Posts Tagged ‘ Bamidbar ’

Haftarah Nasso – Leaders We Deserve

May 24, 2018
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Haftarah Nasso – Leaders We Deserve

I certainly do not want to retell the story of Samson in detail. You know it. You’ve heard it before. You may have even seen or heard any number of dramatizations. Of course, there is the famous 1949 Cecille B. Demille film starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr (that’s Hedy not Headly!). This version...
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Nasso – Bless is More

May 22, 2018
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Nasso – Bless is More

Listen to an audio version… This week’s parasha contains one of only two prescribed blessings in all of Torah, the Birkat Kohanim. This blessing is so familiar to us, it is part of the morning shacharit, and is traditionally chanted by the Kohanim on Yom Kippur. Parents also say it over children on Erev...
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Bamidbar – Wildfire, Water and the Wilderness

May 14, 2018
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Bamidbar – Wildfire, Water and the Wilderness

Listen to an audio version This week we embarked upon our annual reading of Bamidbar.  The fourth book of the Torah is so named since it begins “Vay’daber Adonai el-Mosheh b’midbar Sinai (And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai).” Midrash Rabbah Bamidbar both asks and answers, “Why does Hashem gift...
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Shelach Lecha – Monsters, Giants and Other Formidable Obstacles

June 14, 2017
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Shelach Lecha – Monsters, Giants and Other Formidable Obstacles

 In the spring of 2002 I went to an art exhibit that was featuring a grouping of pictures painted by a good friend who was beginning the process of leaving the safety of a career as a commercial artist and pursuing an art form that was uniquely his own.  The collection was entitled quite...
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B’halot’kha – Salvation On Trial

June 8, 2017
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B’halot’kha – Salvation On Trial

This week parsha will introduce a theme that will characterize much of the remaining narrative of Bamidbar. Chapters 11-25 contain a series of refusals on the part of Israel to accept authority. In chapter 12 even Miriam challenges Moses’ authority. In chapter 11 the people grumble about the unpleasantness of their journey contrasting it...
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Matot – A Place of Refuge

August 4, 2016
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Matot – A Place of Refuge

This week’s Torah portion contains a theme that in the ancient world was peculiar to the religion of Israel – the compassion, care and grace of their patron God. A historically popular approach to theology is a bifurcation of the two Testimonies of Scripture.  According to this approach, the older testament is presented as a...
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Pinchas – Zeal Appeal Or The Real Deal

July 28, 2016
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Pinchas – Zeal Appeal Or The Real Deal

Listen to an audio version There are always two unseen guests at every bris, neither has been specifically invited, yet the spirit of each is evoked. Of course Elijah is the first unseen guest as he often is at Jewish celebrations and commemorations. Elijah represents more than Israel’s glorious past, but in addition he...
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A More Intimate Gathering

October 16, 2014
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A More Intimate Gathering

Listen to an audio version When I was a boy growing up in New York our family gatherings were like a scene out of the Barry Levinson movie Avalon. On Thanksgiving and Chanukah especially our get-togethers would involve not only our immediate family, but also an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, great...
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Balak – Blessed and The Source of Blessing

June 20, 2013
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Balak – Blessed and The Source of Blessing

Listen to an audio version Every year we read Parashat Balak and I am utterly amazed. What a remarkably different approach to a reoccurring. Many have understood Torah as love letters between Hashem and Israel. In fact the focus of Torah is upon the covenant between Israel and their God, and rarely does it...
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Chukat – Three Children of Amram, Two Strange Cows, and A Perpetual Living Stream

June 10, 2013
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Chukat – Three Children of Amram, Two Strange Cows, and A Perpetual Living Stream

Listen to an audio version Parashat Chukat is among the most enigmatic in all of Torah. While it gives closure to the lives of Moses siblings, it opens three new mysteries in the fabric of Israel’s, story, a peculiar ordinance, an odd deliverance, and a strange brand of justice. Though I won’t discuss them...
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