Monthly Archives: July 2019

Pinchas (Numbers 25:10 -30:1)

(Comments from 2016) The ancient rabbis did not like vigilantism.  We see that in the story of Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron who skewers Cozbi (the Midianite princess) and Zimri (a chieftain of the tribe of Shimon), putting an abrupt … Continue reading

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Balak (Numbers 22:2 – 25:9)

What on earth? We’ve just read that the Israelites are finally across the Jordan from the Promised Land.  Now we get a story full of slapstick, including a talking donkey, with no Israelites taking an active part until the last … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

87 verses of water, purity, and death, ending on a decided upbeat. From 2013: At the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, the Israelites are about two years into their 40-year trek.  At the end of the portion, it’s 38 … Continue reading

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Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32)

Happy Independence Day! Today, there was also a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in southern California, just in time for this week’s Torah portion, Korach, in which (spoiler alert) the earth opens up and swallows Korach and his co-conspirators.  The confluence of … Continue reading

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