Weekly Torah Reading Terumah February 17, 2018

A Garden Built by Humans   This week’s reading contains God’s instructions for the building of the mishkan, the traveling tabernacle (i.e., a big tent) in which the Israelites will offer sacrifices to God. Hardly a detail is left unmentioned. …

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Weekly Torah Reading, Mishpatim, February 10, 2018

Is Abortion Legal?   This week’s reading contains numerous laws governing various aspects of daily life. At first, some of these might seem far removed from our own daily lives. You’re probably not going to sell your daughter into slavery …

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Weekly Torah Reading, Yitro, February 3, 2018

How Much Is Torah Worth?   This week’s reading includes the famous account of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The people of Israel stood at the foot of the mountain as the Ten Commandments were solemnly proclaimed. …

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Weekly Torah Reading, Beshallaḥ, January 27, 2018

“This Is…”   Pharaoh changed his mind about setting the Israelites free. He dispatched his troops to try and catch up with them on their way to the Red Sea. Miraculously, however, the waters of the Red Sea parted at …

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Weekly Torah Reading, Bo’, January 20, 2018

With a Heavy Heart   Among the not-so-brilliant sermons I’ve heard over the years was one about this week’s Torah reading, Bo’. “The Almighty,” the rabbi began, “says to Moses, bo’ el par‘oh, ‘Come to Pharaoh.’ He doesn’t say ‘Go …

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Weekly Torah Reading, Va’era, January 13, 2018

“Alas for Those Who Have Passed Away”   The first two verses of this week’s reading have long posed a problem for interpreters. God says to Moses, “I am the Lord.” (Here the Torah uses God’s holiest name, the one …

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Weekly Torah Reading Shemot January 6, 2018

“Mind Your Own Business”   Sometimes seemingly trivial matters of wording are important.   In this week’s reading the Torah recounts how Pharaoh, obsessed with the growing threat posed by the Hebrew slaves in his country, ordered that every newborn …

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Weekly Torah Reading, Vayḥi, December 30, 2017

The Once and Future Scepter   At the end of his life, Jacob gathered his sons together in order to give each of them his fatherly blessing. But in fact, his three oldest sons didn’t end up being blessed at …

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