Ba'midbar - Weekly Torah Portion

The Israelites are now ready to move. There are many people there and it is necessary to plan its defense and therefore a headcount commences. Counted are “every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.” This is a census that is directed to men only, and from them only those who can fight in a war. The count therefore finds that “the tribe of Reuben were 46,500”, the tribe of Simeon 59,300, and so on and so forth until the tribe of Naphtali who count at 53,400. The total count is no less than 603,500. Yet there is one more group of able persons that does not get counted, at least not for

Behar-Bechukotai - Weekly Torah Portion

Once again we find ourselves reading two portions of the Torah on the same Shabbat. The reading of these two portions also concludes our reading of the book of Leviticus; next week we shall be reading from the book which is one before last, the book of Numbers. We are reading in the Torah and Haftarah at the end of the most unusual one and a half years that included three elections that have not yielded a clear victory to any side and prevented the forming of a government. Before we knew it we were surprised that after many statements and endless promises all has changed. A government was to take office yesterday and now maybe on Sunday, and we can only view this all with much amazement. Ott

Emor - Weekly Torah Portion

It is since Passover that we are concerned about counting the days of the Omer. “You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath”. These are the words we read in this weeks Tora section of Emor. After fifty days we celebrate the Festival of Weeks. Towards the end of the instructions related to the festival we find, “On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughou

Acharei Mot-Kdoshim - Weekly Torah Portion

This week, just like in the last week, we read two portions of the Torah rather than just one. This week’s Haftarah seems most suitable to start with during these coronavirus times. The words for the prophet Amos echo from the distances of times, “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘When the plowman will overtake the reaper And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine And all the hills will be dissolved. Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land,

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