Monthly Archives: May 2011

Bemidbar (Numbers 1:1–4:20)

        After Leviticus’s almost complete focus on laws, the book of Numbers (Hebrew, “Bemidbar,” literally “in the desert of”) returns us to the narrative.  It is now 13 months since the Israelites left Egypt and they are getting ready to … Continue reading

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Behukkotai (Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34)

Note to new readers from Facebook: The jokes follow the commentary.  The commentary exists to justify the jokes. This week, we complete our annual reading of the book of Leviticus.  The portion starts with a statement of what will happen … Continue reading

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Behar (Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2)

This week’s Torah portion is a mere 57 verses long. It’s usually read as part of a double portion with Behukkotai (Lev. 26:3 – 27:34), but we’re in the midst of a leap year, so there are extra Shabbatot that … Continue reading

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Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23)

This week’s Torah portion, Emor, is in the middle of what is referred to as the Holiness Code (roughly Chapters 17-26 of Leviticus). It starts with laws concerning priestly restrictions. A priest cannot “defile” himself (i.e., contract ritual impurity by … Continue reading

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