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 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

Shabbat Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16)

So many interesting ideas clamor for attention this week: silver trumpets and the logistics of getting any number of Israelites moving on time; Moses getting fed up with the non-stop whining, and as a solution appointing 70 elders to over see things (how helpful do you think 70 old Jewish men were, exactly?). Then some of the elders start prophesizing, and pimply-faced Joshua gets his knickers in a twist... read more

Shabbat Sh’lach (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41)

This is the portion where the 12 scouts go to scope out the new Israelite digs (Canaan) – and wind up with a huge inferiority complex. 10 of the scouts despair that they (the Israelites) could never succeed in conquering the Canaanites – people as big as giants they say – and start whining (again) about how much better it was back in Egypt. 2 of the spies (Joshua and Kaleb) keep the faith, but the... read more