Monthly Archives: May 2017

Bemidbar (1:1 – 4:20), Shavuot

A new book! In Hebrew, its name is Bamidbar, meaning “in the wilderness” [or, directly from the text, Bemidbar, “in the wilderness of” (Sinai)].  In English, it is called Numbers, and there are a lot, particularly this week. It is … Continue reading

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Behar-Behukkotai (Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34)

This week, we finish Leviticus with a double portion.  The Book of Numbers will have a lot more action and cover almost all that remains of the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness. Behar (Lev. 25:1-26:2) concerns the sabbatical (shmitta) and … Continue reading

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Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23)

Good old Emor.  We run into parts of this portion 4 times a year: first and second days of Sukkot, second day of Pesach, and the regular weekly reading.  This is not surprising, because Emor includes instructions for observing the … Continue reading

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Acharei Mot – Kedoshim (Lev. 61:1 – 20:27)

I am currently working on a presentation for this coming Sunday, on how “natural” versus “man-made” items are valued in Jewish tradition and thus too mentally distracted to think a lot about atonement, forbidden sexual relationships, and holiness, the major … Continue reading

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