Shabbat Tetsaveh (Ex. 27:20-30:10)

The portion this week continues the instruction on building the Mishkan, the Priesthood and by extension the Israelite community as a whole. We are told about the Ner Tamid – the light which should burn continually (or perhaps eternally, although that’s a subject of discussion). There’s also a mention of the Jewish version of the “Magic Eightball” – The Urim and Thumim – which were said to light up in... read more

Welcome! !ברוכים הבאים Read Me First If You’re New Here!

photo credit: disparkys I wanted to take a minute and offer a hearty “Bruchim HaBa’im” – welcome – to any new readers who’ve wandered over here from the Cleveland Jewish News. An article that appeared in this week’s edition (“Connect with each other on CJN Connect“) listed a number of sites “by or of interest to members of the Cleveland Jewish community.”  If you want... read more

Shabbat Terumah (Exodus 25:1 – 27:19)

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free, ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain’d, To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d, To turn, turn will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come out right. – Shaker song, penned by Elder Joseph Bracket in... read more

Shabbat Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18)

Parasha Mishpatim continues the idea of forging a moral people out of the slaves who have left Egypt. Laws concerning slaves (who’da thunk? The slaves gots slaves?), what to do with misbehaving oxen, kosher laws and (as a parent) my all time favorite: “And he that insults his father or his mother, is to be put-to-death, yes, death.” As mentioned, this portion has the first appearance of the statement “you... read more

Shabbat Yitro (Ex. 18:1-20:23)

The Torah continues it’s high drama and suspenseful storytelling this week, giving us the direct communication of the 10 commandments (literally “utterances”) from God to the whole House if Israel. The Children of Israel fall on their faces, overwhelmed and terrified even as they say “all that you speak, we will do”. They ask Moses never to let the big scary voice talk to... read more