Articles

Is All Scripture To Be Read Literally?

From time to time, I get the question of whether or not we should take the Bible "literally" and, if we don't take all verses absolutely literally, how do we discern. I want to give you an example of a verse that is very problematic if we interpret it "literally." Deuteronomy 7:16 You shall eat all the peoples whom the …

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Understanding Isaiah 6

As many of you know, I am in my final week of this semester and have not been able to record very much new content over the last two months. Also, since we are in Passover/Unleavened Bread, there is a pause in the Torah cycle for two weeks so there aren't any new Culture of Torah portions.  So, this is …

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Tazria – That Uncomfortable Subject

Sorry this is a week late, I am in my final 3 weeks of this semester and so I have final papers due for all my classes. The good news is that I am learning a lot and these final papers will end up here on the website along with some teachings on the subjects! One in particular I am …

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Shemini – The Eighth Day…Hanukkah!

Parashah Shemini The Eighth Day...Hanukkah! Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47 After a seven-day long rites of passage to initiate Aaron and his sons into the priesthood, it is now the 8th day; the 8th of Nissan/Aviv[1]. Again our text presents us with an elaborate ritual which seems foreign to the modern reader, filled with multiple offerings and resulting in fire shooting forth from …

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Vayikra – Clean Up Your Mess!

Parashah Vayikra Clean Up Your Mess! Leviticus 1:1 - 6:7 When we read the book of Leviticus, we enter into an unfamiliar world of impurities, sacrifices, and strict ritual performances. For most of us it is difficult to begin to even grasp the concepts and purposes behind these rituals since we have nothing comparable in modern culture. To further complicate the …

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Pekudei – The Tabernacle as New Creation

Parashah Pekudei The Tabernacle as New Creation Exodus 38:21 - 40:38 And he erected the court around the Mishkan and the altar and he put up the screen for the gate of the court. Thus Moses finished all the work...and the Glory of YHWH filled the Mishkan[1]. After all the planning and building of individual parts, the Tabernacle is finally finished! As …

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VaYakhel – Ordering Sacred Space

Parashah VaYakhel Ordering Sacred Space Exodus 35:1 - 38:20 And Moses assembled the whole congregation of the sons of Israel…all with a willing heart, both men and women…brought a freewill offering to YHWH…and so the Mishkan was unified[1]. Many of us have heard of the Tabernacle, or Mishkan in Hebrew, and many of us have seen models of it, yet it still …

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Ki Tisa – Horns of the Bull

Parashah Ki Tisa Horns of the Bull Exodus 30:11 - 34:35 How many people do you know that have a little idol that they formed themselves and now believe that it is their god? For most of us, the answer is no one. The usage of graven images as gods is not part of our culture and so we are disconnected from …

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Terumah – Guardian of the Covenant

Parashah Terumah Guardian of the Covenant Exodus 25:1 - 27:19 And there, above the kapporet-lid between the Keruvim that are on the Ark of the Witness, I will meet with you and speak with you everything that I command you concerning the children of Israel[1]. Growing up reading what I knew as the "Old Testament", I frequently heard about the Israelite …

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Yitro – The Grace of Torah

Parashah Yitro The Grace of Torah Exodus 18:1 - 20:26 When people in today's culture talk about religious law, there is often an accompanying sense of apprehension. We've been freed from the Law right? How could ancient Israelite laws carry any significance for today's new and improved believer. We are no longer under the burden of the Law but under grace; law …

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