Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11)

After reviewing we are getting a firm talking-to from Mr.-Best-Friends-With-God himself, Moses. In this portion the Israelites endure this tongue lashing along with snippets of VERY familiar phrases – things like “Shema Yisrael”, and “V’ahavta”. Words that have kept with us (and some say kept us whole) through the millenia. Because this is the first Shabbat after the... read more

Shabbat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22)

We’re standing on the high hilltop of July, and from our lofty vantage point we can see September. The Three Weeks are pushing us forward, down the slope toward the sadness of Tisha B’av, the momentary diversion of Tu B’Av, the thoughtfulness and preparation during the month of Elul, and finally arriving at the majesty of the Days of Awe. We are standing on a cusp. The end of a... read more

Shabbat Matot-Ma’asei (Numbers 30:2 – 36:13)

It’s the end of the book of Numbers, . Rather than focus on the specifics of this portion, we thought we would try to recap the entire experience of Bamidbar in the meal this week. So, limited only by the category of food assigned and your bountiful creativity, please bring a dish based on the character which matches the assignment (or perhaps bring a dish as it might have been prepared BY that... read more

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

In addition to the dramatic events left over from last week (Israelites being tempted into idolatry and adultery by Midianite showgirls, culminating in one couple attempting to have relations in the Tent of Meeting itself, only to be thwarted (not to mention skewered where they lay) by Pinchas, we hear about the divvying up of the Promised Land. This leads to a conundrum for 5 tribeswomen – the... read more

Shabbat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

A talking donkey, an invisible angel, a cursing king and a pagan prophet with a case of divine dyslexia. Only in Torah can you get a story like that. OK, maybe there’s “Shrek”, but it’s not quite the same. Although it has to make you wonder what John Lithgow sounds like speaking Hebrew… I remember a story from childhood about two little sisters. One would speak and out of her... read more