Shabbat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10 – 30:1)

A fanatic takes the word of God too literally, and commits acts that are beyond the approved “norm” for the Tribe of Israel. Then he is swallowed up by the earth… Oh wait. That was Korach, from a few weeks ago. This is Pinchas. Not only was he NOT swallowed up by the earth, but he and his future children were rewarded for his fanaticism by getting a lifetime pass into the Priesthood (not... read more

Shabbat Chukat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

RedBull, it gives you wings! Or in the case of the portion this week, the ability to enter The Temple after coming into contact with a corpse. The Red Heiffer is just one of the items that is difficult (if not downright impossible) to get a hold of these days. In the blink of an eye, 38 years pass in the Torah narrative – time that we can never get back or find out about. Miriam dies, and her... read more

Shabbat Balak (Numbers 22:2 – 25:9)

At it’s heart, Balam may be a portion about doggedly pursuing a course of action despite all outside factors. Balam travels to curse the Israelites, despite an angel standing in his way The angel isn’t easily dissuaded either, not allowing Balam to pass until a message has been delivered. The king Balak continues in his course to curse the Israelites even though Balam keeps spouting blessings... read more

Shabbat Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32)

Good old Korach. Such a joker. The Israelites have screwed up bigtime – they lost faith at the border of Canaan and have been doomed to wander until the entire generation of slaves has died out. Not only that, but some folks thought they could push the issue, and tried to take Canaan by force (and without Moses or God on their side. Not a good idea!). The results were as tragic as they were... read more