TORAH TIDBIT

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha

Naso (Numbers 4:21−7:89)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Naso (Numbers 4:21−7:89)

A very weird and awkward ritual is described in our portion. When a man has a fit of jealousy against his wife, the two go to the High priest, who writes the name of God on a parchment, puts it into water and the wife drinks it. Horrible and humiliating as the ritual is, the rabbis chose to make lemonade out of this lemon, “Great is Shalom (peace and wellness and wholeness), that the Holy blessed one, allows us to defile Gods name in order to bring Shalom (peace and wholeness and wellness) into our homes”.

This Week’s Torah Portion: Naso (Numbers 4:21−7:89)A very weird and awkward ritual is described in our portion. When a man has a fit of jealousy against his wife, the two go to the High priest, who writes the name of God on a parchment, puts it into water and the wife drinks it. Horrible and humiliating as the ritual is, the rabbis chose to make lemonade out of this lemon, “Great is Shalom (peace and wellness and wholeness), that the Holy blessed one, allows us to defile Gods name in order to bring Shalom (peace and wholeness and wellness) into our homes”.

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha

B’midbar (Numbers 1:1−4:20)

This Week’s Torah Portion: B’midbar (Numbers 1:1−4:20)

We begin the 4th book of the Torah, Numbers; its Hebrew name is B’midbar -“in the wilderness”.

The Torah was not given in the land of its mission (Israel). Learning the lessons from the Torah is not dependent upon a specific land. The Torah, in the words of the Midrash, was given “in public domain”, a place not subject to ownership, a place belonging to all. “Whoever wishes to take it, let that person come and take it.” Or, in the words of another Midrash: “Just as the desert is ownerless property, so are the words of Torah free for all to take.”

We begin the 4th book of the Torah, Numbers; its Hebrew name is B’midbar -“in the wilderness”.

The Torah was not given in the land of its mission (Israel). Learning the lessons from the Torah is not dependent upon a specific land. The Torah, in the words of the Midrash, was given “in public domain”, a place not subject to ownership, a place belonging to all. “Whoever wishes to take it, let that person come and take it.” Or, in the words of another Midrash: “Just as the desert is ownerless property, so are the words of Torah free for all to take.”

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha

B’hukotai (Leviticus 25:1-27:34)

This Week’s Torah Portion: B’hukotai (Leviticus 25:1-27:34)

This final part of Leviticus has always troubled me for its juxtaposition of beautifully poetic language on the subject of the most primitive of beliefs of Divine reward and punishment. In a modern world defined by the Holocaust and untold acts of senseless destruction and loss of life since then, it is hard to view the world in so simple of terms as “good people are rewarded and bad people are punished.”

But perhaps the problem lies not simply in the text of the Torah alone, but in the way we understand it as well. It never says here that our every righteous deed will surely be rewarded, or that every evil act will be instantly or inevitably punished. In this context, what the Torah teaches us in Behukotai is simply this. We are responsible for our actions – our lives and the world will be better or worse for our efforts. And while we may not receive in full measure the blessing or the curse that we or others might justly deserve, we will have earned it, and received it in some measure. And that, for the modern world, may be just enough.

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra Metzorah Achrei Mot Emor B’har B’hukotai Sh’lach L’cha

B’har (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)

This Week’s Torah Portion: B’har (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)

Leviticus 25:46 says “you shall fear your God.” 

That’s not a very good translation. We are not supposed to be afraid of God. But English doesn’t have a very good word for the Hebrew “yirah.”

Think of it like our relationship with the ocean. The ocean can be a source of great beauty, joy, inspiration and even love. But the ocean can be an uncontrollable and powerfully destructive force too. Standing between those two realities, we start to understand what it means to see God with a sense of “yirah.”

Growing up on the shore of Lake Superior, I learned to appreciate the majesty of its vastness: there is greatness, and there is power, and there is beauty, but above all there is an affirmation of life.

“God is like the ocean and we are like the waves…”

This Week’s Torah Portion: B’har (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)Leviticus 25:46 says “you shall fear your God.” 

That’s not a very good translation. We are not supposed to be afraid of God. But English doesn’t have a very good word for the Hebrew “yirah.”

Think of it like our relationship with the ocean. The ocean can be a source of great beauty, joy, inspiration and even love. But the ocean can be an uncontrollable and powerfully destructive force too. Standing between those two realities, we start to understand what it means to see God with a sense of “yirah.”

Growing up on the shore of Lake Superior, I learned to appreciate the majesty of its vastness: there is greatness, and there is power, and there is beauty, but above all there is an affirmation of life.

“God is like the ocean and we are like the waves…”

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