Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19)

This week Moses continues his detailing of the laws, and one caught my eye this year: (21:15-17) If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, but the first-born is the son of the unloved one — when he wills his property to his sons, he may not treat as first-born the son of the loved one in disregard of the son of the unloved one who is... read more

Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9)

Parsha Shoftim deals a lot with the idea of equity, fairness, equality, and keeping Israelite society on an equal footing. It talks about how a king (should the Israelites choose one in the future) should behave and be guided; how to set up a court of law; how to deal with unsolved murders (this was before the days of “CSI: Jerusalem”); and more. Most notable in this portion is the phrase... read more

Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17)

In parashat Re’eh, we get back down to the nitty-gritty of Jewish life. Some of the key points this week are the commandment not consuming blood (stated twice for emphasis), to destroy the idols and worship places when entering Canaan, the need to gather 3 times a year (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot), and to avoid false prophets. It could be interpreted that the central theme in all of this is doing that... read more

Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25)

The portion begins this week with Moses describing the blessings that the Israelites will enjoy if they follow God’s commandments and then links that to the requirement to drive out the inhabitants of the land and destroy their worship sites. It’s so important to avoid contact with idol worship, that Moses tells them to destroy the gold and silver, rather than use it, to avoid even the taint... read more