Tag Archives: Culture of Torah

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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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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B’Shalach – Death and Honor

Parashah B'Shalach Death and Honor Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 And I will strengthen the resolve of Pharaoh so that he will chase after them, and thus I will be gain honor through [the destruction of] Pharaoh and all his mighty army, and the Egyptians will know that I am YHWH[1]. YHWH goads and entices Pharaoh, playing off of Pharaoh’s pride. Rather than …

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Bo – Why All The Blood?

Parashah Bo Why All The Blood? Exodus 10:1 - 13:16 Green fog rolls down the street, searching for a victim. It approaches a door and suddenly turns away, averted by the blood painted upon the home's doorpost. This is a scene from Charlton Heston's Ten Commandments that many of us are familiar with, but is it based upon fact or fiction? Did …

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Vaychi – Your Two Sons Are Mine!

Parashah Vaychi Your Two Sons Are Mine! Genesis 47:28 - 50:26 Adopting a child today can be a very expensive endeavor. Many couples who are unable to give birth must spend thousands of dollars in order to adopt an infant into their home, yet they are willing to pay the cost in order to have a child of their own to raise …

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