TORAH TIDBIT

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.

Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

Moses comes down from Sinai, sees the Israelites worshiping the Golden calf, and smashes the two tablets of covenant – the 10 commandments.
He breaks the “the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).
He climbs again to Mount Sinai and this time God dictates and Moses writes on the two Tablets, the first set was made by God, the second set was made in partnership by God and Moses.
Only when we partner with the Divine it is not broken.

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.

Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20−30:10)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20−30:10)

The High Priest is told to carry stones with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on their shoulders and on their hearts at all times.

Why?

To remember at all times that it is not about them – leadership is for the people you lead.

Real leaders must carry the needs of the people on their hearts and shoulders at all times.  It is never about the needs or ego of the leader – it is about who you serve.

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.

Terumah (Exodus 25:1−27:19)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Terumah (Exodus 25:1−27:19)

“And let them build for Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)

Here in this week’s portion God instructs the Children of Israel to build a Tabernacle which they carried with them as their portable sanctuary throughout the forty years of wanderings in the desert. This was the place where their sacrifices would be offered. It was here that Moses would meet God and seek God’s direction and advice. The Tabernacle was God’s home in the midst of the people. But, surely they understood that God’s presence was not held within this one small space. God’s presence can be seen in all the earth.

They saw God in the signs and wonders with which God freed them from Egypt, in the parting of the Red Sea, in the receiving of the Commandments on Mount Sinai, and as the pillar of fire and a pillar of smoke which led them on their journey to the Promised Land. God fed them with manna, protected them from danger, and commanded them toward righteousness ever step along their way. Surely, they saw God’s presence in their lives, in their world, in their hopes and in their dreams.

Finding God, hearing God’s voice, knowing how to be God’s people here upon this earth – these are not nearly as clear for us in our own lives today. God’s presence still pervades our world, but

“Where is the dwelling place of God?” The great chasidic master, Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, answered the question: “God dwells wherever we let God in.”

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.

Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

This Week’s Torah Portion:  Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

And the People of Israel said: “All that God has spoken we will do and we will hear.” (Exodus 24:7)

With these words our people committed themselves to the service of God. In Hebrew we said, “na-aseh v’nishma” we will do and we will hear.  Does it occur to you that the words we spoke standing at Sinai way back then… are backwards? Shouldn’t we have said we will “hear” God’s words before we agreed to “do” them?

Well, that depends on the nature of the relationship. If you are signing a contract with a total stranger, you might want to read it all first before agreeing to the conditions. On the other hand, if your mother, or father, or best friend, were to ask you to do something for them, you might reasonably say something like: Sure, what is it?  “We will do and we will hear.”

In other words we were already in a relationship with God before we ever signed on to the covenant set forth in the Torah. We were already God’s people and God was already our God.  This is what it means to be partners with God in an Eternal Covenant. It has always been and it will always be, God willing, and if, the People of Israel, we are willing to sustain it.

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