“My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord. With what shall I come to the Lord And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I com...

Making promising is pretty easy, making good on one’s promises is an entirely different business. We learn about one such promise made by Jephthah on the eve of war that we read about in the Haftarah of this week from the book of Judges. “Jephthah made a vow to the Lor...

“As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went dow...

What a difference forty years can make and certainly two different stories of espionage. The first incident we read about in this week’s portion of the Torah, God commands Moses, “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going t...

Our overseas friends reading or listening to my sermon this Shabbat may be wondering what is going on here. From their perspective we are rushing the Torah reading and getting ahead of ourselves. We are reading today the portion of BeHa’alotecha while they are still in...

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 Aa...

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...

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...

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 com...

On this Shabbat we read two portions of the Torah, both of which go into much details regarding cases that require cleansing. There are different reasons for the need to cleanse, and different ways to cleanse. There is cleansing of a person, and there are rules for the...

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