torah Portion

No matter when it happens a leader retiring from a leadership position will have that urge to find a way to continue to lead. Moses is no different and admits it, “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.’” In these few sentences Moses sums up the yearning of a leader to see the future, experience what will happen from now and moving forward. This is because it is the duty of a leader to look way

Devarim (Deuteronomy) - Weekly Torah Portion

“These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan” are the opening words of Deuteronomy, the last of the five books of the bible and from which we will read from now and until Simchat Torah. The name of the book suggests that it is somewhat of a repeat of what has been said before, this times as a long speech delivered by Moses to the people. They are already ready to enter the Promised Land. He summarizes a period of national uprising, wandering in the wilderness, and the transformation of groups of people into a nation by providing them with unique rules and laws to for a social structure. He does not hesitate to talk about the difficulties, “I spoke to you, but you wo

Mas'ei - Weekly Torah Portion

One of the topics that this week’s portion of the Torah deals with is that of the cities of refuge. When the Israelites enter the land, so it is called for, “you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the manslayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there. The cities shall be to you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer will not die until he stands before the congregation for trial. The cities which you are to give shall be your six cities of refuge… for the sons of Israel, and for the alien and for the sojourner among them; that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there.” However this is conditioned upon two things,

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