Monthly Archives: August 2018

Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8)

(From 2015) This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, starts cheerfully and gets increasingly dark.  We first read about ceremonial offerings to be brought by the Israelites in their new land.  As I noted last year (2014), “First, we read instructions for the … Continue reading

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Ki Tetse (Deut. 21:10 – 25:19)

(largely built from 2015’s and 2016’s comments) Last week: an overall vision of a just and compassionate society and a framework within which it can be carried out.  The Israelites were commanded to pursue justice and sweep away evil.  This … Continue reading

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Shoftim (Deut. 16:18 – 21:9)

A community needs a legal system with an agreed-upon framework of courts, judges, magistrates, laws, and a means of changing laws.  Is justice a necessary consequence of obeying the law?  Of course not. Recognition that obedience leads to injustice is … Continue reading

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Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17) ), Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:9-15)

I can see without glasses!  OK, close-up stuff is blurry without reading glasses.  But driving is wonderful, and I can see the trees’ individual leaves, and I can see where I am when I wake up.  This, friends, is due … Continue reading

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Eikev (Deut. 7:12 – 11:25)

The name of this week’s portion, “Eikev,” means “reward.”  In other words, all the good things that will happen to the Israelites in the Promised Land  – fertility, good health, military victory – are not automatic but are contingent on … Continue reading

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