Monthly Archives: June 2010

Balak (Numbers 22:2 – 25:9)

Last week: life, death, purity and impurity, despair and hope. This week: a frightened king, a puffed-up sorcerer, and a talking ass (literal, not figurative). For all but the last nine verses in this week’s portion, we see the Israelites … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

At first glance, this week’s Torah portion looks like a typical wandering-in-the-desert episode.  It includes an inexplicable ritual (the red heifer), Israelite complaints (how good Egyptian food was, a lack of water), a plague (seraphic serpents), Moses’ intercession with the … Continue reading

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Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32); Shabbat Rosh Hodesh (Num. 28:9-15) Isaiah 66:1-24

My mind is going.  Two weeks ago, I wrote, with regard to food issues in B’Haalotekha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16), “Note that food is on the lowest rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ( http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds.htm ), which must be satisfied … Continue reading

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Where did this come from?

In the fall of 1999, as I was still enraptured by internet jokes, I sent some concerning Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to some friends.  Then, when the annual Torah reading cycle started up again with Genesis, I sent them … Continue reading

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B’Haalotekha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16)

[for the AOL’ers, since my email kept bouncing back] In this week’s portion, a few final tasks are performed before the Israelites set forth on their march. A seven-branched, gold candelabrum is fashioned, as are two silver trumpets for summoning … Continue reading

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Shelakh-lecha (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41)

This week: disaster. At the Lord’s command, Moses sends out twelve highly-regarded men, a chieftain of each tribe, to scout (or spy) out the land of Canaan. They are just supposed to answer several specific questions (13:18-20) : “Are the … Continue reading

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