Author Archives: igplotzk

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shelach (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41)

Very tall Canaanites + very low self-esteem = Disaster (I have cobbled together comments I like from 2013-2016) This portion begins ambiguously.  The Lord says, “Send for yourself men to scout…”  Rashi interprets “for yourself” as a disclaimer (Hey, I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

B’Haalotekha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16)

In this portion, there is a big mood shift, from the excitement of the final pre-march tasks to the continuous kvetching you’d expect of cranky four-year-olds. Aaron finishes setting up the divinely designed, 7-branched gold menorah.  The Levites are ritually … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)

Still transitioning into full summer mode.  My only scheduled activity is Read Aloud Delaware.  No classes, rehearsals, or lessons, but somehow there’s always something else to work on, like Torah and haftarah readings, the Book of Ruth, never-ending decluttering… From … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20), Shavuot

This weekend:  a new book and a lesser-known major holiday The book is called Numbers in English, Bamidbar (in the wilderness) or Bemidbar (in [the] wilderness of…i.e., Sinai) in Hebrew.  While Bamidbar suits the book as a whole, Numbers actually better … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment